In 2017, the project “School – the heart of the community” took place in Põlva County with the participation of the Estonian Parents’ Union. The aim was to raise awareness among local communities when making educational choices. The project lasted nine months and involved four one-day seminars with arbitrations. The result was the educational vision and development plan of Põlva County. Instead of “roof money”, school communities started talking about their role in the educational vision of Põlva County.
On 28 December 2017, the first meeting was held with Saaremaa rural municipality government. The head of the municipality, Madis Kallas, suggested that if 5 schools are found, whose leaders and community are ready to increase their ability to cooperate through regular studies, then the municipal leaders will be ready to negotiate about allowing these schools appropriate autonomy.
On 31 January 2018, the first meeting took place with all the parties involved in the project in Saaremaa. It was agreed that all schools wishing to participate in the education of the board of trustees and the entire school community would be personally contacted. Five schools, Kuressaare Gymnasium, Saaremaa Co-educational Gymnasium, Kaali PK, Kärla PK and Pihtla Kindergarten-Primary School contacted and expressed their wish to test their community.
March 2018 – questionnaire in cooperation with the University of Tartu. With the help of Jüri Ginter and Liina Stamm, a questionnaire was prepared for the members of the board of trustees and the school administration, which gave a fairly good overview of the current situation. Statistics and comments on the questionnaire.
December 17-18, 2018 – International educational seminar “Development environment of the board of trustees as an active citizen”, which was attended by 23 active parents, school leaders, researchers, educational enthusiasts and officials. The lecturer was invited from Finland and Denmark. There was a common recognition that the cooperation between the board of trustees and school leaders and the resulting shared management is an ambitious but quite feasible goal in Estonia today.
June 27-28, 2019 – first meeting with the Trigon Institute and the University of Jyväskylä in Tallinn to determine the research side of the project. A Project steering group was created.
9 July 2019 – positive response to project funding from Erasmus+
June 27-28, 2019 – first meeting with the Trigon Institute and the University of Jyväskylä in Tallinn to determine the research side of the project. After two days of in-depth discussion, an agreement was reached that it was necessary to ensure an even level of consultants who would advise school communities before starting a scientific study. The project’s steering committee was elected, consisting of Harald Jäckel from Trigon, Mika Risku from Jyväskylä University, Aivar Haller from the European Parents’ Union, Hillar Lõhmussaar and Tiit Urva from the Estonian Parents’ Union
26 July 2019 – Skype meeting of the Steering Committee, where the topics and timeline of the September and November pre-modules were discussed and agreed upon.
September 5-6, 2019 – First international meeting in Kuressaare
September 5-6, 2019 – the first pre-module of the project in Kuressaare. There was a meeting with the leaders of the municipality, school visits and an acquaintance with the training site. Award of contracts in the field of research
September 23, 2019 – Skype call with Trigon Institute and University of Jyväskylä, discussed on financial topics
October 17, 2019 – Skype meeting with Trigon Institute and Jyväskylä University, the organization of the pre-module of 5-6 November was discussed
5-6 November 2019 – Second international meeting in Kuressaare. They met with 50 activists who participated in the development of saaremaa’s new education strategy. Through the group work, answers to the following questions were sought:What should definitely be preserved and protected in today’s educational life of the island? Why? What is superfluous and what should be abandoned? Why? What should definitely be changed and why? What is missing and why is it needed?
December 5-7, 2019 – Training Week 1 Preparation Module
9-13 December 2019 – 1st training week in Kuressaare
3-7 February 2020 – 2nd training week in Kuressaare
14-18 September 2020 – 3rd training week as a hybrid in Kuressaare
A total of 9 online steering committee discussions took place between March 2020 and June 2021 . We were looking hard for solutions to the crisis situation that had developed. We realized that it is definitely no longer possible to carry out the project in the planned form. The schools involved in the project were all under a great deal of pressure and were looking for solutions to reshape the learning process. Based on the crisis situation, we negotiated with the schools and suspended all planned activities. This was for two reasons: firstly, the local government, school administration, teachers and parents were all busy solving vitally important tasks, and secondly, all our programmes were built on so-called experiential learning, the implementation of which virtually is very difficult and requires long preparation.
On April 05, 2021, according to the original plan for continuing the mission of the project, the Institute of Leadership Culture (Institute of Leadership Culture) was created by 16 founding members, the statutory goal of which is to create prerequisites for the formation of self-awareness of a person and society in the field of culture, economics and law.
On April 16, 2021, we presented the project in cooperation with NGO Mondo and the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Internal Affairs at an online conference aimed at parents in Eastern Ukraine.
10-14 May 2021 – 4th training week as a hybrid in Kuressaare
On June 25, 2021, we presented the project in a joint webinar between the Portuguese (Fapoestejo) and Spanish (CONFAP) parents’ associations and the European Parents’ Union
July 27-29, 2021 – workshop in Haapse to develop a basic community course
7-11 March 2022 – Study 5 related study week in Kuressaare
2-6 May 2022 – Study 6 related study week in Kuressaare
19-23 September 2022 – Study 7 study week in Kuressaare
11 November 2022 – Third international meeting in Luxembourg
12 November 2022 – International project synthesis conference in Luxembourg
21-25 November 2022 – Study week 8 in Kuressaare
10 December 2022 – international project summary conference in Tallinn