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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

A Spirit of Community

LMSD takes pride in being a central part of the community. We value the diverse, dynamic talents of every member of our community and their enduring support for public education. We honor this spirit through consistent outreach and the creation of meaningful relationships to promote experiential learning, ongoing service, and engagement that will strengthen and support the student experience during the LMSD years and beyond.

What is the big idea?

We will transform our approach to community outreach from one that is less coordinated to one that strategically leverages and maximizes community resources to strengthen our schools.

Why do we need to do this?

Lower Merion is characterized by a deep sense of civic pride and involvement and a passion for public education. Our community deeply values what we do and the ability of our schools to transform lives, develop life-long learners, and affect positive change in the world. Yet, there has often been a disconnect between our schools and the diverse community that surrounds us-both in making best use of the myriad resources we share and in the ways we communicate and build trust. In an era of public education where maintaining programs and preserving the status quo is seen as a significant achievement, we see an opportunity to grow, innovate, and lead as never before-but only if we learn to harness the power and spirit of community. This effort will require a comprehensive system of partnership and engagement with alumni, parents, residents, businesses, research institutions, and stakeholders near and far. Together, we can ensure the long-range success of our students and schools and move Lower Merion School District forward as a standard-bearer of global K-12 education.

How will we do this?

We will:

  • Build reciprocal school-community partnerships that maximize and value the resources of our diverse community
  • Create a strategic alumni development program (student, parent, teacher, administrator) to maintain and maximize life-long connections
  • Leverage our expertise and the expertise of partners to create learning opportunities and experiences for graduates, parents, and community members
  • Launch business-development role to explore alternative revenue sources for District and identify and maximize strategic partnerships
  • Audit our current communication practices and identify opportunities to strengthen practices moving forward
  • Create opportunities for students, families and community members to successfully transition into our schools
  • Engage a broader audience for District events and activities

How will we measure progress?

  • Community surveys
  • Communications audit
  • Communication protocols
  • System to measure Return On Investment (ROI) for business development initiatives

Who will be responsible?

Superintendent and Superintendent's designees

How will we know we have moved the District forward?

  • Meaningful internship, service or community exploration experience for all students
  • Community that highly values LMSD schools
  • High alumni engagement (e.g. giving, social media participation, volunteerism) and growth of alumni network
  • Increase in business partnerships aligned to District's mission and new revenues from these sources
  • Increase revenues via alternative sources (i.e. non-tax revenues)

Updates

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Reflections

"One of my goals this year is to reach out to the families of my students and survey their expertise in regards to our units of study in class. One parent, who studies Constitutional Law, came in and spoke to each of my classes about the Civil War and the impact of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments and their interpretation in today’s society. This presentation made history seem more real to students."

-Social Studies Teacher, Middle School

"The new lunch and learn schedule creates more frequent opportunities to invite community-based business owners into the school to help share their experiences. This frequent contact helps students to see practical applications for the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills they’re learning in the classroom."

-English Teacher, High School

"Our class makes breakfast bags and collects food to be distributed in the community as part of learning about hunger and homelessness. When we visit the food bank, not only are we able to learn how it works, but we’re also able to contribute to it and really feel part of community outside our classroom."

-Grade 5 Teacher, Elementary School

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