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

 

Role Group Strategies:

Teachers
Raise internal school awareness of the significant need for various support personnel within schools.

Building Trusting Relationships for School Improvement:  Implications for Principals and Teachers
Brewster, C. and Railsback, J. (2003, September). By Request. Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
http://www.nwrel.org/request/2003sept/index.html
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. 

Quest at AEL:  Shared Vision
AEL
http://www.ael.org/rel/quest/framewk/vision.htm
The development of a shared vision is critical to realizing the full potential of a school community.  When all stakeholders invest in a shared vision, their work is focused and produces significant gains.  Because a school’s vision has traditionally been set and led by the principal, the process of creating a shared vision is often misunderstood.  This tool created by AEL introduces the concept of a shared vision and details the importance of having a shared vision.

 

Teachers
Advocate for and help integrate community services into the school.

John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary
Great Schools by Design
http://www.archfoundation.org/aaf/documents/JAJ.DiscussionGuide.pdf
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
http://www.governor.state.nc.us/Office/Education/_pdf/RealDeal_Booklet.pdf
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
http://www.nsbn.org/case/jointuse/index.php
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.

The Exponential Results of Linking School Improvement and Community Development:  Collaborative Strategies for Revitalizing Rural Schools and Communities
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
http://www.sedl.org/prep/benefits2/issue5/
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.

Connection Collection
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/bibsearch.html
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).
http://www.21csf.org/csf-home/publications/Schools_Centers_Community_Nov2003.pdf
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.
http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/rb/research-brief1.pdf
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.

 

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