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Supporting School, Family, and Community Connections to Increase School Success

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Title:Building relationships for student success: School-family-community partnerships and student achievement in the Northwest
Author:Dorfman, D., & Fisher, A.
Resource Type:Report
Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
Full text:
Education Level:Elementary, Middle, High
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

The purpose of this study is to describe some family involvement practices that foster student achievement as they occur in schools with successful programs. This report begins with a brief review of the current body of research on the impact of family involvement on student achievement. Results, presented as school case studies, indicated that the schools sampled achieved success through curriculum that fosters connections between students, families, and communities; by providing families with tools to support their children; and through the building of respectful relationships between home and school. Successful strategies included education summits, a breakfast-at-school program, an effort to bring parents' native language and culture into the classroom, and teachers learning about the specific needs of the students through Student Interest Inventories filled out by parents. These data were collected from interviews with parents, teachers, and staff at six Oregon and Montana schools. Four of the schools in the sample were elementary schools and two were secondary schools. All of the schools had strong family involvement programs, were located in communities with a high poverty rate, and had large minority populations. Two schools were located on Indian reservations and four schools had a large Hispanic population. This study provides clear, concrete examples of strategies that have been used by schools with successful family involvement programs. It is important to note that the case schools are comprised of mostly minorities and additional research, including randomized controlled trials, should be conducted in order to assess the effectiveness of these strategies on schools with other demographic characteristics.

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Free Webinar Series
The U.S. Department of Education and its partners invite you to view the archive for the webinar, Bringing it All Together: Family and Community Engagement Policies in Action, which took place on November 16, 2011.

This is the ninth and final webinar in the series, Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement.