Recommendation Four:
Ensure sufficient access to support personnel—tutors, family specialists, mental health professionals, nurses, psychologists and social workers.


Role Group Strategies:

Provide access to community services and resources on school grounds and provide feedback on how school design and bureaucracy affect community engagement in schools.  


John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary
Great Schools by Design
This document highlights how renovations at John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary in St. Paul, Minnesota lead to increased student achievement and transformed the school into a center of community. The discussion guide, together with a video describing the innovations at this school, is intended to engage education stakeholders and community members in conversations about creating schools that are centers of communities. It includes a discussion outline and extensive advice on how to effectively facilitate and follow up on these community conversations.

Broad Creek Middle School, Carteret, NC
The Real D.E.A.L. Schools
Broad Creek Middle School is one of eight schools honored by North Carolina Governor Mike Easley as a school that leads the state in both student achievement and teacher working conditions. Parental involvement and volunteers are an integral part of the school’s success. Volunteer programs include tutoring, mentoring and a partnership with a group of local marines.

Case Studies for Joint Use Facilities
New Schools for Better Neighborhoods
The site uses research and existing examples of real schools to show that new school facilities must be better integrated with the community year round.  The site argues that schools should serve a variety of community needs in partnership with a wide array of public, civic, and private organizations. Smarter designs for new or renovated school facilities can accommodate direct community access to spaces like libraries, gymnasiums, auditoriums, health clinics, athletic and recreational fields, and performing arts space.

Building a Community School: A Parent’s Guide
The Children’s Aide Society and the Coalition for Community Schools (2001)
This guide explains how community schools, which house a variety of services for children and families at one site, differ from traditional schools and how they benefit students and parents. The authors also provide action steps for parents to take to encourage their school to become a community school.

Communities in Schools Volunteer Page
This site gives contact addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for all Communities in Schools (CIS) network offices in North Carolina.  CIS encourages community members to become involved in schools through mentoring, helping with after-school programs, bringing health specialists into schools, and teaching job skills.

The Exponential Results of Linking School Improvement and Community Development:  Collaborative Strategies for Revitalizing Rural Schools and Communities
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
This issue of the Benefits newsletter outlines 8 basic steps for establishing collaborative groups that benefit both schools and the community. The authors explain the rationale for each step and suggest actions that school leaders can take to ensure success.  While intended primarily for rural schools, the suggestions and examples are of value to anyone interested in taking practical steps to strengthen school-community partnerships.

Reinventing Education Change Toolkit
IBM (2002).
This toolkit, provided free of charge to anyone working in K-12 education, is designed to help school and district leaders to guide the school reform process.  The toolkit can be used to diagnose an environment for change, collaborate with members of a school change team, read real-life vignettes from education colleagues, plan a change initiative, and connect with educators worldwide.

Connection Collection
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
This searchable database of over 240 articles provides school leaders and community members with a range of resources supporting family and community involvement in education.

Schools as Centers of Community: A Citizen’s Guide to Planning and Design
Bingler, S., Quinn, L., and Sullivan, K. (2003).
The authors examine the challenges and opportunities related to building and renovating schools for the growing number of children in America. They advocate the idea of schools serving as centers of community interaction and emphasize that the process of designing and planning schools should involve the community. The paper enumerates design principles, shows those principles in action thirteen different schools, and explains how to develop and implement a plan to improve school facilities and how to involve different members of the community in that process.

What do we mean by “family and community connections with schools? 
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL).  (2002, November). Research Brief.
This short brief explains that there are many different forms of school-community involvement and emphasizes the need to clarify each group’s understanding of and expectations for such partnerships.  It includes a series of guiding questions to help schools, parents, and community groups decide which type of partnerships to pursue and provides additional references for related research.

Advocate for and raise awareness of the need for sufficient financial resources for school support personnel.

ASCD Capwiz Advocacy Toolkit
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (2004).
These pages help those interested in education reform become involved in the policy-making process. The site provides links to elected officials, tracks current issues and legislation, and highlights important elections and candidates.  It also includes a feature that identifies the major media outlets serving every zip code and allows users to send an advocacy email directly from this site.

Helping Every Student Succeed: Schools and Communities Working Together
Study Circles Resources Center (2002).
This tool explains how study circles engage community members in school improvement efforts and provides the discussion materials necessary for a series of four study groups. Group discussions begin with consideration of what each participant considers a “good education” and progresses to deciding upon specific actions for change.

Making the Connection: A Guide to Involving Policymakers in a Community Dialogue on Education
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
Engaging policymakers in dialogue on education is a practical action step that communities can take to influence school reform.  This resource provides step by step instructions on engaging policymakers in dialogue on education issues.  The authors provide a description of different roles for participants, advice on how to make the most of participation both during and after the dialogue, and a recruiting planner to assist in inviting policymakers to the discussion.

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