Brian McDonald, his wife and their five school aged children moved to Pasadena, CA to accept the position of Superintendent of the Pasadena School District. Obviously, the family needed a place to live so they called an agent who had been recommended by a colleague at work. All was fine…the agent helped the McDonald family find the “right” home in the “right” neighborhood at the “right” price…until the real estate agent told her clients not to enroll their children in the Pasadena public schools.
How can that be, thought McDonald? Why does a family “need,” as their agent told them, to send their kids to a private school when the family is living in a + $1M home in a great neighborhood for families within a larger community that appears to have great values?
McDonald decided to do something about this apparent disconnect between Pasadena’s housing market and its public schools.

With the support of the school district’s independent fundraising foundation, McDonald created the REALTOR® Initiative in Pasadena. The goal of the Realtor Initiate is to give local real estate professional a head’s up on current happenings and/or achievements within the districts’ schools such as improving graduation rates, improving testing results, improving matriculation rates to college and universities, increasing enrollment figures, etc.
School district employees also aimed to engage and welcome the realtors and their ideas into the district’s schools. Realtors were asked to come into classrooms to share their expertise, participate in curriculum development, share their ideas about attracting new families and children into public education.
School district employees met with hundreds of agents at agent offices. Referral systems among realtors and district employees to connect new families with specific real estate agents and with specific school programs. McDonald’s now five year running monthly “Lunch with the Superintendent” meetings with realtors are constantly sold out.
Benefits of the Realtor Initiative are circular. The school district gets new families…the agents get new clients…the kids get a community of active educators, business people and families dedicated to an increasingly solid, well connected, thriving community in which everyone has a stake.

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