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Citation:Sanders, M. G., & Harvey, A. (2000). Developing comprehensive programs of school, family, and community partnerships: The community perspective. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

This case study describes how one urban elementary school developed strong connections with community organizations, and identifies factors that supported the development of the connections. Four types of partnerships were identified: student-centered activities, family-centered activities, school-centered activities, and community-centered activities. The researcher found four factors that contributed to successful partnerships. They are (a) the schoolÕs commitment to learning; b) the principalÕs support and vision for community involvement; c) the schoolÕs receptivity and openness to community involvement; and d) the schoolÕs willingness to engage in two-way communication with potential partners about their level and kind of involvement. Positive outcomes from the partnerships, such as increased resources for the school and its students, were also identified. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, field observations, and focus group interviews. School-community partnerships, as a formal arrangement between two distinct entities, is the primary focus of this article. This model of school-community connections, while informative, should not be considered exhaustive, as it does not include more informal or seamless connections that can exist between schools and their communities. This article also focuses primarily on one-way connections that support the school's efforts, rather than mutually beneficial connections for both school and community.

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