The Foundations of Equitable Community Engagement

Equitable community engagement—an ongoing, two-way process of building relationships, working collaboratively to support all students, and sharing power—is an achievable goal for all school communities. Our Community Engagement tools and resources can help make it happen.

To make use of our tools, it’s helpful to be aware of the principles they are built upon:


The Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s literature review—How Family, School, and Community Engagement Can Improve Student Achievement and Influence School Reform—provides a summary of studies that demonstrate a direct link between family or community partnership and improvements in student or school outcomes.

Foundational Reading

Equitable community engagement requires a comprehensive understanding of social, cultural, and economic barriers that marginalized communities face. It also requires those in power to examine the institutions and organizational structures that perpetuate inequity in and beyond our school systems. The reading below offers a place to start this journey of self-reflection and learning:

Online Resources
Print Resources

The Great Schools Partnership thanks Everyday Democracy for their collaboration in the fieldwork and shared learning that shaped many of these ideas.

Creative Commons License The Foundations of Equitable Community Engagement by the Great Schools Partnership is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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