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Citation:Sanders, M. G., & Epstein, J. L. (1998). School-Family-Community partnerships in middle and high schools (CRESPAR Report 22). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University. ED423330.

The purpose of this case study is to describe the school-family-community partnership efforts of two urban middle schools and two urban high schools. The study explores family school connections based on EpsteinÕs framework of six types of family and community involvement (1995). At the middle school level, the data revealed that middle school educators and parents strongly believe that school-family-community partnerships are as important for young adolescents as they are for elementary school children. However, partnership program development tended to be Òincremental and non-linear,Ó and program developers faced a number of challenges in developing and implementing partnership programs. At the high school level, respondents also believed that these partnerships are important for student success in and beyond high school. However, partnership program developers at the high school level faced many challenges, including attitudes that many parents and educators have about appropriate parent involvement at the high school level. Limited time and limited experience of high school educators partnering with families and communities were also cited as specific barriers to partnership. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and reviews of supporting documents. A sample of the interview protocol is included in the paper. This article provides a good overview of several theoretical concepts and highlights some of the key research about family/community involvement at the secondary level. No significant community partnerships were discussed. Because of implementation challenges at the case schools, it is somewhat difficult to draw clear conclusions about the impact of the partnership programs.

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