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


Role Group Strategies:

District Office
Ensure that the bureaucratic process for engaging volunteers and community members in schools does not limit access or interest in supporting educators.


Community Partnership Resource Page
The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
This webpage provides a variety of resources from the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) on school and community partnerships.  It includes articles describing programs in specific school districts and research on the importance of community involvement in general.

(Re)Designing Learning Environments
The George Lucas Educational Foundation
This site includes a set of case studies from the George Lucas Educational Foundation highlighting a diverse group of schools across the country which have designed innovative learning communities that help kids learn.  Interactive case studies provide background, timelines and strategies for creating or renovating school communities and facilities that work for multiple partners.

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.


For Generations to Come: A Leadership Guide to Renewing Public School Buildings
21st Century School Fund
This "how-to" manual is designed for individuals interested in modernizing or building new public school facilities in their neighborhoods. Modeled after an innovative public-private development partnership, this tool details the importance of school facilities and community involvement, then explains the five basic steps to planning a new school or renovating an existing building: assessment, envisioning, planning, development and implementation. The school assessment section of the manual (pp 25-33) includes a detailed description of steps that community members must take to assess their own strengths and weaknesses, needs of the school, building needs, financial needs, etc.  This section includes an checklist of elements to look for during an assessment process and explains how to present assessment results in meaningful ways that lead to action.

Making the Most of Volunteers
Grossman, J.B. and Kathryn Furano. (2002). Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures.
This essay explains the kind of infrastructure organizations such as schools need to put in place in order to maximize the effectiveness of volunteers.  The authors discuss screening, training and skills, on-going management and support (including assigning tasks, providing support and supervision), and cost implications.

National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Strategies
National PTA
Strategy four pertains to volunteer programs, listing quality indicators of successful volunteer programs and suggesting the types of materials volunteers should receive during training. Successful programs make parents and other volunteers feel welcome, utilize their skills and expertise, and provide opportunities for working parents to help in creative ways.


Schools Uniting Neighborhoods
Annie E. Casey Foundation
The SUN Initiative turns local public schools into community learning centers by offering before and after school classes, parent support and involvement activities, community educational and cultural events, and social services for young people and their families. The publication details a pilot effort to implement the initiative in Portland . The publication includes lessons learned and recommendations for connecting work in schools/communities with the agenda of political leaders.

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.


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