Portrait of the Best Practices of Public School Heads in Establishing School-Community Partnerships
Judea S. Tomajin
Tarlac State University, Tarlac City, Philippines
Case analyses were conducted to identify the best practices of public elementary and secondary school heads of the Division of Tarlac City and Province regarding school-community partnerships. This study was focused on the best practices of the school heads in establishing and sustaining school-community partnerships as well as the challenges encountered. Data were gathered using interview and documentary analysis. All participants were awarded for having strong school-community partnerships and were evaluated with Level III (Advanced) Practice for School-Based Management during the school year 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Results showed that school heads established successful strong school-community partnerships by constantly involving the stakeholders in decision-making and planning of all the activities of the school, soliciting feedbacks from them, assessing the needs of the school and the community, having shared vision, delegating tasks with the stakeholders, having constant communication, showcasing the school’s achievements, adhering to No Collection Policy, establishing clear organizational structure, signing of Memorandum of Agreement, and being transparent at all times. Data also revealed the challenges encountered by the school heads in establishing school-community partnerships which include low socioeconomic status of the members of the community, gaining the trust of the community and other stakeholders, negative notions about school-community partnerships, adjusting to the changes brought about by the pandemic, having individual differences, and being situated in a far-flung area. Inconsistent communication with stakeholders, difficulty with time management due to overlapping tasks, responding to changes, and the notion that an award-winning school no longer needs support were also challenges for school heads in sustaining partnerships. Despite these challenges, the cases maintained the motivation of their stakeholders by keeping constant communication with them, tapping all the stakeholders not just for financial support, but also for their skills, keeping all the partners updated on the school’s programs, activities, and projects, recognizing and awarding dedicated partners, and practicing shared leadership and governance. An Action Plan was proposed to address these concerns. Based on the findings and conclusions, schools should promote increased collaboration and cooperation among partners. School’s dedication plus community commitment equals successful learning.
Keywords: School-Community Partnerships, Best Practices, Case Study, Department of Education-Tarlac, Philippines