The HOPE Partnership: A Public School District Superintendent’s Policy and Leadership Perspective

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The author, superintendent of a midsized urban school district, describes his role in a partnership with a local university’s undergraduate and health professions schools, and with various community entities. The author believes that the partnership owes its success to collective vision, knowledge, dedication, and commitment of all of its partners. The superintendent stresses that the partnership would not be possible without the support, assistance, and funding from outside sources. Also, the author believes that it is critical to involve key leaders and policymakers in the formation of these partnerships, especially those who are able to be effective in a shared-leadership environment. Establishing a partnership that has a clearly defined focus, is supported by policy and guiding principles, and is embedded in a systemic plan has proven to be an effective approach able to withstand leadership and other personnel changes and the continuous barrage on public school districts of new mandates and initiatives from local, state, and federal agencies.

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