ERIC Number: ED477190
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Feb-21
Reshaping Middle School: Engaging Parents and Community in the Work.
Williamson, Ronald; McElrath, Michael
This paper reports on a school district's efforts to work collaboratively with parents, teachers, principals, and community representatives as they confronted concerns about their middle-level program. It recommends strategies for strengthening and refining a program that was undergoing severe strains as the district gathered data about program satisfaction. The groups worked to refine the program, and they tackled the divisive issues at the center of the debate. As part of the solution, the district developed a collaborative relationship with a regional university, and from this partnership several plans emerged for resolving differences among group members. The successful strategies incorporated multiple approaches to address the underlying issues creating the tensions, leading to durable solutions. The depth of the concerns and the many strongly held beliefs surrounding the middle-level program often led to frustration and the lack of quick solutions. While the approaches identified in this study required a high level of commitment from all parties, they resulted in strong and viable relationships, which in turn contributed to long-term success at resolving differences among groups, as well as building shared resolve to strengthen the middle-level program. (Contains 31 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration Conference-Within-A-Conference at the Annual Conference of the American Association of School Administrators (New Orleans, LA, February 21, 2003).