The DeHavilland Blog

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Announcing our Fall 2009 webinar series!

Some shameless self-promotion...

Last year's webinar series had a great response, so we're doing another series this fall. Each webinar is 75 minutes long, which includes time for Q&A; participants will receive an audio archive of the session along with materials from the presenter. Each webinar is just $59, and includes one phone and one computer connection, which allows several people in an office to participate.

There are special perks for those purchasing all six webinars: a 10% discount and a free one-year subscription to the K-12 Partnership Report, a $149 value.

Sessions include the following:

Webinar 1: Business/Education Partnerships 101 - Essential steps to building great programs
Tuesday, October 13, 2pm EST
Brett Pawlowski, president of DeHavilland Associates, will take participants step by step through the process of building a strong and sustainable partnership-driven education program. Topics include getting started: partnership principles; the asset inventory; program design; measurement and evaluation; and sustainability.

Webinar 2: Using social media to build community support for education
Tuesday, October 20, 2pm EST
The new media landscape can be intimidating. How can your organization keep up with blogs, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter ... and are all these social sites even relevant to your organization? Michele Schwartz, executive director of Texas Association of Partners in Education, will take participants step by step through the new conversation prism and how each new communication tool can be used to build community and effect strong partnerships.

Webinar 3: The seven key benchmarks of successful education foundations
Tuesday, October 27, 2pm EST
Jim Collogan, executive director of the National School Foundation Association (NSFA), offers an examination of seven characteristics of the most successful K-12 foundations in the US today. The benchmarks originate from the results of a national survey given to the leaders and school superintendents of K-12 foundations conducted by the NSFA in February 2008.

Webinar 4: Essential steps in recruiting, developing, managing and sustaining strong business Advisory Boards
Tuesday, November 3, 2pm EST
Charlie Katz, president of Katz Consulting, will take participants step by step through the process of recruiting, developing, managing and sustaining a strong and sustainable business Advisory Board made up of business leaders from the local community. Topics include what is an Advisory Board?: what are the hurdles to overcome?; a “proper” 3-step process; the role of the Advisory Board; growth and sustainability of your Advisory Board.

Webinar 5: Preparing school leaders for community engagement
Tuesday, November 10, 2pm EST
Nina Randall, coordinator of the Broward County (FL) Partners In Education, program, will present a nuts-and-bolts training that leaders can deliver to their local school-based partnership liaisons. Training will cover the profile of a School Partnership Liaison, steps to take to get started, Broward County’s policies and guidelines on advertising, fliers and security screening as well as partnership activities and aligning partnerships to curriculum standards, information on recruitment, retention and recognition.

Webinar 6: How to find and attract strategic volunteers for key positions
Tuesday, November 17, 2pm EST
Barbara Frank, former partnership director for Lincoln (NE) public schools and board member of NAPE, will lead this webinar on finding the right volunteers to fill key positions such as board members, fundraising leaders, and more.

I hope you'll just us for this series; you can find information on registering by credit card, check, or purchase order here.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The shift to partnership thinking

Two years ago, I made a prediction: that within the next five years, the people who know how to build community/school partnerships were going to become some of the most important people in public education. As we start the new school year, I’m hearing more and more indicating that this shift is starting to occur. This includes updates I’m getting from partnership leaders around the country, such as the one who told me last week that her superintendent, for the first time, was starting to emphasize community partnerships at every meeting with principals. It also includes the education stories in various newspapers that are starting to focus on the funding crisis, detailing how school and district leaders are beginning to look to their communities for help.

Two newspaper items I saw just this weekend:

The first, “Cash-strapped California schools seek commercial sponsors to raise funds,” describes how some schools are making it a priority to secure new sources of revenue. Beverly Hills schools are considering launching an apparel line; Chino Valley schools are interested in selling ads in their football stadiums and securing sponsorships for school assemblies; San Diego wants to sell naming rights for their science camps. While California is in a particularly bad place in terms of funding, I would expect to see more of this elsewhere starting in the very near future.

(And I want to be clear – I understand that selling sponsorships, or an apparel line for that matter, is not the same as building partnerships. I point to the article as evidence that schools are beginning to feel an urgent need to solicit support from the community, and that partnerships will inevitably be a part of that mix. After all, there are only so many ads that can be placed in the football stadium, and the economic environment is not conducive to getting top dollar for ads or sponsorships.)

The next is unprecedented: a school board candidate running with a focus on boosting revenue through private support and education partnerships. Part of a Q&A with school board candidate Carol Kaufmann, running for a seat on the Gravette (Arkansas) school board:

Q: What are your goals if elected?
A: The first goal would be to sustain and/or improve the existing curriculum and instruction. The second goal would be to research and exhaust all avenues of revenue prior to a millage increase.

Q: What challenges do you think need to be addressed?
A: I believe acquiring revenue for maintenance, upgrade, replacement and/or additional facilities is an ongoing challenge for all districts.

Q: How would you solve the district's problems?
A: I would look for alternative sources of revenue such as federal, state and working grant monies, Partners in Education, public and private industry and philanthropy.

It stands to reason that we’ll see more of this as the school year goes on, and that we’ll see more next year, and much more the year after (when the stimulus money is gone).