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Citation:AEL. (2003). Interactions: A summary of research on school-community relationships. Charleston, WV: AEL (Appalachia Educational Laboratory) Regional Educational Laboratory.

The purpose of this report is to summarize the literature available on school-community relationships. The nature and purpose of school-community collaborations were identified as having the two goals of increasing social capital through the establishment of strong social networks and of utilizing that social capital to produce community renewal. The role of faith-based organizations, students as community members, and the benefits of collaboration were discussed. Three stages of the collaborative process were outlined as planning and development, implementation and management, and monitoring and evaluation. Several obstacles to forming collaborations were presented, including turf/culture and political/economic conditions. School-community collaborations can take a number of different forms such as the school as a community center or the community as curriculum. A third form, school-based enterprise, can be further categorized into school-business partnership, school-based business, or school incubated business. This study unites the present body of literature regarding school-community relationships to define the purpose, role, and challenges to school-community collaborations. Furthermore, this study suggests that partnerships have not been directly linked with increases in test scores due to the problems inherent in testing the programs rather than the programs themselves.

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