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Email: askus@southerndpa.org

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Southern Dropout Prevention Alliance | SDPA
Strategies in Action


Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is a vehicle for bringing together key organizations and institutions that represent educators and families as well as representatives of the community who have a stake in the law and also bring particular assets and expertise that can support the education of our young people.

The Southern Dropout Prevention Alliance helps schools/school districts improve home/school/community relationships and communication. Our innovative approach is nationally recognized by the National Dropout Prevention network as a model program. See our rating at http://www.dropoutprevention.org under the Resources and Model Programs link.

The four principles to guide stakeholder engagement

 Inclusion. Engage a wide range of people and organizations with a stake in education to recognize the value of diverse perspectives.

Accessibility. Make it easy for people to participate, to understand what is happening, and to be heard.

Sustainability. See stakeholder engagement as a continuous process involving ongoing dialogue—not as a one-time proposition.

Focus on results. Use engagement as a steppingstone toward building long-term partnerships that can help school systems get results that matter—from improved attendance and school climate to more extensive parent and student engagement.

Concerned about ESSA implementation? WE can assist.

  • Educators. The new law is most specific about the importance of involving educators, explicitly naming teachers, principals, school leaders, paraprofessionals, specialized instructional-support personnel, charter school leaders, and administrators.
  • Parents. The law also requires parent voice. School leaders will want to include well-established organizations like the PTA to engage parents affiliated with education advocacy groups, parent-leadership programs, and disability groups. The key is finding organizations or groups that help parents develop the skills to communicate their concerns and interests while also providing the necessary support to keep their constituents well informed.
  • Students. At the secondary school level, young people must have a voice in ESSA planning. Look for students who are involved in youth-organizing initiatives or have participated in programs that teach them leadership skills. Listening to recent high school graduates as well as high school dropouts will also yield important information.
  • Community-based organizations. Affiliates of national groups like the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the YMCA, 4-H, and Metropolitan Family Services with grassroots expertise in youth development and family support have valuable relationships with immigrants, English-language learners, and children and families of color.

  • Faith-based institutions. Churches, synagogues, and mosques are filled with caring adults who can help address young people's basic needs, such as hunger and a lack of books at home, and serve as tutors and mentors.

  • Colleges and universities. These institutions offer the expertise from within their schools of education, as well as opportunities for student internships, needs assessments, and action research that can address specific school and community issues such as food deserts and student mobility.

  • Municipal leaders. These individuals have bully pulpits and often control programs serving youths and their families, which could better align the work of public agencies—physical and mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice—that they finance.

  • United Way organizations, community foundations, corporate funders, and other philanthropic groups. These groups involve local community leaders and funder programs in addition to collective-impact efforts that can unite a community together to support young people and public education.

Our services and support will improve academic achievement and student outcomes. Email us at askus@southerndpa.org or call at 866-773-1422 to get your school, school district, on the road to academic excellence.