This series of seven presentations was used to facilitate a community thought partner group in Denver. A community thought partner group is a collection of key stakeholders such as parents, guardians and broader community stakeholders who convene in order to learn about school intervention strategies and in turn provide input to district level decisions about school turnaround, closure and/or restart. In Denver, thought partner groups tend to have 10 to 15 people. These presentations walk a community group through the entire process of envisioning, identification, reviewing quality applicants and then creating matching recommendations. It is intended for the community audience and designed to support easy translation (Spanish versions available). This particular series of meetings worked in coordination with the release of Denver’s Call for New Quality Schools Supplement 2015.
Community Engagement Process Meeting 1
Community Engagement Process Meeting 2
Community Engagement Process Meeting 3
Community Engagement Process Meeting 4
Community Engagement Process Meeting 5
Community Engagement Process Meeting 6
Community Engagement Process Denver Final Recommendations
Outcomes and Lessons Learned: This particular series of meeting started in May 2015 and resulted in a report out in September from the thought partner group. The group outlined perceived strengths and weaknesses of school operators that proposed to restart or supplement the existing low-performing program. The attendance in the series of meetings was low, suggesting that parents are not as engaged over the summer. In addition, attendees who started the process did not necessarily participate throughout, suggesting that it is difficult to sustain interest over an extended period of time. In future decisions, Denver Public Schools plans to convene focus groups that meet only once to provide input into school “match” decisions. Another lesson learned is that there should be clear criteria upfront as to who should be eligible to participate in the thought partner group (or focus group).