ERIC Number: EJ779572
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: 14
Connections Count. Improving Family and Community Involvement in Secondary Schools
Epstein, Joyce L.
Principal Leadership, v8 n2 p16-22 Oct 2007
Educators at all school levels know that successful students--at all ability levels--have families who stay informed and involved in their children's education. Yet many middle level and high school teachers report that the only time they contact families is when students are in trouble. This disconnect between knowledge and behavior can be corrected with new approaches that make it possible for every school to organize an excellent partnership program. Parents' wishes for more useful information and teachers' hopes for more successful students require effective partnership programs that are developed the same way that excellent academic programs are planned, evaluated, and improved over time. Research and field work with hundreds of elementary, middle level, and high schools across the country reveal four key components of effective and sustainable programs of family and community involvement: (1) Action teams for partnerships; (2) The six types of involvement framework--parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the community; (3) Action plans that are linked to goals for student success; and (4) Evaluation and ongoing improvement. In the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University, more than 150 school districts and 1,000 schools--including more than 350 schools with middle level and high school grades--are implementing the four key components. Middle level and high schools in the network are using the six types of involvement to focus on goals for student success. The framework helps schools identify ways that families and community partners can be involved without always having to come to meetings at the school building. With these guidelines, schools can create programs that enable all parents to remain engaged with their teens and their schools.
Descriptors: Community Involvement, Partnerships in Education, Educational Change, Parent Participation, Guidelines, Secondary Education, Educational Improvement, School Districts, Program Effectiveness, Educational Research
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site: http://www.principals.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A