Action Team for Partnerships
All schools in the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS)
use an Action Team for Partnerships (ATP) to organize and sustain a program
of school, family, and community partnerships. With an ATP, teachers, administrators,
parents, community members, and others can work together to connect family
and community involvement with school improvement goals. The ATP in each
school aims to:
- Create a welcoming school environment for families
- Engage families and the community in ways that support student achievement and success
What is an Action Team for Partnerships?
The ATP is the “action arm”
or committee of the School Improvement Team or School Council. Although
the ATP members oversee the school's partnership program, other teachers,
parents, students, administrators, and community members also may lead
family and community involvement activities.
What does an Action Team for Partnerships do?
Each school's ATP will conduct the following activities:
- Write a One-Year Action Plan for Partnerships (see
with activities linked to selected
goals in the School Improvement Plan
- Integrate all family and community involvement activities conducted
by teachers and school groups in the One-Year Action Plan for Partnerships
- Recruit and recognizes other teachers, parents, community members
for leadership and participation in family and community involvement
- Implement, coordinate, publicize, and oversee the planned involvement
- Monitor progress, assess the strengths and weaknesses of implemented
involvement activities, document results, and resolve problems
- Report progress to the School Council (or School Improvement Team)
and to the faculty, PTA/PTO, local media, and other groups
- Replace departing ATP members
- Continue improving the school's program of family and community
Who is on an Action Team for Partnerships?
An ATP typically has 6 to 12 members and
- The school principal
- Two or three teachers from different grade levels
- Two or three parents with children in different grade levels
- The parent liaison
- A PTA/PTO officer or representative
- Two students from different grade levels (on high school ATPs)
The ATP should also include:
- Members from the community at large, including: business partners,
interfaith leaders, representatives from literary, cultural, civic,
and other organizations.
- Others who are central to the school's work with families, including:
the school nurse, social worker, instructional aide, counselor, other
administrator, secretary, grandparent raising a child in the school,
custodian, or etc.
How is an Action Team for Partnerships organized?
An Action Team for Partnerships (ATP) may be organized in one of
- ATP members split into subcommittees for four school improvement
goals for student success: two academic goals, one nonacademic goal,
and one overall partnership goal for a welcoming school environment.
Type of Involvement
- The ATP forms six subcommittees or work groups. Each subcommittee
designs and oversees activities for one of the Six Types of Involvement (see definition) to support student success.
The ATP meets as a whole team at least once a month to coordinate and
monitor all activities. Subcommittees meet as needed to plan and implement
activities in the One-Year Action Plan for Partnerships.
How is leadership delegated?
Any ATP member who has the respect of
all other members may serve as the chair. NNPS recommends that co-chairs,
often one parent and a teacher or school administrator, share leadership
responsibilities. Leaders should have excellent communication skills
and an understanding of the partnership approach. At least one member
of the ATP also may serve on the school improvement team, school council,
or other decision-making body as a “linking leader” to
report plans and progress on partnerships. Co-chairs also should lead
each subcommittee of the ATP.
Why is the Action Team for Partnerships so important?
Having a team with at least six members
(or as many as twelve or more) ensures that responsibilities for leadership
and conducting planned activities can be delegated so that no one is overburdened
and the work of the ATP will continue even if some members move or change
schools or positions.
ATP members 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.
Meet some schools' Action Teams for Partnerships
Each year, NNPS presents Partnership School Awards to schools
and their ATPs for outstanding and continuous work on partnerships.
Read some of their stories here
For more information, answers to questions
about organizing an effective ATP, and tools for ATPs to conduct their
work, see Chapter 3, “Taking an Action Team Approach” in
the NNPS handbook: Epstein, et al. (2002), School Family, and Community
Partnerships, Your Handbook for Action
(2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks,
CA: Corwin Press.
© Copyright 1996-2006 The Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins