PARTNER: Build Collaborative Partnerships

Many of our children and youth are struggling with complex issues, including substance use, mental health problems, learning disabilities, and toxic stress—issues that extend beyond the school into the larger community. Most children cannot thrive in school unless these underlying challenges are addressed. Yet, schools often lack the resources to effectively deal with these challenges alone. 

Fortunately, schools are not alone in their concern for the welfare and success of students. People in your community—business owners, law enforcement and juvenile justice officers, mental health providers, social services workers, and families—share this same interest and each offer a unique contribution to solving challenges. Many of these groups are already involved with some students and families. Partnering with them to implement effective solutions will enhance your success. 

Partnering does take time, effort, and perseverance, but the results are well worth it. Partnerships yield numerous benefits—improving communication and information-sharing, avoiding service duplication, saving money, and meeting needs more effectively and strategically, to name just a few.

Our online course will help you identify willing stakeholders in your community and will provide you with strategies to reach out to them and keep them engaged. Once you’ve established partnerships, you can begin to Plan a Multipronged Approach.


Letter from Principal to Existing Partner
Letter from Principal to New Partner
How Do We Make Decisions?
  • Photo of a student talking to an adult

    This full service school-community model has been pivotal in sustaining the work.

    Pam Smith, Safe Schools/Healthy Students Project Director
    School District of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Partnership among schools, law enforcement, juvenile justice, and mental health brings four different cultures together, presenting both challenges and opportunities to learn.

    Dr. Joseph Christy, director
    Washington County Juvenile Department , Oregon
  • Find a way to work with the folks who are serving your students when they are not in the classroom. When we don’t, we are wasting resources and energy, and unintentionally contributing to the stress of families.

    Jenée Littrell, Safe Schools/Healthy Students Project Director
    Grossmont Union High School District, California
  • We were all doing our own thing. Now we sit at the table together to collaborate and are able to create systemic change.

    School District Director
    Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin
  • Partnership Poster from Santa Fe

    Working in partnership with community agencies and health advocates had a significant positive impact on school discipline in Santa Fe.

    Santa Fe Public Schools, New Mexico