A Call to Commitment: Fathers' Involvement in Children's Learning
"Fathers' Involvement in Children's Learning," a publication from the Departments of Education & Health & Human Services, explores the role fathers play in their children's education. It includes research findings, examples, tips, & resources.
A Compact for Learning: An Action Handbook for Family-School-Community Partnerships
This Partners' Activity Guide can help stimulate thinking and discussion about how we can work together to improve our schools. It was designed for schools, communities, and partners who are participating in the "America Goes Back to School" effort.
Achieving the Goals, Goal 8: Parental Involvement and Participation, 1997
In 1994, the United States Congress put parental involvement on the national education agenda by including it in a revised list of National Education Goals. Research supports the conclusion that parental involvement is essential to sustaining education reform. Educators and policy makers know that when parents are involved in children's learning, children do better in school and schools improve. Each book in the series provides a compendium of education programs across the federal government, providing education reformers and the general public with a useful tool for seeking funding for activities related to achieving the National Education Goals. The programs listed in the books might also provide ideas for education reformers looking for additional partnership opportunities by serving as a reference tool for education-related activities in their states, counties, and communities.
America Goes Back to School Program Sample Media Materials and Tips
Part of the America Goes Back to School Program, these tips and materials are provided to help communities and schools spread the word about partnerships. The idea is to get everyone involved in education. A sample press kit and ideas for press conferences are included in the resources, which provide easy-to-use solutions for informing citizens about the need for them to partner with their local schools.
America Goes Back to School: Steps to Building Local Partnerships
Citizens of a community need to work together to build better schools. When community members "buy-in" or feel ownership of their schools, good things happen. In this resource suggestions are given for how community members can work together, access needs, survey resources, share information, seek out experienced collaborators, set goals, and decide upon measures of success.
America Goes Back to School: Worksheet for Planning Local Partnerships
Planning is important as members of a community begin to work together to establish better schools. This resource offers a sample worksheet to get this planning started. Links are provided to additional school/community partnership information.
Building a Power Base for Better Education
A grassroots movement is underway to show how a school's disparate constituencies--parents, teachers, principals, and support staff--can band together to solve problems. Their name captures their mission: Alliance Schools. The aim is to give all parties, especially parents, in Los Angeles County, a say in how to improve a school, from controlling dangerous traffic on nearby streets to deciding how to spend the budget. The movement's organizing tools--house meetings, seminars and retreats--are designed to galvanize people around common concerns and prepare them to be active in civic affairs.
Center for Law and Education
The Web site for the Center for Law and Education (CLE) provides information on the organization, current federal legislation and national issues, educational rights of students with disabilities, the National Title I and School Reform Project, the High School Reform Project, the Community Action for Public Schools (CAPS) initiative, and CLE resources and publications. The "CLE resources and publications" link contains items that can be ordered through the organization. Summaries are provided for the resources, which range from research publications that support the importance of parent involvement to guides for educators and parents about addressing policy issues, rights of students and parents, professional development tools, and parent education.
Communities in Action
Communities in Action (ACT), based in Connecticut, is focused on collaborative community education, advocacy, and action. Their Web site offers information on their current initiatives, including the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI).
Community-Based Learning: A Foundation for Meaningful Educational Reform
This topical synthesis summarizes what we have learned over the past 20 years about various community-based learning programs and describes how community-based learning can serve as an important contribution to education reform in the future. The paper first defines what we mean by community-based learning and discusses it as a philosophy, program, set of strategies, and expected outcomes. Next, the site describes the advantages of having multiple outcomes for community-based learning that include a youth development perspective and reviews the barriers that have faced this form of learning. The research regarding community-based learning is discussed, followed by its contribution to educational reform. Finally, it states some conclusions and recommendations for future directions.
Continuity in Early Childhood: A Framework for Home, School and Community Linkages
This document serves as a guide to support the work of home, school, and community partners to improve continuity and transition in early childhood. Aiming to help smooth bumps for children and families, this document draws upon community with the goal of creating continuity in care, education, health, and social services.
Critical Issue: Constructing School Partnerships with Families and Community Groups
Sometimes educators are content to let parents and families take the initiative in becoming involved in their children's education. But for a real partnership to occur, educators must look at ways in which the school can initiate this involvement. In such a partnership, the school and the home share responsibility for children's learning; the relationship is based on mutual respect and acknowledgment of the assets and expertise of each member. As an extension of this partnership, schools can emphasize a broad base of community involvement. When schools develop and implement strategies for promoting effective school-family-community partnerships, the result is improved learning for all students and strengthened schools, families, and communities.
Critical Issue: Creating the School Climate and Structures to Support Parent and Family Involvement
Evidence shows a strong connection between parent and family involvement in schools and children's academic achievement, attendance, attitude, and continued education (Henderson & Berla, 1994; Hickman, 1996). But families may not become involved if they do not feel that the school climate--the social and educational atmosphere of a school--is one that makes families feel welcomed, respected, trusted, heard, and needed. This site offers insight into the processes that facilitate family involvement in education.
Defining Community Education
The National Community Education Association (NCEA) promotes parent and community involvement in education, the formation of community partnerships to address community needs, and the expansion of lifelong learning for all community residents at the national, state, and local levels. "The Reading Room" offers information on the philosophy of community education and community schools, links to resources of interest to those involved in community education, and articles about the topic.
Early Childhood Summit
At the Early Childhood Summit in Washington, D.C. last month, the US Secretary of Education Riley challenged educators to work with parents and policymakers to expand learning opportunities for 2- to 5-year-olds. The summit, "Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers," was based on a forthcoming National Research Council (NRC) report that makes 19 recommendations on pre-school education. Secretary Riley endorsed those recommendations, including the call for all teachers who work with preschool children to have a bachelor's degree with specialized knowledge in working with preschool children. He also advocated for the expansion of FAMLA and for universal pre-K. The Secretary's speech is at http://www.ed.gov/Speeches/06-2000/000623a.html
Efforts by Public K-8 Schools to Involve Parents in Children's Education: Do School and Parent Reports Agree?
Research over the last two decades has demonstrated that children whose parents are involved in their education are more likely to have outcomes such as improved academic performance, better school attendance, higher aspirations, reduced dropout rates, and increased graduation rates. This report for Education Statistics Quarterly by Xianglei Chen examines the level of agreement between parent and school views of how schools involve parents in their children's education and how parents respond to the opportunities for involvement that schools provide. Specifically, this report addresses two major questions: Do children's parents acknowledge the efforts that schools reportedly are making? Do schools report the same level of parent participation in school programs as parents do?
Evaluating for Success
Evaluating for Success: An Evaluation Guide for Schools and Districts can be found in the School Improvement portion of the McREL Web site and may be helpful for educators and others involved in evaluating their partnerships. Although not specifically targeted to partnership evaluation, it can be useful for those thinking about evaluation design.
The Partnership for Family Involvement in Education is committed to increasing family participation in children's learning through a variety of activities and efforts, such as before- and after-school programs, tutoring and mentoring initiatives, and donations of facilities and technologies.
Family Involvement and Beyond: School-Based Child and Family Support Programs
This site explores how schools and families can move beyond the "finger-pointing stage" and forge partnerships to promote the optimal development of all children. Extensive site profiles of four Northwest schools provide real-life examples and ideas from successful school-based programs.
Family Involvement in Children's Education: Successful Local Approaches
This Idea Book is intended to assist educators, parents, and policy makers as they develop and nurture school-family partnerships. The Idea Book identifies and describes successful strategies used by 20 local Title I programs that have overcome barriers to parent involvement. These district and school programs enhance parent-school communications and help parents support their children's academic work at school and at home. Some of the programs involve parents in school planning and governance activities, and as volunteers. Some also provide coordinated essential non-educational services for families to support their children's academic development. Telephone interviews with staff and parents as well as focus group interviews with parents provide the detailed illustrations of specific strategies for overcoming barriers to parent involvement included here.
Family Support America
Family Support America, formerly Family Resource Coalition of America, is a nationally recognized movement to strengthen and support families. The site includes news, networking, programs, a learning center, and additional offerings for members.
Fostering Home-School Cooperation: Involving Language Minority Families as Partners in Eductation
This monograph has been designed to provide useful information about parent involvement in general, and practical strategies for developing partnerships with language minority parents in particular. A framework is presented for fostering cooperation between home and school, given the special factors that should be considered as non-native English speaking families become more familiar with their new communities. The authors share the experiences and approaches of the Arlington (Virginia) Public Schools, at both the district and school levels, and describe the ongoing efforts to develop and nurture cooperative links between schools and the families they serve.
Harvard Family Research Project
The Harvard Family Research Project aims to increase the effectiveness of organizations and communities in promoting child development and achievement. Its Web site contains current information about research and evaluation in relation to family-school-community partnerships and family involvement, models of high quality partnerships, solutions for sustained partnerships, and other resources.
The Parents and Community issue of the International Development and Research Association (IDRA) -- a large Texas based newsletter published 10 times annually.
Institute for Responsive Education
The Institute for Responsive Education (IRE) promotes family and community involvement in education as a means to achieve school improvement, especially education equity. The organization works to establish effective family-school-community partnerships through demonstration projects and ongoing research, in addition to technical assistance, training, policy development, and advocacy.
Model Strategies in Bilingual Education: Family Literacy and Parent Involvement
This report offers administrators and teachers examples of many strategies used to work with parents of students with limited English proficiency (LEP). The report profiles nine exemplary sites, selected with the assistance of a panel of experts, which exhibit a wide range of parent involvement and family literacy programs. Five describe bilingual projects, including four that teach Spanish speakers and one that serves Navajo families, while four describe projects serving mixed-language groups.
National Association for the Education of Young Children
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Web site provides information on federal and state policy and legislation, advocacy resources, research on early childhood education, resources and publications for early childhood professional preparation and training, and resources for parents.
National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education
The National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE) advocates home, school, and community involvement and interaction in order to enhance the education of all children. The NCPIE site offers resources that emphasize the importance of family school partnerships.
National Institute for Literacy - Policy & Legislation
The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) is an independent federal agency whose purpose is to support the development of high-quality regional, state, and national literacy services so that all Americans who lack basic literacy skills receive access to services to build literacy skills. NIFL's Web site contains literacy-specific information in the areas of news and events, programs and services, policy and legislation, publications, and other resources.
National Network of Partnership Schools
The National Network of Partnership Schools is a membership organization of schools, school districts, and states that are committed to creating and sustaining successful family-school-community partnerships. Its Web site provides the opportunity for members to network and Web visitors to find information on the organization.
Online Resources for Parent/Family Involvement
This ERIC Digest article by Karen Ngeow identifies five goals for parent involvement and lists appropriate online resources that should help parents attain the goals.
Parent and Community Involvement in Rural Schools
Researchers and educators have long agreed that when parents get involved in education, children try harder and achieve more at school (e.g., Epstein, 1995). Parents who help and encourage their children to learn at home and to develop positive attitudes toward school, contribute to the personal growth and academic success of their children. This site offers insight and guidelines in terms of both the opportunities and challenges posed by the conditions of rural life. It aims to help educators ensure the success of students in rural communities by encouraging parent involvement.
Parent and Family Involvement
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) hosts the site "Parent and Family Involvement." This site is useful for educators seeking additional ideas on how to lead an effort to construct school partnerships, support ways parents and families can become involved in schools, and create a school climate and structures to support parent and family involvement.
Parent Information Resource Centers
A Parent Information Resource Center (PIRC) exists in each state to provide parents and educators with the information, resources, and services they need to support parent involvement in learning and strengthen the partnership between parents and educators in meeting the educational needs of children.
Parent Involvement and the Education of Limited English Proficient Students
This ERIC Digest article lists parent-school activities, aspects specific to limited English proficient (LEP) parents and students, and strategies to increase LEP parent participation.
Parent Involvement: Literature Review and Database of Promising Practices
In late 1995 a team from the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) embarked on a search for information about successful parent involvement programs. There were to be two objectives to this search: to create a literature review of research in parent involvement strategies; and to identify promising programs that utilized those strategies. The goal was to complete a literature review which would identify those strategies that seemed to be the most helpful in improving parent involvement. The researchers hoped to assist schools with limited time and limited resources by encouraging their investment in the strategies that would yield the greatest improvement.
Parent Involvement: Strategies and Resources
Article and research summary on the George Lucas web site about how parent involvement in a child's education can lead to increased learning and improved teacher morale. The article links to organizations that support partner involvement and concrete ideas from successful programs and activities.
Parent Leadership Training Institute
The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) offers parents a curriculum that teaches them how to act as advocates for children and change agents in their community and at the local, regional, and state levels. Users need to check information in links to local groups to get specifics on the work of the organization.
Parent Power: A Positive Link to School Success
This article is a summary of the ways parents have been involved in the Clark County (Nevada) School District.
It evaluates a specific program with respect to the methods, importance, and problems in communication with immigrant parents.
Parent-Teacher Conferences: Suggestions for Parents
The digest by Ann-Marie Clark outlines ways to improve parent-teacher communication and suggestions for parents about participating more effectively in conferences that deal with children's behavior and learning.
http://www.csos.jhu.edu/p2000/planner.htm#SPRING, SUMMER, AND FALL
An outline of the Partnership Planner is provided by the National Network of Partnership Schools. This outline is designed to help those involved in a school, family, community partnership (teachers, parents, administrators, and possibly other community members, school staff members, and students) to think about the time frame for planning, implementing, and evaluating their efforts. Guidance is provided about whom to include in the planning process. Lists of activities integral to the process are also included.
Promising Practices in Afterschool
This Web site, managed by the Academy for Educational Development's Center for Youth Development and Policy Research, contains a searchable database of information about effective afterschool programs.
Reaching All Families, Creating Family-Friendly Schools, August 1996.
This booklet presents accumulated knowledge and fresh ideas on school outreach strategies. With them, schools can reach out to all families and help involve them in their children's education. Some of the strategies are widely used, such as the fall open house and parent-teacher conferences. Others, like parent resource centers and positive phone calls, are much less common. Within each strategy, suggestions for action are made. These are based on broad experience, which can help even seasoned teachers, principals, and district officials do a better job of making their schools family-friendly.
School Support for Foster Families
This article from ERIC Digests by Wendy Schwartz discusses factors that influence the ability of foster children to achieve academically and offers some strategies that schools can employ to improve their educational success and emotional well being.
School-to-Work: Making a Difference in Education
Report (published 2001) from Teachers College, Columbia University shows that business/education partnerships, such as school-to-work initiatives, impact student performance. The report cites research indicating that initiatives such as job shadowing do make a difference. Full report available in pdf format.
The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) is a non-profit dedicated to providing practice-based research to parents, teachers, communities, and state and local education agencies to improve the education system for all children. The SEDL Publications and Resources site offers links to articles on rural school improvement.
Studies in Education Reform: Parent and Community Involvement in Education
The educational partnerships described in Goals 2000: Educate America Act, plus the growing number of state initiatives and mandates related to parent, family, and community involvement, provide a climate of increased attention to the meaningful involvement of parents and the community in education at the state and local levels. In order to document and analyze useful practices for educational reform, this study looks at more than 25 years of research in parent and community involvement, and the outcomes of state and local initiatives and mandates.
The Community that Did!
When different community groups work together toward an educational goal, the results often extend beyond the original intent. This essay from Computer Learning details the history of community involvement as individuals and organizations worked toward the establishment of a Technology Center to serve the needs of teachers. The goal was achieved, but better yet, as the different groups interacted, they saw how they could help each other in other ways. The Technology Center has recently evolved into a program at a local university.
The Evaluation Exchange
The Evaluation Exchange is an online forum for the exchange of ideas, lessons, and practices related to the evaluation of family support and community development programs. It is particularly useful for those considering an assessment or revision of current activities.
Title I as a Tool for Parent Involvement
This site describes the policies under Title I, which require that assistance is provided to parents to help them understand the National Education Goals and the standards and assessments to be used to determine
the progress of their children.
Video for Spanish-Speaking Families
Spanish-speaking families, as well as the schools and organizations serving them, may obtain a videotape featuring tips on parent involvement in education, ready-to-learn issues, reading and math, and preparing young people for college. "Vamos juntos a la escuela" ("Let's Go to School Together") was produced by the Department of Education for use in parent meetings or in the home. The 15-minute tape can be used in presentations to groups of Spanish-speaking families by schools, colleges, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and others. Maria Elena Salinas, news anchor for the Univision Spanish-language television network, provides the narration. The tape is packaged in a kit with print materials in Spanish. (To find out how to order, type "Vamos juntos a la escuela" in the search box. The video is free.)
Welcome to the Parents' Center
On this English site, parents learn about schools, curricula, and administration. They find out what their children should have accomplished at different grade levels. It's an "everything you need to know" place for parents created to help them know what is going on and should be going on in their children's schools.