Effective Communication With Community and School Representatives
As a key member of the community, School Liaisons need to develop strong ties with local community and school representatives. There are two basic goals to that end:
- Mobilize and utilize community resources to reduce the impact of the mobile military lifestyle on children.
- Implement community-based support services that assist children with adapting to a military lifestyle and achieving academic success.
Some examples of ways to engage community and school stakeholders include the following:
- Work within the local structures of oversight to ensure that the most knowledgeable and influential person or coalition of people addresses an issue.
- Create and share communications tools that are engaging and readily accessible via handouts and posts to the school and/or installation Web site(s). These can help to facilitate better understanding of the School Liaison’s role and the needs of military-connected children.
- Participate in key community groups to create dialogue on education-related issues. For example, School Liaisons might join an advisory committee of community members that is in place to support the strategic plan of a school deemed in need of improvement.
- Provide regular and timely information to school officials about new families entering an area.
- Convene school and community mental health advocates to raise awareness and discuss ways to mitigate the impacts of a mobile military lifestyle on children.
- Invite community and school leaders onto the installation to help build understanding and dissolve misconceptions they may have.