These are emerging guiding principles that we have seen help open systems. These are under constant revision, given constant learning and perspective.  We'd love to have your feedback and thoughts on them, especially as they evolve over time.  

We concede we stand on the shoulders of giants in this field and look to others to see our blindspots - help us open our system as well. 


Principle 1: 

Co-Creation & Co-Production in All Things

Essential Questions:

  • How can you make this process involve the broader community?

  • Can families or community organizations help shape the direction of the project?

  • How can educators be supported to lead on this important work?

  • How do you move from an advisory role, to a co-creative spirit and execution?

Principle 2:

Inclusive Stakeholder Participation

Essential Questions:

  • If you are going to involve families and communities, are you really involving an inclusive set or just a smaller section?

  • How are your educators and other key individuals included?

  • How is your affinity connected to whom you find yourself most engaging?

  • What would it take to broaden the stakeholders you currently engage with?

Principle 3: 

Strategic Partnerships

Essential Questions:

  • As you look to build partnership between the system and the families and communities it serves, are you considering aligning the right strategy to the right level of impact (home-school-district-community)?

  • What will be the operating norms for families and communities in the partnership?

  • How will you evaluate the partnership? How will you know it's working?

Principle 4:

Shared Power

Essential Question

  • Have you considered how you can break down power dynamics that benefit one side of the partnership, to truly open up the system?

  • What would it mean to share power and open partnerships at each level of the system (home-school-district-community)?

  • Have you considered and acknowledged the intersections of race, class and gender in the power relationships between the system and families/communities?

  • Are you committed to dismantling oppression in the system over the long-term?