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Family engagement and community partnerships (18)
Community partnerships refers to how schools develop and sustain meaningful interactive relationships with their varied communities (that is, parent, education, civic, and business groups), so that all members understand and contribute to the work of supporting children.
Transforming: Practices reflect the ability of schools and families and communities to have meaningful relationships with and impact on each other.
- School builds and sustains a learning community of stakeholders (parents and guardians, students, district staff, nonparent community members) who can articulate (that is, define, discuss, revisit, and support) and use habits of mind and heart. The school is accountable to families and other members of the broader school community. The school exhibits results publicly.
- The school has formed strong partnerships with a variety of community resources from faith-based organizations, small and large businesses, NGOs and nonprofit organizations, and so on to provide a wide variety of resources and experiences that tap into students’ interests. The school also partners with community agencies (such as clinics, social work organizations, organic farms, after-school programs, and others) to coordinate delivery of social services to youth. Employer partners develop rich learning experiences for all students and staff and reap tangible rewards from their relationships with students and the school.
- Individuals and organizations throughout the community act as design partners who collaborate on the development of the school vision, curriculum, and programs (such as parent, student, and teacher conferences). Students, parents, families, and community members are involved in substantive decision making both in the classroom and schoolwide. Students, parents, families, and community members have opportunities to develop leadership skills to further contribute to the school community. Families are active partners in curriculum design, student learning plans, school improvement, and school decisions. Partners actively work to bring school vision into fruition and receive regular updates on key issues. Family representation in governing bodies is demographically representative of the student body. The authenticity of parent, family, and community member participation is monitored and addressed.
- A Partnership Board supports and develops partnerships centered on teaching and learning and ensures that partnerships are collaborative, including the sharing of resources and information and the alteration of activities to enhance the capacity of other partners for mutual benefit.
- Explicit connections are made between student backgrounds, community needs, and curricular topics. Parents and family and community members work with the school to identify and make regular use of existing resources (human and material) in the community. Students have a sense of legacy from community members that they are inheriting the world and are expected to make their contribution to it. Student work and projects have a positive impact on their community.
- Parents are offered opportunities to attain their own B.A. or A.A. degrees, hereby encouraging their children to be excited about doing the same.
- Structures that support this work include the School Site Council, Partnership Board, community meetings, home visits, service learning projects, internships, and a family and community liaison.
Developing: Practice is reflected in teacher planning and instruction.
- The school as allocated human resources for supporting a move toward Community Based Social Services.
- Parents and family and community members have access to timely and accurate information about school functions, decisions, and educational opportunities.
- Partnerships are cooperative or involve coordination, in that organizations share resources and information and alter activities for mutual benefit.
- The school provides a room dedicated to parents on the premises so that they can meet, work, and access resources about parenting, child care, tutoring, college, and other things that affect their children.
- The school is open after school hours for community use.
- The school has made use of community resources such as businesses, libraries, parks, and museums to enhance the learning environment.
- The school asks involved parents to make contact with parents who are less involved to solicit their ideas and report back.
- The school provides ongoing and specific information to parents on how to assist students with skills they need to improve.
- The school reduces barriers to parent participation by providing transportation, child care, and flexible schedules, and addresses the needs of English-language learners.
- The school provides written communication in the language of the families.
Early: Learning about and planning for the practice has become important to the teaching staff.
- The school provides information about local community organizations.
- Partnerships are for networking, in which organizations share information.
- The school provides information to families on how to monitor and discuss schoolwork at home.
- The school schedules events at different times during the day and evening so that all families can attend some throughout the year.
- The school produces a regular school newsletter with up-to-date information about the school, special events, organizations, meetings, and parenting tips.
We are currently hosting a forum dedicated to questions and discussions about the CES School Benchmarks.
- Notes on This Issue On evenings and weekends, I’m often immersed in my own service-learning projects. I’m part of the PTO of my son’s elementary school. I’m active in a group working for improved... April 02, 2008 by Jill Davidson - Community Collaboration, Service-Learning
- Katrina Volunteer From July 10 to July 31, 2006, I went to New Orleans as a volunteer with a non-profit organization called People’s Organizing Committee (POC). This organization’s main goal was to get the... March 27, 2008 by Julius Rainey - Instruction, Student-as-worker
- Small Is Not Enough: Daily Connections Among Children and Adults in Oakland Oakland's new scaled-down schools allow the people who work and learn in them to focus on creating environments where it's likely that strong relationships among adults and children will develop... July 30, 2002 by Jill Davidson - Family Collaboration, Small Learning Communities
- Doing Something Real: Horace interviews with Debbie Meier on Community Service Deborah Meier began her teaching career as a kindergarten and Head Start teacher in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City. She was the founder and teacher-director of a network of highly successful... April 02, 2008 - Community Collaboration
- The Family and Essential Schools: Mobilizing Democracy Toward Equity Sidebars: Ten Principles of Parent Engagement Parents as Educational Advocates: Learning to Ask the Right Questions Charter Schools: Parents as a Survival Strategy One Classroom's Research Turns... April 29, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Family Collaboration, Democratic Practice
- What's 'Essential' About Learning in the World of Work Sidebars:Trying on Work While Trying Out MindsThe Six A's of Designing ProjectsStudents as Workers Facing Real-World ProblemsAssessing Habits of Mind in a Project of InternshipHelping Workplace... April 29, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Community Collaboration
- Learning Technology Skills Through Social Entrepreneurialism The only complaint I heard at the ninth grade Applied Technology final exhibition was, “Only $3,000? But I want to make a donation to every organization!” I had to agree. It was a... July 21, 2009 by Jean Pendleton - Instruction, Technology And Information Literacy, Service-Learning
- The Power of Service-Learning: One School’s Quest I had no idea when I started this experience how much real learning I would actually do. So much of the understanding of something is not found in a book or classroom experience. It was only when I... April 02, 2008 by Kim Huseman, Lawrence Kohn - Community Collaboration, Service-Learning
- Oakland's Community Propels Change for Equity Anger and bereavement, throughout history, have provided the engine for relentless struggles for change. -Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonder "There were more than 1,400 kids in my daughter's school.... July 30, 2002 by Jill Davidson - Community Collaboration, Small Learning Communities
- Having the Courage To Act on Your Beliefs: Horace Interviews Marcy Raymond and Dan Hoffman on the Founding and Influence of Metro High School Metro High School, in Columbus, Ohio, is a public high school emphasizing math, science, and technology in a small, personalized learning environment. Originally conceived through a grant from CES... December 12, 2008
- Horace’s Legacy: Learning with Purpose, A Proposal to Add Two New Common Principles “Purpose serves as a principle around which to organize our lives.” -Anonymous There’s a story told about a farmer from Nebraska. It seems that every year the farmer grew amazing,... December 02, 2009 by Joe Greenberg - Common Principles
- The Arts and Other Languages: From Elective to Essential Sidebars:Results That Matter: Assessment and the Arts Teaching Other Languagaes in the Essential Schools Language Students Exploring Ideas and Experience across the Curriculum Assessing... April 29, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Curriculum, Subject Integration
- Essential Collaborators: Parents, School, and Community Sidebars:Some Suggestions for Bringing the Community to SchoolSome Suggestions for Bringing the School to CommunityAttitudes that Foster InvolvementCommunity Focus Group--Expectations from... April 29, 2002 by Kathleen Cushman - Community Collaboration
- School Design: An Architect's View Architect and educator Jeffery A. Lackney, Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, created "Thirty-Three Principles of Educational Design" to focus... May 28, 2002 by Jeffrey A. Lackney - Learning Structures, Small Learning Communities
- A Caring Adult in a Different Setting In schools where people know each other well and focus on supporting academic and personal growth, meaningful relationships blossom in offices, in the library, on the basketball court, or in the... March 17, 2011 by Gary Heyder
- Working with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families Deborah A. Bruns, faculty member at Southern Illinois University, and Robert M. Corso, researcher/educator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, analyzed research and current best... March 11, 2003 by Deborah A. Bruns, Robert M. Corso - Family Collaboration
- Four Essential Elements of School Design When we at the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) talk about "school design," we refer not to the physical design of the school building (though that also deserves attention), but to decisions... March 14, 2002 by Kathy Simon - Learning Structures, Small Learning Communities, Scheduling, Heterogeneous Grouping, Peer Coaching
- Adventures in Web 2.0: Introducing Social Networking into My Teaching “As new technologies shape literacies, they bring opportunities for teachers at all levels to foster reading and writing in more diverse and participatory contexts.” –“A... July 21, 2009 by Honor Moorman - Instruction, Technology And Information Literacy