FAQ: Caring Schools #CommonGood Campaign

Caring Schools #CommonGood

What is the goal of the campaign?
The Caring Schools #CommonGood campaign aims to motivate school leaders to take new action or substantially augment an existing action to advance one or more of the following goals:

  1. Deepen students’ care for others and their communities;
  2. Increase equity and access for all students in the college admissions process; and
  3. Reduce excessive achievement pressure in communities where achievement-related stress is high.

These goals align with and build on our successful Turning the Tide initiative that has engaged more than 175 college admissions offices nationwide.

What kinds of commitments should my school make?
We suggest a list of actions that school leaders can choose from and also encourage schools to generate their own ideas instead of, or in addition to, the options we have developed. When you’re ready, you can officially join the campaign by filling out this form.

How many commitments should I make?
This is up to your school community to decide. Some schools will choose to concentrate efforts on one or two new action items, while other schools may decide to implement several more. What matters most is that the commitments are meaningful—carefully and thoughtfully developed and implemented with your school community. We also strongly encourage schools to collect data to determine the impact of their new actions.

Our school has already taken some of these steps in the past. Is this sufficient to join the campaign?
We are asking schools to take new action steps because the campaign is based on the assumption that during these divisive, troubling times, we all need to do more and do better. In addition, campaigns like this will only generate attention to your actions and momentum if they are comprised of new actions. However, as part of the campaign, schools also may work to substantially augment existing actions, for example, administering surveys to assess the effectiveness of your new actions and using the data as part of a continuous improvement process. Please also note that, while joining the campaign requires a new or substantially augmented commitment, we are also delighted to share the effective practices of schools joining this campaign that advance one or more of these goals.

How will my school be held accountable for commitments made? How will the effort be evaluated? 
It’s very important for schools to collect data that enables them to hold themselves accountable for assuring that their new action is effective. This data can be collected via brief, easy to administer surveys. While our team will provide some optional evaluative tools for participating schools to use, it is ultimately up to each school community to determine how and when to evaluate their new efforts.

What does it mean to be an “early leader"?
Schools that commit to an action(s) by February 1, 2018 will be included in press materials for a national recruitment campaign that will launch in spring 2018. These materials may include (but are not limited to) a press release that will be sent to national media, a campaign website, a blog post, and social media content. In addition, Making Caring Common will support early leader schools with resources for communicating their commitment to their school communities, local media, and their online networks. We will also provide resources to these “leader” schools or link them to resources as they implement new actions. While schools should commit by February 1 to be included in our press materials, we understand that implementing new ideas and actions may take much longer.

What will Making Caring Common do with schools that join the campaign after February 1? 
We expect that the majority of schools will hear about and join the campaign after February 1. We will add these schools to a website listing of schools that have committed to the campaign; share resources with schools to communicate their commitments to their school community, local media, and online; and will either provide resources to these schools or link them to resources as they implement new actions and/or augment existing actions. We also plan to launch a report in 2018 that will feature a comprehensive list of campaign schools and will highlight select schools that have taken very promising, substantial actions. We expect this report will result in positive media attention for school communities while advancing the goals of this campaign. 

How will my school benefit from joining the campaign?
We believe that the work of schools and educators to prepare young people to be caring, respectful, and engaged community members and citizens will have direct benefits for schools and students, reducing bullying, harassment, isolation and other problems. It can also have a lasting and positive impact on American culture and democracy. Schools who join the campaign will also have access to resources developed by Making Caring Common and others, and may receive media attention for their efforts as part of the campaign.

How does Making Caring Common benefit from the campaign?
Making Caring Common’s mission is to help educators, parents, and communities raise children who are caring, responsible to their communities, and committed to justice. This campaign is a natural extension of our work, particularly our Turning the Tide campaign to inspire concern for others and the common good through college admissions.

I am part of an international school community. Can we join this initiative?
Yes. While this campaign is focused primarily on school in the United States, elements of this work are relevant to international school populations. If your international school would like to join our movement, you are welcome to modify any of our menu items and/or add additional ones that are relevant and/or developmentally appropriate for your student population. We hope you’ll share these commitments with us.

What follow-up and/or support is provided to schools?
Schools that join our campaign will receive periodic emails from our team with project updates and timelines, school success stories/best practices, and links to resources developed or curated by our team. We will also share information about our numerous partners who can provide more individualized support for schools. 

How can I solicit support for this initiative within my school community?
We recommend starting by sending this handout to your school community leaders as an introduction to the campaign. School leaders should also review the list of potential actions to begin a discussion within the community about the steps that are most appropriate for your school. Ideally, school leaders will solicit input from a wide variety of school stakeholders (including students, staff, and parents) before filling out the campaign commitment form

I just filled out the campaign commitment form. What happens now? 
Congratulations! We can’t wait to hear more about the action(s) your school will take! Please be on the lookout for your first welcome email, which will contain helpful information about our initiative, timeline, and available resources. You will hear from our team via newsletter on a monthly basis, approximately.

I have additional questions. Whom can I contact?
Please contact us at highschools@makingcaringcommon.org with additional questions.