Community Action Plans

COMMUNITY ACTION PLANS

A Community Action Plan is developed by a PTA to explore, raise awareness and address an identified issue affecting a campus through a broad-based, community effort. It provides PTAs with an opportunity to:

  • Partner with stakeholders on shared concerns and start a community conversation
  • Affect change on issues related to children's education, health, safety and wellness
  • Make a difference and enhance the lives of children and their families through community action

As part of the process of organizing a Community Action Plan, conduct a study of an identified subject or issue. This lets you gather information on three, key aspects of the issue to determine what community attitudes are, what research is relevant to broaden community understanding and what next steps are needed to address the issue effectively.

Learn more: How To Do A Study

HOW TOS - COMMUNITY ACTION PLANS

Conduct A Needs Assessment

As a first step, survey your stakeholders to identify general attitudes and the level of concern about the issue in your community.

The input of parents, students, teachers, administrators, counselors and community partners is valuable in assessing community priorities.

Consider using a Needs Assessment Worksheet to get started.

Take time to review and evaluate the feedback received from your survey. This will help you determine whether there is a shared concern and if there is a general consensus to initiate community action on the issue.

Prepare a report to share with your community outlining:

  • Purpose of the needs assessment
  • Survey responses from your community
  • Statistics on ethnicity and socio-economic makeup of your school community
  • Background information and resources on the issue based on studies, articles, books and websites
  • Findings indicating if a concern exists that requires further action

If there is community support to act on the findings, this report will provide a starting point and tool to develop and implement your PTA's plan of action.

Develop An Action Plan

The development of a Community Action Plan is designed to raise awareness, identify possible solutions and shape next steps on how to initiate action to effectively address the identified issue.

To oversee the initiative, start by appointing a committee that is inclusive and reflects the diversity of your community.

Consider bringing interested parents, students, teachers as well as site and district administrators together with representatives from local business, civic, media and community organizations for the committee.

This committee's first task is to plan and organize a community meeting. Widely publicize the event and supply details on the date, time, venue, purpose and agenda for the meeting on the identified issue to boost engagement by your community.

To get started, use the template, Events Planning Sheet, to help organize your meeting.

Community Meeting - A community meeting provides a forum to share information, prioritize community needs and brainstorm possible solutions to design your Community Action Plan on the issue.

The discussion at the meeting will help to frame the direction for next steps by identifying:

  • Community beliefs, attitudes and circumstances regarding the issue
  • Group resources and leadership needs in terms of people, enthusiasm and funding
  • Existing school or community programs or resources that deal with the issue
  • Possible roadblocks in planning effective action
  • Ideas, objectives and goals on how to address the issue

With this community input in mind, develop a Community Action Plan that lists what actions are needed to accomplish the objectives and who is responsible for each step.

To get started, consider using the template, Develop An Action Plan Worksheet.

Create a timeline, budget, deadline and evaluation process for your action plan to ensure its success.

Before implementing your Community Action Plan, take it to the PTA board and general membership for final approval.

By drafting an effective Community Action Plan, your PTA will act as a catalyst for change and improvements that are tailored to your community's needs and aspirations.

Learn more: Evaluate Action Plan Worksheet

Implement An Action Plan

The committee oversees the progress of your Community Action Plan so that it is implemented successfully and meets its main objectives. It is also tasked with making any modifications to the plan if evaluation data indicates they are needed to reach your chief goals.

To stay on track, provide regular committee reports at PTA meetings on what successful actions were taken, what roadblocks appeared and what objectives need to be completed.

A final evaluation report by the committee should be shared with the PTA board and general membership, giving an overview and assessment of the Community Action Plan.

The final report highlights information on:

  • Purpose and goals of the initiative
  • Summary of actions taken
  • Changes introduced
  • Type and extent of school and community involvement
  • Budget and amount of funds spent
  • Timeline and completion due dates met
  • Objectives and goals accomplished
  • Impact of initiative
  • Recommendations for continuing action, if needed, and on next steps planned

The completion of your Community Action Plan also demonstrates the central role that your PTA plays in making a difference and enhancing the lives of children and their families in your community.

Learn more: Evaluate Action Plan Worksheet

For more ideas and information, contact your local council/ district PTA president.