School Board Policy 999 - Addendum A - Partnership Process

Adopted: May 12, 2014
Revised: July 12, 2021

The purpose of this document is to guide the development of partnerships. It outlines the District’s approach to engaging in partnership, allowing our partners to understand the principles and standards we are committing to.

The District is fully committed to engaging in partnerships. We recognize the strength and value of effective partnerships in contributing to the educational growth and service opportunities for students.

This commitment is demonstrated by the District’s current partnership involvement, both formal and informal, and is part of our District’s Mission, which reads:

The mission of the White Bear Lake Area School District, the community at the forefront of educational excellence, honoring our legacy and courageously building the future, is to ensure each student realizes their unique talents and abilities, and makes meaningful contributions with local and global impact through a vital system distinguished by:

  • Students who design and create their own future
  • A culture that respects diverse people and their ideas
  • Safe, nurturing and inspiring experiences
  • Exceptional staff and families committed to student success
  • Abundant and engaged community partners

SECTION 1 - Introduction to the Partnership Process

1.1 Introduction

White Bear Lake Area School District recognizes the need for a consistent process for developing and maintaining partnership. This process sets out a framework that will assist staff when considering our engagement in partnership arrangements.

1.2 Purpose of Process

The purpose of this process is to enable the District, with its partners, to ensure that the partnerships are appropriate and have proper oversight. The process will ensure that when working in partnership:

  • Identified needs or program enhancement goals are met;
  • The purpose and expected outcomes for students are clear;
  • Partnership activities and outcomes are monitored, reviewed and evaluated;
  • Risks for the District and partner are identified and mutually understood;
  • Each partnership maintains a relevance to its agreed purpose during its lifespan and has in place an effective exit strategy;
  • Partnerships are properly empowered and their legal status understood;
  • Reviews are undertaken to evaluate success in meeting objectives and identifying methods to improve effectiveness.

1.3 White Bear Lake Area Schools - Partnerships Levels

District - A District partnership is a formalized agreement among multiple schools, sites and/or programs and a partner. District-level partnerships are approved, organized, and managed by District-level department(s). District-level partnerships are funded by a partner, with District-level sources or a combination of the two, rather than building-level budgets.

Building/Program - A building or program partnership is a formalized agreement between an individual building or program and a partner. Building-level partnerships may include formalized agreements that impact the entire school population, as well as agreements that impact just individual grade levels or classrooms. Building and program-level partnerships are initially approved at the building level, and then recommendations are made to the district-level committee. The district-level committee helps evaluate which district policies may need to be considered and whether the partnership is one that is within administrative authority to decide or whether School Board authorization and approval is necessary. Upon proper authorization, the building/program-level partnerships are then organized, and managed at the building/program-level. Building and program-level partnerships are funded entirely by the partner, through individual building/program budgets, through grant funding as authorized by the district or by some combination of each.

Section 2 – Working in Partnership

2.1 When is a partnership appropriate?

Partnership arrangements are appropriate when they have the potential to:

  • Add value in the form of increased student learning and/or student experiences;
  • Meet identified district needs or program enhancements which may not be possible through district resources alone and do not compromise our core programming; and
  • Align with one or more of our district/building goals.

2.2 Managing and Reviewing Partnerships

Partnership work can be very rewarding for the district and students; however, it can also be difficult and resource intensive. Therefore, before taking on a new partnership, the following should be considered:

  • Does the purpose of the potential partnership align, and remain consistent with the district Mission and Strategic Plan?
  • If the partnership occurs during student contact time, an evaluation must be done by an administrator to show that the benefit to each student participating in the partnership exceeds any detrimental impact to any student missing assigned classes.
  • Is there a way for the district to meet the goals/objectives of the partnership on its own or with an existing partner that would be less labor intensive, more effective than starting a new partnership, or less intrusive on the academic day?
  • For district-level partnerships, does the district-level leadership team and/or members of Cabinet support this partnership?
  • For building/program-level partnerships, do the principal/supervisor and members of the building leadership team support this partnership?
  • Does the risk assessment reveal that the partnership is relatively safe for the district to enter into?

Partnerships should be reviewed annually by the district or building/program leadership team. The purpose of the review is to ensure that the partnership:

  • is effectively doing what it set out to do;
  • is still aligned with district/building/program goals, and
  • implements necessary improvements over time.
  • Through the review process it may be identified that it is time for a partnership arrangement to cease, be substantially modified or for the district to leave a partnership arrangement. This can be for many different reasons:
  • The partnership achieves all that it set out to do - goals/objectives are met.
  • The partnership goals/objectives are no longer aligned with the district strategic plan.
  • On review, the partnership is not delivering the outputs and outcomes it was set up to do and a new approach needs to be explored.
  • The partnership is replaced by another partnership or working arrangement.
  • External funding/resources cease.
  • On review, an adverse level of risk of continuing the partnership is identified.
  • The legal framework upon which the partnership was founded changes.
  • The district reserves the right to leave a partnership at any time. The district will develop case by case exit strategies for situations where it wishes to withdraw from a partnership for any reason.

SECTION 3 - Tools for Identifying and Managing Partnerships

When entering into or reviewing a partnership the district will use the following to guide its decision making.

3.1 Legal Status

School Board approval is required initially for all contracts and agreements.

3.2 Finance and Resources

The Building Leadership Team and Cabinet Representative will consider the resource implications, existing partnerships, and building and district priorities prior to making decisions on new partnerships or extending existing partnerships.

3.3 Communication in a Partnership Setting

Communication and marketing of partnerships shall be in accordance with the district’s communication plan and at the discretion of the Director of Communications.

3.4  Information Sharing

The School District’s Data Privacy Policy will apply to all partnerships consistent with applicable state and federal law.

SECTION 4 - Specific steps of the application process.

1. Complete the Partnership Application form.

2. Return form to either the building principal, program coordinator or district-level partnership contact person.

3. The partnership application will be reviewed by the building leadership team or principal. It will be evaluated in accord with the established criteria and forwarded to cabinet representatives as needed for review. Some partnerships may be approved at this level; others may need School Board approval prior to implementation.

4. Upon final approval of the superintendent or superintendent designee, or if appropriate, by the School Board, the building principal or program contact person will be notified of the decision whether or not to move forward with the partnership.

SECTION 5 – Appendix