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In partnership, the University of Michigan’s Center for Educational Outreach, the School of Education, and the Ginsberg Center developed the following principles to guide and strengthen K-12 school and educational partnerships in Michigan. Together, we are committed to working with our U-M colleagues, K-12 schools and students to advance student learning and partnerships through the RECAP principles.

RECAP Principles
With K-12 educators, how are you building a trusted, mutually beneficial relationship?

Relationships start with people and are built on trust, clear boundaries, ongoing communication, and transparent expectations. When developing a partnership, identify a clear point of contact, assess the nature of the relationship from both perspectives, and determine the mutual benefits for sustainable collaborations.

  • How are you using your interactions with your partner to establish common ground and to advance everyone's priorities?
  • What other U-M scholars are in your community already?
  • How can you leverage each other’s resources?
In a K-12 partnership do all parties feel that they are getting their fair share?

By approaching partnership with an equity focus, U-M stakeholders seek to understand and attend to the interests, needs and expectations of a K-12 school throughout the partnership process. Focusing on equity allows university stakeholders to work collaboratively with schools to support and advance student learning.

  • Do you have a skill set or resource that can be brought to bear on the priorities/needs of the school partner? Do you need additional training or support to gain the skills and knowledge required to meet the priorities of the school/classroom?
  • Are K-12 students, educators, and/or other members of the school community benefiting from the partnership? How do you know?
  • Are resources/partnerships distributed equitably across a district or region?
Are you protecting the safety, dignity, and reputation of minors & your stakeholders?

The Office of Risk Management, which leads the Children on Campus initiative, is your main resource to begin your partnership with K-12 students, schools and community-based partners (SPG 601.34).

  • Register your programs and request background checks at childrenoncampus.umich.edu
  • Does the school or district have additional requirements and expectations before your partnership begins?
  • Have you identified the point of contact for the district to connect with on your work in their district?
How are you actively learning from your K-12 partners?

Schools have tremendous demands on their time and their top responsibility is educating youth. Based on the educator’s top priorities, identify the strengths and resources you offer the relationship while leading from a place grounded in learning and a commitment to ongoing reflection focused on equity and school/community relevance. Seek to understand the role of race, culture, socio-economics and privilege, because inequities persist.

  • How do the goals of your project and the school needs align? How are you meeting the school where they are at and making the partnership as easy as possible for them?
How are you affirming and recognizing the expertise and contributions of your K-12 partner?

By striving to balance power, university partners practice cultural humility, acknowledge power differences and make conscious attempts to attend to these differences through reflection, conversation, and learning.

  • How are you honoring and affirming the lived experience, expertise, and social identities of those within the school community?
  • How are school stakeholders involved in the design process of a project or service and decision making throughout the duration of the engagement? How are you thinking about compensating or otherwise recognizing the contributions of school partners in your project/work?