Parents as Leadership Partners
May 27, 2019

Many families and community members are ready to invest in our schools. Some already do; they share the responsibility of Leader in Me implementation and broaden our impact beyond our building’s walls. What about your school? Imagine parents and community leaders serving on our Lighthouse Team or an action team, or leading a Parent & Community Lighthouse Team, or partnering with students on a Family Lighthouse Team. There are so many possibilities! No matter the format, family and community members can ensure strong home-school connections and be strong allies for our school. They can:

  • Communicate our school’s vision— why we’re engaged in Leader in Me.
  • Orient all families to and engage community members with Leader in Me and the 7 Habits.
  • Provide ongoing family learning, development, and involvement around Leader in Me.
  • Create and strengthen the home-school connection.
  • Implement Big Rocks that support the school’s vision and priorities.


Staff Lighthouse Team

More and more schools are including family and community members on their Staff Lighthouse Teams in various capacities such as newsletter authors, community outreach liaisons, and fundraising leaders.


  • Engages and empowers family and community members in the Leader in Me process and gives them voice at the school.
  • Creates meaningful outreach and partnerships with the community (leaders, employers, government, school district officials, etc.).

Action Teams

Many schools invite parents to serve on staff action teams or to form their own, such as Grounds Crew, Special Events, and Community Service. Crestview Middle School (Clarkson Valley, MO) invited parents to serve side by side with student leaders on a schoolwide Give Your Gear social action team. This action team engaged students, families, faculty, and staff in collecting, sorting, and cleaning used athletic and extracurricular equipment. The items were then donated to groups in the St. Louis, MO community and to Stone and his fútbol athletes in Africa.


  • Involves family and community members in authentic leadership roles that address real challenges and opportunities.
  • Strengthens relationships between staff, students, and families, and strengthens the school community.


Family and Parent Lighthouse Teams

Line Creek Elementary (Kansas City, MO) invites family members to serve side by side with student leaders on their Family Lighthouse Team. This team focuses on planning and facilitating monthly buddy activities reinforcing the 7 Habits and 5 Core Paradigms. Each month, they begin by playing the Jumbling Tower game (pictured below). The players take turns pulling a habit or paradigm block and providing an example of how they’re living the habit or embracing the paradigm before the next player’s turn.

Crestview Middle School (Clarkson Valley, MO) enjoys the support of a Parent Lighthouse Team (PLT). Crestview’s PLT developed a plan to support the ends in mind of the  school’s Lighthouse Team by identifying seven key initiatives and focusing on them for the first three years of implementation:


  • Establishes an annual implementation plan, goals, and timeline; addresses needs of students and families; and contributes to the long-term sustainability of Leader in Me.
  • Helps teach the 7 Habits to families and community members and cultivates leadership.


It’s up to us to determine how to truly partner with the genius of our amazing parents and community members–there’s no “right” way. Let’s take advantage of their energy, creativity, and enthusiasm to transcend our building’s walls and impact our school community!


Classroom Resources


Learn More

Explore ways to include family and community members:


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