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Madison Metropolitan School District

Guidelines for MMSD/Community Partnerships

Revised by the Madison Board of Education on 3/31/2014

The Madison Metropolitan School District welcomes community members and groups to actively collaborate in mutually beneficial partnerships that meet common goals and accomplish together what one organization cannot do alone. In order to strengthen current partnerships and allow for a systematic process to create new partnerships we have developed policy, procedures and guidelines.

Definition of Partnership:

A collaborative relationship between the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and community entities that is mutually beneficial and works toward shared goals and purpose through an agreed upon division of labor, services, outcomes and financial responsibility.

Guiding Principles:

  1. The purpose of MMSD’s School and Community Partnerships program is to enable the District to meet its goals and leverage community resources in support of specific District priorities.
  2. Partnerships require an agreed-upon investment of material and human resources, organizational accountability, and shared responsibility and decision making.
  3. Partnerships are most productive when they are built on trust and reflect true collaboration between and among participating entities.
  4. Effective partnerships outline roles and responsibilities for all involved and establish ongoing mechanisms for communication around program development, implementation, operation and evaluation.
  5. It is the District’s responsibility to ensure that partnerships address student needs and that barriers to participation are removed.
  6. Partnerships evolve to meet the changing needs of students, schools and families. Systematic monitoring and review by all involved help ensure continuous improvement and determine how agreements change to meet these needs or dissolve.
  7. The District will provide interested community partners with a systematic process for accessing opportunities for collaboration.
  8. Partnerships will honor our legal and ethical obligations to student privacy.
  9. The District’s partnerships decisions will reflect its fiscal responsibilities as a steward of taxpayer funds.

Categories of partnerships:

Partnerships fall into different categories based on factors such as the type or scope of programs and services offered by the collaboration; the amount of contact time the partners have with students/families/staff; the number of schools served; the total amount of financial, material, and/or in- kind resources involved; the type of data shared; the duration of the partnership, and the direct link to District priorities.

A partnership’s intensity level is determined by the Partnerships Office using the Partnership Rubric (page 6). Depending on a partnership’s intensity level, the requirements for documentation and monitoring, extent of involvement of the Partnerships Office, and extent of involvement of the Board of Education vary.

Process for establishing new partnerships:

The partnership development process begins with completion of the online inquiry form. The form is reviewed by the MMSD Partnerships Office to determine if the proposal aligns with district goals and is within the scope of possibility. Information included on the form is also reviewed to determine the partnership’s intensity level using the Partnership Rubric. After review, the Partnerships Office will notify partners of next steps in the development process.

Development of a low-intensity partnership is handled by the appropriate principal or department administrator and community entity. Initial development of medium- or high-intensity partnerships and related agreements will be supported directly by the Partnerships Office. Participating partners will work together to outline goals, logistics, protocol, and roles and responsibilities. A partnership agreement will be drawn up in collaboration with the participating partners using the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) template and Decision-Making Matrix. This agreement will guide the partnership as it develops.

The Board of Education will be informed of any proposal for a medium- or high-intensity partnership. The Board may request additional information about the partnership, recommend that a medium- intensity partnership be categorized as high-intensity, and/or recommend that the district not move forward with the partnership. For all high-intensity partnerships, Board review and approval of the final agreement is required. Any contractual requirements, regardless of intensity level, must adhere to MMSD policies and procedures.

For more information on the procedures for establishing a partnership, see policy 7544.

Ongoing documentation of partnerships:

The MMSD Partnerships Office oversees the maintenance of the partnership database and supports partnership development and evaluation processes.

Monitoring and evaluation:

Partners will revisit the agreement on a regular basis to assess progress on goals and objectives, and determine if modifications to the MOA are needed.

The Superintendent or Board of Education may ask for an evaluation and recommendation to continue or discontinue a partnership based on changing funding, change in student needs, change in space needs or lack of implementation of program goals. The MMSD reserves the right to terminate a partnership.


MMSD Policies and Procedures: 7544 - School and Community Partnerships

Partnership Rubric