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


Role Group Strategies:

Promote sufficient understanding and appreciation of school tutors, family specialists, mental health professionals, nurses, psychologists and social workers.



Building Trusting Relationships for School Improvement:  Implications for Principals and Teachers
Brewster, C. and Railsback, J. (2003, September). By Request. Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
This booklet addresses issues of trust between principals and teachers and among teachers themselves as an element of school improvement.  The authors draw on recent research and highlight several schools working on trust building, including a “critical friends group” established at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon. 

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.

Encourage and facilitate parent and community involvement 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.

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.


Answering the Perplexities of Parent Involvment
ASCD 2006 Annual Conference Blog
This blog, from the Association of Curriculum Supervision and Development, addresses strategies for getting more Hispanic and African American parents involved in their children’s schools. The author talks about the different understandings of “parent involvement” that she encountered in her work as a parent liaison and describes many of the factors that make it difficult for parents to find the time to come to school. Finally, she offers a list of strategies, such as providing child care during meetings and assisting with transportation, which can lead to successful involvement when implemented together.


Build “Smart”
McCann, B., & Beaumont, C. (2003). American School Board Journal
This article contrasts “sprawl schools,” which are often located on the edge of town and are unsafe for children to walk to, with “smart growth” schools. Smart growth schools are smaller in size, located in established neighborhoods, integrate the community, and allow students to increase physical activity through walking or bilking to school. The author gives solutions to common problems with building such schools and lists states that are taking positive steps to allow for more smart growth construction.

Community Involvement: Is It Rinky Dink or a Chance to Think?
Hill, Frank. (2005).
Hill proposes ways for school administrators to make community involvement in facilities planning more than just a hoop to jump through. He offers advice on selecting a group reflective of the community, increasing the likelihood of their involvement, educating them on the issues, facilitating successful meetings and following up afterward.


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.

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 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. It 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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