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Community Engagement

Community Engagement Your Voice Matters

Your Voice Matters

At the Calgary Board of Education, every voice matters. That’s why we’ve developed a community engagement framework, called Dialogue.

We are committed to involving stakeholders in decisions that affect them. Your perspectives help us to make the best decisions for our students. 

Opportunities to provide input and feedback may involve multiple communities and happen at a system level. Other decisions may happen at a school level. Regardless of who is making the decision, all CBE community engagement activities are guided by​ the Dialogue Framework​.​​​

Information about system-led​ engagements can be found on the following pages:

Other community ​engagement initiatives happen at the school level.​ You can find out more about school-based engagements by visiting the school website.


​​This video is available in 12 different languages. Visit our YouTube channel​.

What Are the Guiding Principles of Dialogue? ​

​Dialogue follows international standards of public participation (IAP2) in decision-making. It is also guided by these fundamental principles. 



Preferences for engagement and communication are considered and b​arriers are addressed wherever possible.



Listening and communicating in a clear, candid and forthright way.



Making the best decisions for students.

Mutual Respect  

Mutual Respect

Roles are understood and participants are open, respectful and cooperative.

Responsive ​​


Participants are provided with appropriate information in a timely way that allows them to provide meaningful input.

​What are Some Common Myths about Dialogue?

Myth 1


The Loudest Voice Wins. 

Myth 2


Stakeholders Have Decision-Making Authority.

Myth 3


It’s a Vote

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It is important to consider all perspectives, not only the views of people with the loudest voice.

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All input and feedback will be considered but the CBE is responsible for the final decision. 

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Stakeholder input and feedback is one of multiple factors that may influence decision-making. It is not the only consideration.​

To Engage or Not to Engage? That is the Question.

Some situations require community engagement while others do not. Sometimes the distinction between community engagement and communications can get blurry, which is why the first step of the Dialogue process should involve a thorough assessment of the situation. 

Engagement is needed when these are both true:

Decision to be made

There is a decision to be made.​


There is an opportunity for those affected to influence the decision.​

There may also be instances when there is a decision to be made and stakeholders can influence the decision, but community engagement will not be an effective or productive means of decision-making. This includes situations where two communities would be pitted against one another or situations where the timeline for decision-making does not allow for adequate engagement.​

How is Stakeholder Input Conside​​red in Decision-Making? 

It’s important to identify which aspects of a decision stakeholders can influence and which they cannot. We refer to this as defining the scope of the engagement. The scope of the engagement is always smaller than the scope of the decision because, along with stakeholder input, many other factors must be considered before making a decision. It is often not possible for stakeholders to influence all factors related to a decision. The diagram below shows some of the factors that are considered when the CBE makes a decision. ​


What Are the Dialogue Levels of Engag​ement? 

At the CBE, every engagement initiative starts with the commitment to involve stakeholders in the decisions that affect them. Each project is different and is assigned a level of engagement based on the impact of the decision and the influence stakeholders can have. Below, are the CBE levels of engagement and our corresponding commitment to stakeholders.



Gather Input


Work Together




​​We will consider advice in a meaningful and transparent way.

We will co-create solutions to address problems and seize opportunities together.

To the greatest extent possible we will implement your recommendations.

​​​​ Inform & Communicate: Every step of the way, we ar​​e committed to sharing, listening and ​learning to build mutual understanding and respect.

​CBE asks questions and the community shares their perspective.

​The community and CBE collaborate to develop options in support of decision-making.

Based on clearly defined parameters, the community is assigned with specific parts of the decision.


​To gather input in response to questions or alternative approaches.

The decision is complex and will impact the community. A high degree of understanding between the CBE and community is required.

The level of impact is clear and there are opportunities for higher levels of engagement.



Focus Group


Online Workbook

Crowd Sourcing

​​ ​Workshop

​World Café


Open Space

Appreciative Inquiry


​Study Circle

Future Search

Advisory Committee

Task Team

​Community Panel

Community Jury​

For more information about the engagement process at the CBE, review the Dialogue Framework. ​​​​​​​​​​​​

 Contact Us

 Recent and Active Community Engagement

 Past Community Engagement Initiatives

To learn about past system engagement initiatives, visit our Past Community Engagement Initiatives page​.


Last modified: 5/28/2024 10:30 AM
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