Donovan Group Insights

School Communities are More Than Parents

Picture your school community. Which groups make up that picture? Students, staff, parents and educators are the obvious answers. But what about firefighters, business owners, non-profit members and the city council? They’re as much a part of your school community as students and teachers, no matter their level of involvement in the district.

Let’s explore the various groups within a school community and why district leaders should encourage them to invest in the district’s success.

Who makes up your school community?

Think of the different groups in your school community. The first people who usually come to mind are those directly involved in the schools’ day-to-day activities: students, staff, parents, educators, board members and administrators. In reality, a school community encompasses far more than these groups.

As you think about the people in your school community, it’s important to include stakeholders who are indirectly connected to the schools. They might not have children enrolled in the district. They might be out of touch with the latest district happenings. However, these people are still part of your school community, even if school isn’t at the forefront of their minds.

In addition to students, parents and educators, your school community also includes the following groups:

  • Local organizations
  • Elected officials
  • Business owners
  • Law enforcement
  • Non-parent adults
  • School alumni
  • And many others

Why should they invest in your district?

Different groups have different reasons to invest in your district’s success. In the case of business owners, investing in public education can increase the number of quality candidates in future graduating classes. Well-educated workers are crucial for helping any business thrive.

Local organizations would also benefit from investing in your district. Many community groups use school facilities to hold meetings and events. These groups would get to enjoy building extensions, renovations and new resources, all of which stem from the support of your school community.

Even non-parent adults have a reason to invest in their local school district. Students are our future leaders, doctors, engineers, artists and innovators. Their future success is rooted in public education. By investing in their district, non-parents help provide a quality education for the next generation—something we will all benefit from later down the road.

School communities are made of more than students, parents and educators. When you think about it, many other groups are intrinsically tied to a school community. This is something school leaders should keep in mind as they create district communications. Make sure you’re communicating with everyone in your school community!

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