A part of the Association of Alaska School (AASB), the Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement (Alaska ICE) is committed to the success of all students in Alaska. By collaborating with school districts, school boards, and communities, ICE is able to strengthen partnerships that lead to more positive environments and outcomes for youth (academic/ emotional).
Specifically ICE provides a variety of services and evidence-based supports:
- Family- School Partnership Building Services
- Youth Engagement and Youth leadership Approaches
- District-wide Social and Emotional Learning
- School Climate Policy Development
- Community Engagement Planning and Strengthening Community Partnerships
- Creating Culturally Responsive Climates
- Scans to Build Supports (Assets) for Youth
Alaska ICE works with approximately 30 school districts annually to measure these assets through the School Climate and Connectedness Survey. This survey enables Alaska ICE to tailor workshops for schools, community, or districts to develop and carry out strategies to build assets for students.
How do I get started?
Nowadays, there is extensive research outlining effective approaches and tools for community engagement that result in clear road maps, coordinated efforts, and significant impacts. Some common steps for community engagement and collective impact are:
1) Create a Common Agenda: Shared Vision and Understanding
2) Outline Specific Change You are Working Towards
3) Identify Information and Supports Needed
4) Develop Shared Strategies or Approaches
5) Continue Strengthening and Communication in Coalition
6) Determine “What Difference Did You Make?”
While these are simple steps there are tools, trainings, and facilitated methods that can support successful engagement. Alaska ICE provides on-going and consistent support including facilitation, community cafes and dialogues, data review, coalition capacity building activities, sharing of Alaska and national strategies, and measurement.
A 2011 report shows the impacts of Alaska ICE on students including reduced risk behaviors, increased attendance, and increased academic achievement compared to districts not participating in Alaska ICE programs.