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ERIC Number: ED486468
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reaching Out to Diverse Populations: What Can Schools Do to Foster Family-School Connections? A Strategy Brief of the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools
Ferguson, Chris
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL)
Contrary to the assumption of many educators, research on family and community connections with schools has revealed that parents are interested in their children's academic success regardless of ethnicity, culture, or economic status, although they may not know how to help their children or may feel incapable of assisting them. There are many factors that complicate and sometimes inhibit family involvement with schools, particularly for those families representing diverse populations. Many times, the school's perspective and definitions of the family involvement in school are not the same as those of the families, and these differing viewpoints can create barriers to meaningful participation. Schools that are successful in addressing these problems are able to: (1) build on the cultural values of families; (2) stress personal contact with families; (3) foster communication with families; (4) create a warm environment for families; and (5) facilitate accommodations for family involvement, including transportation, translators, and other similar services. Using "Classroom Snapshots," this paper illustrates how teachers who proactively reach out to parents are often successful in their efforts to foster effective family and community involvement in student learning. In addition, this paper provides brief descriptions of related research studies that help to define what is known about diversity issues related to family and community connections with schools, and can provide further insight into an array of strategies that school staff can use to develop and implement quality family and community involvement efforts with diverse populations. [The National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools is a project of the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL).]
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 211 E. 7th St., Suite 400, Austin, TX 78701-3253. Tel: 800-476-6861 (Toll Free); e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.