Disqus

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Draft Enagement Protocols

At tonight's Board meeting the Superintendent presented the Draft Engagement Protocols for major initiatives of the Strategic Plan. I couldn't help but notice two significant facts about these Draft Enagagement Protocols.

1. Although the Protocols identify five types of engagement - Inform, Consult, Involve, Collaborate, and Empower - all of the steps they promised to take only apply to the lowest form of engagement: inform.

2. Although the District "guarantees" this minimum level of engagement, they are not meeting that minimum standard right now. How, exactly, do we collect on this guarantee?

1 comment:

Charlie Mas said...

It isn't enough for me to complain about the inadequacy of the Draft Engagement Protocols; I have to offer improvements. And so, I offer these suggestions for completing the protocols:

For all major projects, Seattle Public Schools commits to engaging the community through the following measures:

To Inform:
Public Web site postings including:
An overview of the project, including milestones
A fact sheet with answers to frequently asked questions
A timeline that clearly shows steps in the decision-making process
A staff contact for questions or comments
Background information that is updated throughout the process
Information about public meetings
E-newsletters sent to employees and members of the public, each of whom are invited to inform families and other community groups through their newsletters, meetings, and other regular means of written and spoken outreach
School Beat sent to all SPS staff and community members who sign up
Classroom Connection sent to all teachers and other instructional staff
Principal Communicator sent to all principals
News releases of major announcements and public meetings
Quarterly updates to the School Board, announced through the Web site and televised on SPS TV
Seattle Public Schools is committed to reducing barriers to engagement for bilingual and non-English speaking families. For all major initiatives, Seattle Public Schools will translate FAQs and any correspondence to families in the top languages of our bilingual and non-English speaking families.
In addition, Project Managers will coordinate with our Bilingual Family & Community Engagement staff as messengers to formal and informal community networks effective in reaching diverse populations represented in our larger school community.

To Consult:
Public Web site postings including:
A record of the public input received and the responses to that input
A record of how public input influenced decisions that is updated throughout the process and the points in that process when public input will be solicited
A record of the input gathered at public meetings
Surveys on analysis, alternatives, and decisions with open-ended questions about concerns and aspirations
Specific reference to how special populations will be affected
The names, offices, and contact information for members of committees that are making decisions and recommendations
Documented two-way contact with stakeholder groups and advisory committees
Events/Presentations/Panel discussions with a variety of viewpoints represented on an even footing
Seattle Public Schools is committed to reducing barriers to engagement for bilingual and non-English speaking families. For all major initiatives, Seattle Public Schools will translate FAQs and any correspondence to families in the top languages of our bilingual and non-English speaking families.
In addition, Project Managers will coordinate with our Bilingual Family & Community Engagement staff as messengers to formal and informal community networks effective in reaching diverse populations represented in our larger school community.

To Involve:
Drop-in meetings/workshops BEFORE decisions are made with the bulk of the time devoted to authentic conversations with the decision-makers
Public Web site postings including:
A record of the public input received and the responses to that input BEFORE the decisions are made
A record of public input received prior to the decisions that is updated throughout the process
A record of the input gathered at public meetings/workshops
Surveys on analysis and alternatives with open-ended questions about concerns and aspirations
Specific reference to how special populations will be affected
The names, offices, and contact information for members of committees that are making decisions and recommendations
Documented two-way contact with stakeholder groups and advisory committees
Events/Presentations/Panel discussions with a variety of viewpoints represented on an even footing
Seattle Public Schools is committed to reducing barriers to engagement for bilingual and non-English speaking families. For all major initiatives, Seattle Public Schools will translate FAQs and any correspondence to families in the top languages of our bilingual and non-English speaking families.
In addition, Project Managers will coordinate with our Bilingual Family & Community Engagement staff as messengers to formal and informal community networks effective in reaching diverse populations represented in our larger school community.

To Collaborate:
Drop-in meetings/workshops BEFORE decisions are made with the bulk of the time devoted to authentic conversations with the decision-makers
Events/Presentations/Panel discussions with a variety of viewpoints represented on an even footing
Including members of the public on committees that are making decisions and recommendations in numbers comparable to staff
Public Web site postings including:
A record of the public input received and the responses to that input BEFORE the decisions are made
A record of public input received prior to the decisions that is updated throughout the process
A record of the input gathered at public meetings/workshops
Surveys on analysis and alternatives with open-ended questions about concerns and aspirations
The names, offices, and contact information for members of committees that are making decisions and recommendations
Documented two-way contact with stakeholder groups and advisory committees
Shared responsibility for decisions and implementation between district staff and stakeholder groups
Seattle Public Schools is committed to reducing barriers to engagement for bilingual and non-English speaking families. For all major initiatives, Seattle Public Schools will translate FAQs and any correspondence to families in the top languages of our bilingual and non-English speaking families.
In addition, Project Managers will coordinate with our Bilingual Family & Community Engagement staff as messengers to formal and informal community networks effective in reaching diverse populations represented in our larger school community.

To Empower:
Drop-in meetings/workshops BEFORE decisions are due
Events/Presentations/Panel discussions with a variety of viewpoints represented on an even footing
Including members of the public on committees that are making recommendations in numbers comparable to staff
Public Web site postings including:
A record of the public input received and the responses to that input BEFORE the decisions are due
A record of public input received prior to the decisions that is updated throughout the process
A record of the input gathered at public meetings/workshops
Surveys on analysis and alternatives with open-ended questions about concerns and aspirations
Full and detailed descriptions of all plans and intentions
Documented two-way contact with stakeholder groups and advisory committees
Seattle Public Schools is committed to reducing barriers to engagement for bilingual and non-English speaking families. For all major initiatives, Seattle Public Schools will translate FAQs and any correspondence to families in the top languages of our bilingual and non-English speaking families.
In addition, Project Managers will coordinate with our Bilingual Family & Community Engagement staff as messengers to formal and informal community networks effective in reaching diverse populations represented in our larger school community.

I look forward to positive and constructive interactions between the public and the district staff in an atmosphere of trust fostered by these protocols.