Mapping the Community: Resources for Partnerships

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Mapping the Community: Resources for Partnerships by Mind Map: Mapping the Community: Resources for Partnerships

1. Canada Kunming Secondary School (CKSS)

1.1. School Context

1.1.1. CKSS is an accredited B.C. offshore school located in China's tropical Yunnan Province. Students are Chinese nationals and English Language Learners (ELL).

1.2. Existing partnerships

1.2.1. One of the structures in place to "involve and engage parents and families as partners in school planning" is the system I described in an earlier journal whereby parents were able to give input toward how our school is organized despite the language barrier. As a result, parents feel some connection with the school. This was reinforced more recently as a dialogue was extended more recently between the school and parents regarding grade 12 course selection and in preparing our upcoming graduates for a future that is both desirable and within their grasp. The dialogue regarding community development thusfar has centered around the development of our students, and to what degree parents can play a supportive and encouraging role.

1.3. Available Resources

1.3.1. There are not yet many partnerships with the community beyond the school, though there is potential. For example, there are experts in our area in fields we teach, such as PhD Chemists who work in various capacities such as in industry and research. I have some contact numbers and could invite them to visit our school, or arrange for our students to visit them in their work environment to see how professionals engage their field.

1.3.2. Various types of resources that might be available at CKSS are listed here: There are public parks in the neighborhood and a plethora of extra classes available for students with the time and families with the money to cover the costs. Thanks to the internet, most students have quick and easy access to western cultural material, ranging from dictionary and books to movies and games. I think what students lack are western peers. One brilliant suggestion made by our principal to resolve this is to invite students from abroad to come to our school on exchange. As it stands, students with more money might have more access to resources, however, these resources often come with distractions.

1.4. Assessment of Strengths and Shortcomings of Community Resources

1.4.1. McKnight and Block (2010) invite us to discover gifts by first "recognizing every capacity of everyone", and then to make use of them (p. 119). With the hope of identifying these gifts, I have created a short survey which I can suggest we translate and share with parents to learn more about them.

1.4.2. After we make use of these gifts, we should provide recognition and rewards, for example, for tutors of younger children as McKnight and Block (2010) suggest (p. 120).

1.4.3. We are familiar with providing external rewards at CKSS, but perhaps one challenge that we have faced is that we wish to foster students' English language ability, yet a lot of neighborhood people with talents that could be passed onto our students would be in Chinese. Perhaps we could overcome this by ensuring constant translations of what was being said into English, for students to write in English about their experience, and to talk in English while working in small groups while engaged in activities such as sewing or art.

1.5. Considering How Resources Reinforce or Change the Role of the School in the Neighbourhood

1.5.1. The International Baccalaureate (IB) School Manila presents a colorful example of how the community service activities organized for their students benefit their character at the same time as developing connections between students and the community (International Baccalaureate Publication, n. d., p. 1). My vision for our school is along these lines, where our students go out into the community, and gain appreciation through service activities. This will make the school better known, leading to an influx of students, and help to integrate the school with its community of context leading to warm acceptance.

1.6. Existing or Potential Relationships Between Resources

1.6.1. Parents may be well-acquainted with sites students may benefit from visiting, people students might benefit from meeting, as well as service opportunities where students may lend a hand as volunteers. Parents might accompany students along their journey and as such benefit from family time and the development of a new and meaningful type of parent-child bond.

1.7. Greatest potential for new partnerships

1.7.1. There is a great deal of potential for developing new partnerships with parents and the local community. Before we begin to tap into that potential, we will have to figure out what is the nature of that potential, by asking them survey questions. Some of our parents live near the school, and though not yet involved with the school, easily could be much more involved. Some of these activities that are created will have to be after hours, and hence optional activities. My ideal model for such activities is that presented by Dave Eggers in his TED talk (2008) in which talented individuals are able to share their professional knowledge with students who have taken an active interest in the subject. Last year we had speakers come to the school. First came a Christian Karate club, and next a group of Skateboarders. These activities were highlights in the semester, but to the extent that English help is limited in our environment, we will have to turn to our globally interconnected Virtual Community (see below).

1.7.2. Through efforts like these, our school is becoming a living system. Living systems form, says Margaret Wheatley (1999), as people recognize shared interests, collaborate and recognize the need for one another (p. 3). Everyone needs relationships and meaningful lives, says Wheatley, which gives me confidence that people will accept the hand put forth when we reach out.

1.7.3. The hope is that these efforts will be wide reaching and effective in multiple dimensions, strengthening "school programs, family practices, and student learning and development” as Epstein, et al. suggest (2009, p. 16).

2. Virtual Community

2.1. Global On-line Connections:

2.1.1. 1st Sitting

2.1.2. 2nd Sitting

2.1.3. 3rd Sitting

2.2. Penpals and Letters to Famous People.

2.2.1. One of our great teacher began the project to write to someone famous, and offered to mail her students' letters off should they provide her both with the letter as well as the address. I have had a few penpals in the past, and feel that our students would benefit just as much from that if not more due to the personal nature of the exchange.

2.3. Organizations Based on Interests

2.3.1. Students can be encouraged to find and begin associating with others in an organization of their interest. There are all sorts of groups online.

2.4. Discussion Forums

2.4.1. There are plenty of mediums whereby students may join online discussions about certain topics. I am particularly excited about our students engaging with people from other countries, though I am aware that if they are not careful with their writing, they may be ostracized by others. As a result, they should be asked to attend well to their writing and prepare their online postings using a draft and editing process to avoid careless or poorly worded postings.

2.5. Chat Websites

2.5.1. These include live chat websites as well as social media websites. Of course, should students be encourages to use such sites, they should be reminded to take care of themselves such as protecting personal information, etc.

3. Parent Survey

3.1. Questions would be translated into Chinese and asked of parents through paper or electronic distribution:

3.2. 1. Do you make use of any skills or practices related to any of our school subjects as part of work? Howabout activities in your free-time?

3.3. 3. Do you have any way in which you would like to be involved with the school, curricular or extra-curricular?

3.4. 2. Do you know anyone else who has these skills or engaged in such practices? They may be work-related or based on their interests. If so, please provide a few details and their contact number.

3.5. 4. Do you have any suggestions regarding people or organizations that our students might be able to help out and be of service? Describe.

4. CKSS connection to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Community

4.1. The International Baccalaureate Website (n. d.-a) outlines The Accreditation Process for CKSS:

4.2. 1. Submit School Information.

4.2.1. Ensure that the "head of the school participates in an IB workshop to become familiar with IB’s programmes, philosophy and authorization process", identifying a programme coordinator, eliciting support from the community, identifying resources required, examining IB philosophy, programme structure, requirements, and comparing these with the school's current state to "see if they are compatible" (p. 1).

4.3. 2. Submit Application for Candidacy

4.3.1. In the document, Application for candidacy: Diploma Programme, the school's details are requested, and reminders are provided regarding specifics, and the following documents are highlighted as essential references: 1. Programme standards and practices 2. The Diploma Programme: From principles into practice 3. Rules for candidate schools 4. Rules for IB World Schools: Diploma Programme 5. General regulations: Diploma Programme 6. Guide to school authorization: Diploma Programme 7. Rules and policy for use of IB intellectual property (International Baccalaureate Document, n. d.-a, p. 3)

4.3.2. In the document, Required text for candidate schools to use in marketing materials, the IB World School philosophy is expressed as "commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision." Their mission statement is "to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right" (International Baccalaureate Document, n. d.-b, p. 1)

4.3.3. In the document, Overview of requirements for candidacy - Diploma Program (DP) 1 & 2. The school is a registered legal entity with a name and educational purpose. 3. School philosophy aligns "or can be aligned with those of the IB", goes beyond academics and the individual. 4 & 5. Multi-campus requirements met (if applicable), and no gaps between consecutive IB programmes. 6. A programme coordinator "has been or will be appointed". 7. Budget "includes the correct IB fees and projected costs for professional development". 8. Ensure that "the Head of school or designee" has attended IB's workshop and "plans to meet PD requirements". 9. Action plan regarding the school's "journey towards authorization". 10. Provision made to ensure that some students will undertake the full diploma program. 11. Support from the school community and its stakeholders. 12. Planning of Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) including allocation of resources and an appointed CAS coordinator. 13. Planning of subjects, particularly Theory of Knowledge (TOK) (International Baccalaureate Document, n. d.-c, p. 1)

4.3.4. In the document, Programme standards and practices, the qualities of IB learners are listed. IB learners strive to be balanced, knowledgeable inquirers, thinking and reflective risk-takers who care, who are open-minded yet principled (p. vii). The document also introduces IB standards. Standard A describes an aligned philosophy, promotion of "international-mindedness and all attributes of the IB learner profile", "responsible action within and beyond the school community", and "open communication based on understanding and respect", language learning, and participation in the IB world community while standard B1 describes the qualities of leadership and structure required in the organization, essential resources and support (pp. 3, 21). There are a multiplicity of considerations as to how the IB program can be best supported. Standard C1 explains the collaborative nature of how the curriculum is to be implemented (pp. 4, 22). C2 describes how it is to be written (pp. 5, 24). C3 explains how it is to be taught and learned (pp. 5, 25). C4 states how it is to be assessed (International Baccalaureate Document, n. d.-d, pp. 6, 26).

4.3.5. The annual fee for candidate schools is 13,020 Singaporean Dollars (SGD) = 12,808 Canadian Dollars (CAD) = 59,648 Chinese Yuan (CNY) accoding to the International Baccalaureate Document (n. d.-e). Converted using the XE Currency converter:

4.4. 3. Consultancy Period

4.5. 4. Submit Application for Authorization

4.6. 5. Preparation for Implementation

4.7. 6. Program Implementation

4.8. Advantages in being IB and becoming accredited:

4.8.1. 1. IB Diploma Program (DP) students are quite likely to make it into a top university thanks to inquiry and self-regulation. Over 70% of the 1600 IB students in China made it into one of the world's top 500 universities (International Baccalaureate Document, n. d.-f, p. 2).

4.8.2. 2. Researchers Lee et al. found that DP prepares students for a university education in terms of curricular content, study skills and ability to handle a rigorous workload (International Baccalaureate Document, n. d.-f, p. 2).

4.8.3. 3. Billig's investigation regarding the civic-mindedness of DP students concluded that IB students are "more caring, open-minded, reflective and mature" thanks to their participation in service (International Baccalaureate Document, n. d.-f, p. 1)

4.8.4. 4. Students are globally engaged, referring to a "commitment to address humanity's greatest challenges in the classroom and beyond," to "explore global and local issues," taking power and privilege into account to "recognize that they hold the earth and its resources in trust for future generations" (International Baccalaureate Document, n. d.-g, p. 8)

4.8.5. 5. The enhancements in the program are invaluable and will warrant higher fees which will cover added costs.

5. References

5.1. Epstein, J. L., et al. (2009). School, Family and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

5.2. International Baccalaureate Publication (n. d.). A global learning story about responsible action. Retrieved from:

5.3. International Baccalaureate Website (n. d.-a). Timeline and Stages. Retrieved from:

5.4. International Baccalaureate Website (n. d.-b). Resource Library. Retrieved from:

5.5. International Baccalaureate Document (n. d.-a). Application for candidacy. Retrieved from:

5.6. International Baccalaureate Document (n. d.-b). Resource Library. Retrieved from:

5.7. International Baccalaureate Document (n. d.-c). Resource Library. Retrieved from:

5.8. International Baccalaureate Document (n. d.-d). Resource Library. Retrieved from:

5.9. International Baccalaureate Document (n. d.-e). Resource Library. Retrieved from:

5.10. International Baccalaureate Document (n. d.-f). Resource Library. Retrieved from:

5.11. International Baccalaureate Document (n. d.-g). Resource Library. Retrieved from:

5.12. McKnight, J. & Block, P (2010). The abundant community: awakening the power of families and neighborhoods. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

5.13. TED (Producer). (2008, February). Dave Eggers: My wish: Once upon a school [Video file].

5.14. Margaret Wheatley (1999). Bringing Schools Back to Life: Schools as Living Systems in Creating Successful School Systems: Voices from the University, the Field, and the Community. Christopher-Gordon. Retrieved from: