People in conversation

School Culture Transformation

How do you foster a school culture that supports every student, educator, and staff member? How can you help community members thrive when they’re not in the cultural mainstream? How can you do that while improving students’ sense of belonging and academic performance?

To transform the larger culture around a school, it may be necessary to engage not only educators and students but school staff, policy-makers, parents, as well as community leaders like coaches and mentors.

With our holistic approach, we can give your entire school community the tools and skills to live and work better together. We can help your school make collaborative decisions about the culture and customs that you live out every day, so you can make strategic choices that serve the school's evolving vision and needs.

What would a school-wide collaboration look like? No two communities are the same, so there’s no out-of-the-box solution for everyone. We customize every project to meet the needs of each community. Here is one sample project outline:

  1. Preparation / Through interviews, focus groups, and surveys, working with a planning team from across the institution, we map the sticky areas for your institution as well as short-term and long-term goals 
  2. Skill-Building / We lead online or in-person workshops to train the key stakeholders—teachers, administrators, students, parents, etc.—so they can facilitate (and participate in) conversations that foster trust, understanding, and new relationships across differences
  3. Program Design / We co-design engagements that begin to shift the stuck patterns and cycles in your community around whatever challenges you face
  4. Sustainability / We provide a smaller set of stakeholders with additional training, so they are able to design future engagements and incorporate our tools into the structure of meetings and decision-making processes, making the project sustainable.
  5. Community of Practice / All EP training participants become lifetime members of our global Community of Practice, with access to a monthly open house, exclusive resources, as well as skill-building and peer learning opportunities
  6. Continuing Support / Your school community will have access to support as you independently design and lead these initiatives on your own

Our goal is to empower stakeholders across your entire school community—educators and students, administrators and parents—so you can address challenges today, next year, and in ten years.

Image: Teacher in dialogue

“The dialogue EP helped us run ensured all voices were heard and valued. Regardless of how people felt with the final result, one parent summed it up best for us, ‘sometimes the process is more important than the outcome’.”

Andrew Wulf, Principal

Newburyport High School (MA)

Dialogue and Collective Decision-making

EP’s dialogue approach is also a perfect way to include stakeholders such as students, parents, and community members in school-wide policy decisions.

From curriculum reform to mascot nicknames, from the cafeteria food to the routes of school busses, a more inclusive, broader, richer public engagement process will help schools better meet the needs of every student and family. EP can make that possible.

“The community dialogue was instrumental in helping us create a new policy around class rank,” said Andrew Wulf, Principal of Newburyport High School. “Though a controversial topic in the community, the dialogue EP helped us run ensured all voices were heard and valued. Regardless of how people felt with the final result, one parent summed it up best for us, ‘sometimes the process is more important than the outcome’.”

Engaging the entire school community using EP’s approach ensures that everyone feels heard, from the people who show up to every public meeting to those traditionally marginalized voices. With more buy-in from students and parents, policies are more likely to succeed and decisions are more likely to last.

When you're ready to take steps to transform your school, reach out for a free consultation.