The Action Team for Partnerships (ATP) is the "action arm" of a school improvement team or school council.  The ATP takes responsibility for assessing present partnership practices, writing plans for family and community involvement, implementing activities, evaluating next steps, and continuing to improve and coordinate practices for all six types of involvement.  Although the members of the ATP lead these activities, they are assisted by other teachers, parents, students, administrators, and community members.  


An Action Team consists of:

Two or three teachers from different grade levels

Two or three parents with children in different grade levels and/or the parent liaison, and/or a parent association officer

One administrator

Action Teams also may include at least:

One member from the community at large

Two students from different grade levels (at the high school level)

Others who are central to the school's work with families including: cafeteria worker, school social worker, guidance counselor, or nurse

Diverse members of the ATP ensure that partnership activities will take into account the various needs, interests, and talents of teachers, parents, the school, and students.


The chair of the Action Team for Partnerships (ATP) may be any member who has the respect of all other members.  The National Network of Partnership Schools recommends that co-chairs share leadership of the ATP.  The leaders of the ATP should have excellent communication skills and an understanding of the partnership approach.  The leaders, or at least one member of the ATP, should also serve on the school improvement team, school council, or other decision making body.

A team with at least six members (and perhaps as many as twelve or more) ensures that responsibilities for leadership can be delegated so that one person is not overburdened and so that the work of the Action Team will continue even if some members move or change schools or positions.  

ATPs also identify chairs or co-chairs to oversee involvement activities for each type of involvement (six committees), or for each major improvement goal (e.g., four committees for two academic goals, one non-academic goal, and an overall partnership climate).

Members may serve renewable terms of two to three years, with replacement of any who leave in the interim.  Other thoughtful variations in assignments and activities may be created by small or large schools using this process.

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Epstein, J.L., Coates, L., Salinas, K.C., Sanders, M.G., & Simon, B.S. (1997). School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.