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Partner Spotlight: AASA

April 25, 2016

This month, we talk to an essential community schools partner, AASA, The School Superintendent's Association, about their work to support and create a network for superintendents across the country. Bryan Joffe, AASA project director, discusses their work as well as their support for community schools. AASA was awarded the National Partner Award at the recent Forum and co-convenes the Community Schools Superintendents Leadership Council (is your superintendent on the council?). Bryan reflects on the enthusiasm he saw at the Forum, and what we call all do to keep the momentum going.

1. Can you explain the overall mission of the AASA? 

AASA, the School Superintendents Association, advocates for the highest quality public education for all students, and develops and supports school system leaders. At AASA, we’re working on behalf of the nation’s school superintendents and the children they serve.
2. What milestones has AASA already reached or is currently moving towards?
AASA was founded in 1865, and is the oldest and largest professional organization for school system leaders with  more than 10,000 members in the United States and throughout the world. AASA members range from chief executive officers, superintendents and senior level school administrators to cabinet members, professors and aspiring school system leaders.
3. How do AASA’s principles tie into the Community School’s principles and philosophy? How do you see your work fitting into ours?
AASA’s Children’s Programs are centered on work that drives systems change and increases educational equity. We are committed to equity in educational opportunities and outcomes, reducing racial disparities, and aiding and assisting those children most in-need. Our work supports superintendents and school system leaders to drive meaningful systems change at the district-level by improving and redesigning the policies, practices, and structures in education. This commitment to equity mirrors that of the Community Schools’ movement, in which we are proud to be a partner. Our efforts endeavor to help superintendents employ community school strategies: strive towards equity, foster strong partnerships, share accountability, set high expectations, build on the community’s strengths, and embrace diversity.
4. We recently had our 2016 Community Schools National Forum, and AASA played a huge role. Not only did you sponsor our Superintendent Leadership Award, but you were also awarded our National Partner Award. Reflect on the conference and the role of superintendent’s as leaders in the national community schools movement. 
What an awesome experience the 2016 Community Schools National Forum in Albuquerque was. The enthusiasm and energy around this movement continues to grow. AASA was honored to receive the National Partner Award, particularly because of the impressive list of fellow awardees. As a co-sponsor of the Superintendent Leadership Award, we’re always excited to highlight the great work that superintendents are doing to leverage community schools to increase student success. Superintendents Weatherall-Neal and Webb show true leadership in their work and are effective and influential voices for community schools nationally. If we can rely on our collective capacity to do the things that we know work for our children – we can make all schools, great schools. We can make community schools the reality for all of our children
5. Finally, what is the most exciting thing about working at the AASA? 
It is great to work with people committee to the children in our nation’s public schools and working each day to provide school leaders with tools, resources, and strategies to improve outcomes for children and youth. 


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