Recommendation Two:

To the greatest extent possible, protect teachers from non-essential duties that interfere with teaching by creating a system that allows community members, administrators, or other qualified adults to assume some of the extra-curricular duties traditionally performed by teachers.


Role Group Strategies:

Help develop a training system for community volunteers.

Grandparents Helping in the Classroom
Christian Science Monitor, March 9, 2006
In this editorial, the Christian Science Monitor reports the mutual benefits experienced by seniors and students when older Americans volunteer in the classroom. Since there will be a dramatic increase in the number of Americans over the age of 65 in the next 15 years, the potential impact of this group is great. The article reports on a recent study of volunteers from Experience Corp in Baltimore and discusses the cost effectiveness of such a program.

Treating Teachers as Professionals
By Diane Curtis 10/1/2000
This article features the Sherman Oaks Charter School, where teachers meet from 11:30-1pm daily for professional development.  They create time for the meeting by combining a lunch, study hall, and recreation period, which is staffed by para-professionals and parent volunteers. This article addresses the content of such meetings and how they create that time in their schedule.

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.

Making the Most of Volunteers.
Grossman, J.B. and Kathryn Furano. (2002). Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures.
This article explains the kind of infrastructure that 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.

What do we mean by “family and community connections with schools? 
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.  (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.

What is a Partnership Program?
National Network for Partnership Schools.
This page highlights six types of involvement for partnership programs, summarizing recommendations from the book Schools, Family, and Community Partnership: Your Handbook for Action (Epstein, 1997).  The six types of involvement are parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the community.  For each type, the website briefly lists sample practices, challenges and redefinitions, and results.


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