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Fostering Inclusive Culture through Partnerships with Nonprofits

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NELP Standards place a particular emphasis on “the leaders’ responsibility for the well-being of students and staff as well as their role in working with others to create supportive and inclusive district and school cultures” (Preparing for the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Program Review: A Companion Guide, 14). This concept, that of working with others to create inclusive district and school cultures, necessarily means that school leaders are required to look at organizations and leaders in the community to foster positive growth. Because of this, there is a fertile ground upon which to investigate the benefits of partnerships with other nonprofit organizations in a school district. Mcmillian, Wolf, and Cutting (2015) found that the more rural an area, the more positive impact nonprofit organizations have on the local economy. The school district plays a vital role in leading the quality of the impact from nonprofits. Often, the public-school system is not only the largest nonprofit organization in a particular community, but it is also the largest employer as well. Considering, among other things, the potential mutual benefit of partnerships between schools and other nonprofit organizations in a community, a list of seven interview questions was developed and interviews were conducted with 18 nonprofit representatives located across the state of Texas in urban, suburban and specifically rural locations to develop a greater understanding of the perspectives of individuals who work in nonprofit organizations as they relate to characteristics embodied by school leaders and guided by the NELP standards.