ADVANCING RESEARCH, IMPROVING EDUCATION                               
The SEDL National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools
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Research Syntheses

Research Syntheses

publication cover image The School-Family Connection: Looking at the Larger Picture - A Review of Current Literature (PDF file: 1.3MB) In SEDL's latest review of family involvement literature, The School-Family Connection: Looking at the Larger Picture, A Review of Current Literature surveys thirty research reports and meta-analyses published between 2005 and 2008. These studies explore a wide range of family involvement programs, challenges, needs, strategies, and contexts—ways to get out of the box and increase school-family connections. This review of the literature provides greater clarity about creating partnerships among schools, families, and community groups. Most importantly, these studies provide insight into the how and why of programs adopting contextually driven approaches rather than limiting efforts to those activities that are convenient to school staff, time, and facilities. The document contains 1) an overview of new literature, 2) a matrix of the trends across the studies, 3) an explanation of the types of research studies included in the review, and 4) detailed descriptions of each of the included reports.

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Readiness: School, Family, and Community Connections (PDF file: 940K) The fourth research synthesis focusing on family and community connections with schools, Readiness: School, Family, and Community Connections describes 48 research studies on the contextual factors associated with children's readiness. In particular, this synthesis explores children's abilities as they make the transition to kindergarten, factors associated with these abilities, and implications of these factors on children's later success. It also discusses the effectiveness of a variety of early childhood or preschool interventions that include a family or community focus.
Print copies are available from the SEDL Store.

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Diversity: School, Family, and Community Connections (PDF file: 840K) is the third in a series of reports to help local school, community, and family leaders obtain useful research-based information about key educational issues. This synthesis focuses specifically on three categories: race or ethnicity, culture (including language), and socioeconomic status. The report also explores barriers to involvement for minority and low-income families, strategies that have been used to address those barriers, and recommendations that local educational leaders can adapt to address their specific needs. It is based on a review of over 64 studies.
Print copies are available from the SEDL Store.

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A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement (PDF file: 1.2 MB) This review of the research examines the growing evidence that family and community connections with schools make a difference in student success. It is a synthesis of 51 studies about the impact of family and community involvement on student achievement, and effective strategies to connect schools, families and community. This publication is the second in the series of annual research syntheses by SEDL's National Center for Family & Community Connections with Schools, and the fourth in the series of Evidence publications authored or co-authored by Anne T. Henderson. Print copies are available from the SEDL Store.

A New Wave of Evidence Key Findings (PDF file: 28k)
This short handout lists the eight key findings from A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement. It cites specific studies supporting each key finding, and provides a full reference list for those studies.

A New Wave of Evidence Family and Community Engagement Self-Assessment (PDF file: 12k)
Developed by Dr. Karen Mapp, co-author of A New Wave of Evidence and Lecturer in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, this simple tool can help you assess where your school or school district is in relation to the report's recommendations. It is designed to be used as a supplement to presentations or discussions about A New Wave of Evidence.

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Emerging Issues in School, Family, & Community Connections (PDF file: 531K) is the first in a series of research syntheses that will examine key issues in the field of family and community connections with schools. The issues highlighted in this synthesis represent critical areas of work in family and community connections with schools where clarification, agreement, and further development are needed, as well as promising new directions that are emerging. It is based on a review of over 160 publications. You may also view this document in HTML format. Print copies are available from the SEDL Store.

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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.

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