Educational Leadership 626

EDEL 626: The School and Community Relations.

Prerequisites: Admission to Educational Leadership Program

Credit Hours: (3)

Students will develop understandings of the principles and practices of human relations within schools. Includes research and best practices in school public relations programs, development of mutual school and community understandings, public participation in planning school programs and services, cooperative activities with appropriate community groups, and the relationship of school administrators and staff.  Students will analyze their leadership skills, and their beliefs, values, actions and their potential impact upon all stakeholders.  Students will apply course content to the examination of changing demographic populations, change processes, and the impact of change on all aspects of school and community.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

1. Self analysis of beliefs, values, and leadership characteristics

        a.Various inventories to assess beliefs and leadership characteristics

        b.Refection of how these beliefs become actions and affect others

        c.Issues of respect for others, fairness, and dignity and how others see these issues

2. School Climate

        a. Actions affecting school climate

        b. Leader’s role in shaping school climate

        c. School climate inventories

        d.Evaluation of school culture and climate

3.The Change Process




4.Schools and their communities

        a.Understanding the community

        b.Sociological inventory

        c.Power structures within the community

        d.Importance of public relations

5. A model for human relations in the workplace

        a.Interpersonal skills



        d.The sharing of responsibility

        e.Importance of providing autonomy

        f.Attention to innovation

        g.Importance of delegation

        h.Leader’s role in coaching and mentoring

        i. Leader’s role in role modeling

6.Elements of communication




        d.Body language

7.Communicating with the school’s internal publics

        a.Internal communications

        b. Relations among teachers

        c.Relations with non-instructional personnel

        d.Improvement of staff relations

        e.Communicating with students

        f. Establishing a student advisement program

            (1)guidance within the school

            (2) counseling within the school

        g.Relationships with staff members outside the school

        h.The importance of recognitions and celebrations in support of staff and students

8. Communicating with the school’s external publics

        a.Building support for the school and its programs

        b.The students and community relations

        c.Working with teachers’ associations

        d.Parent relations
            (1)Working with PTA/PTO

            (2)Working with parent advisory groups

            (3)Guidance services for parents

        e.Parent visits and conferences

        f.Parent involvement in planning, assessing, and policy development

        g.Establishing a volunteer program

        h. Opportunities for communication with outside groups

9.Group processing and consensus-building skills

10.Conflict resolution and problem-solving skills

11.Aligning community vision for school with school vision and with district vision for schools

12.Developing a school relations and community relations plan

13.Analyzing district power structures and services
        a.Identifying major opinion leaders

        b.Social services and their roles in support of students and families

        c. Role of the police in support of school needs

14.Working with diversity

        a.Acknowledging diversity within the population

        b.Appreciating and valuing diverse offerings and support

 15.Communicating in writing

        a.Identify and know your audience

        b.Determining who should write content

        c.Evaluating school written communications

        d.The role of student publications

16.Working with the news media

        a.The role of reporters

        b.Designing a news relations plan

        c.What people want to know about schools

        d. News topics in schools

        e.Types of stories

        f.Getting the news to the press

17.Establishing school-business partnerships

18.Evaluating a total school relations and school-community relations plan

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Course readings will serve as a primary content basis for in-class discussions.    Case studies and role-plays will be used in conjunction with material related to issues involving the evaluation of personnel.  Twenty hours of structured field experiences with on-site mentor principals and/or supervisors will also be required for completion of the course and will be discussed in class.  A variety of written and/or oral assignments (research reviews, reflective writings, narrative responses, journals, formal papers, book-talks) will be used along with inventories to help students formulate their personal supervisory styles and to develop an understanding of leadership in school community relations in diverse communities. Group and individual tasks will be used to process and reinforce information/skills and for class sharing.  Lectures by the professor are utilized to supplement and reinforce course readings.  Selected local administrators will familiarize students with a range of effective approaches to human and school/community relations. Internet searches and additional direct utilization of educational technologies will provide additional content for personal reflection and/or class discussion, and to provide additional sources for acquiring related course content.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standard 1e, 1f, and 1g.  The codes included below refer to: Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards (ISLLC); Virginia Department of Education Standards for Administration and Supervision (VAS).

The student will:

1. Demonstrate necessary knowledge, understanding and application of systems and organizations (VAS b).

2. Demonstrate necessary knowledge of the systems theory and the change process of systems, organizations and individuals, using appropriate and effective adult learning models (VAS b1 and ISLLC 2).

3. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in using data as a part of ongoing program evaluation to inform and lead change (VAS b4).

4. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in developing a change management strategy for improved student outcomes (VAS b5).

5. Demonstrate necessary knowledge of effective communication skills including consensus building, negotiation, and mediation skills (VAS b7).

6. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in the principles and issues of supervising and leading others to ensure a working and learning climate that is safe, secure, and respectful of a diverse school community (VAS c2 and ISLLC 3, 4).

7. Demonstrate necessary knowledge of management decisions that ensure successful teaching and learning including, human resources management and development, theories of motivation, change in school culture, innovation and creativity, conflict resolution, adult learning and professional development models (VAS c3 and ISLLC 3).

8. Demonstrate necessary knowledge, understanding and application of the conditions and dynamics impacting a diverse school community (VAS d. and ISLLC 4).

9.Demonstrate necessary knowledge of emerging issues and trends within school/community relations (VAS d1).

10. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in working collaboratively with staff, families, and community members to secure resources and to support the success of a diverse population (VAS d2 and ISLLC 4).

11. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in developing appropriate public relations and public engagement strategies and process (VAS d3).
12. Demonstrate necessary knowledge of the principles of effective two-way communication, including consensus building and negotiation skills (VAS d4).

13. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in the integration of technology to support communication efforts (VAS d5).

14. Demonstrate necessary knowledge, understanding and application of the purpose of education and the role of professionalism in advancing educational goals (VAS e).

15. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in the integration of high quality, content rich, job-embedded professional learning that respects the contribution of all faculty and staff members in building a diverse professional learning community (VAS e2 and ISLLC 2).

16. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in making an intentional and purposeful effort to model continuous professional learning and to work collegially and collaboratively with all members of the school community to support the school’s goals and enhance its collective capacity (VAS e5).
17. Demonstrate necessary knowledge understanding and application of basic leadership theories and influences that impact schools (VAS f).

18. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in concepts of leadership including systems theory, change theory, learning organizations and current leadership theory (VAS f1).

19. Demonstrate necessary knowledge to identify and respond to internal and external forces and influences on a school (VAS f3 and ISLLC 4, 6).

20. Demonstrate necessary knowledge in embedded learning strategies for improved student learning totaling at least 120 clock hours (VAS g and ISLLC 7).

21. Demonstrate necessary knowledge of experiential activities that complement, implement, and parallel the university curriculum (VAS g1).

22. Demonstrate necessary knowledge of activities that emphasize student work with practical application that shall take place in the internship, the practicum field experience, as well as throughout the university program (VAS g2 and ISLLC 7).

Assessment Measures

All instructors of the course will assess students in the following ways:

  • Develop an instructionally related change in a school and elaborate in detail the process of  implementing this change, with an emphasis on  how will it be initiated and implemented, who will be involved in the implementation process, how will they be involved and how will the total process be evaluated.
  •  Develop an outreach program to ensure that minority populations in a community are not being disenfranchised in the process including all stakeholders in the educational process of children; ensure to focus on how to be inclusive of the total community, who to involve and how to involve them in this process and how to evaluate the implementation process.


    Additionally, instructors will choose at least three assessment measures from the following to assess learning in the course:

Written assignments such as research papers; reflective writings; narrative responses; journal and/or book reviews; newsletters or news releases; commercial or advertising scripts; examinations; interviews of current or past educational leaders.

Student engagement in actively demonstrating skill development through activities such as: in-basket activities; role play; simulations; demonstrations; presentations; group activities; field experiences; case studies.

Technological proficiency must be demonstrated in written assignments, electronic mail communications, and correspondence.


Other Course Information


Approval and review dates

February 2000

2/27/09    reviwed and modified    William Flora