With the current emphasis in No Child Left Behind on these connections, schools, parents, community leaders and policymakers need research based information to guide them.
The Center's work focused on finding and sharing that research based information people need to design initiatives and take action to make connections between schools, families, and communities. This information goes beyond just describing what family and community involvement in schools looks like and focuses on research findings and recommendations to help schools, families and communities focus their efforts for the most impact on student success.
SEDL's New Center Makes Family-Community Connections to Improve Learning
(SEDL Letter, Vol 14, February 2002)
The Importance of Connecting Schools, Families, and Communities
Taken together, over 30 years of research suggests that it makes a difference for students when schools, families and communities connect their efforts. Family involvement can make a positive difference in school attendance, student behavior, and academic achievement.
As schools, families and communities begin to come together, everyone wins. A parent who teaches her sons class about traditional uses of native plants passes on important cultural knowledge and builds her own public speaking skills. A business that gives parents time off work with pay to participate in school conferences and events is better able to hire and keep qualified employees. A science class that tests the water quality at a nearby reservoir learns about local environmental issues, as they contribute to the overall health of the community. And most importantly, as these school, family, community connections start to happen, students receive the support they need to succeed in school and in life.
New Directions for Research, Practice, and Evaluation
SEDL and the Harvard Family Research Project teamed up to present Family, School, and Community Connections Symposium: New Directions for Research, Practice, and Evaluation. This one-day symposium was held in Cambridge, MA, on December 2, 2004.