NACSA’s New Schools With Communities Guide

NACSA’s New Schools With Communities Guide

In every community–especially those historically under-resourced–there is long-ignored and underutilized knowledge and potential. At the heart of NACSA’s work lies the recognition of these tremendous assets and a desire to work with communities, building from their needs and aspirations, to create high-quality educational opportunities. We know authorizers are uniquely positioned to do this work in a way that elevates all voices and reimagines the role schools play in empowering students and helping communities thrive.

Also foundational to NACSA’s work is a commitment to listening, learning, and collaborating with our community: authorizers. We invest substantial time and energy into broadening our understanding of how you serve your local communities to create exceptional opportunities for all students. Through active listening, we recognize that each authorizing context presents its own set of opportunities and challenges. As a result, we’re excited to announce a new guide–comprised of several resources–to help your authorizing practices become more community-centered.

This new guide is focused on the new schools process which is among an authorizer’s greatest lever in ensuring school quality and provides the foundation upon which to build, strengthen, and improve authentic community engagement. This guide includes tools to help you:

  • Reflect on your staff’s organizational structure 
  • Better understand the communities you serve;
  • Authentically engage communities and hold public hearings; and
  • Effectively communicate key decisions.

Working with communities is not just about implementing a set of practices; it is a journey of intentional transformation. NACSA is here to provide support and guidance. Whether you need assistance in strengthening your community engagement strategies, adapting your new school application to incorporate community voice, or building the capacity to carry this work forward, our team is here for you.

In fact, please join us for Third Thursdays this week as we dig more into the guide and community-centered authorizing. And be on the lookout for the next episode of Community Conversations with NACSA, where we’ll be discussing this guide. Finally, if you haven’t already, be sure to register for NACSACon 2023 in Oakland, CA to join the conversation.


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