Community Partners Best Practices

The following best practices may assist community partners in working with their school districts in providing sports both in and out of the school. district.

  • Introduce your community partner to the school district. This can be done by e-mailing information to a coach, principal, athletic director or other interested person in the school. (See attached flyer for example)
  • Identify potential athletes in the school who have a disability.
    • The student may already be participating in the community partner’s activities or be totally new to the community partner
    • Reach out to the school physical education teacher, adaptive education teacher, athletic director, principle or other personnel you may have a relationship with
    • If the student is already participating in the community partner’s athletic program but wants to participate in their school athletic program, the parent or the student should contact the appropriate school personnel. Then the community partner can reach out to the school district to present itself as a resource for the school
  • A transition meeting is a good way for the community partner coach to provide helpful information to the school coach. The community partner coach can provide information on the athlete’s past training, previous competitions, equipment, both maintenance and where to obtain the equipment and continued support
  • Will the community partner be providing the equipment? Whose responsibility is the equipment while being used in the school program? Is it the athlete, parent, school, or the community partner? Determine this at beginning.
  • The community partner can offer to come to a first practice if the school is willing for this transition. It may or may not be necessary.
  • The athlete and parent should be advocating for themselves as much as possible. However, the community partner can provide guidance and support to the parent as to expectations, inclusion, and questions to ask.
  • Discuss potential disability competitions that may take place during the school season. It is the school’s decision as to whether the athlete can attend these competitions.
  • The community partner is providing the resources and can provide access to the many models various states are using. It is helpful for you as the community partner to familiarize yourself with the various models that states are using.
  • After the initial contact with the school has been made, determine the resources that the community partners is able to provide.

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