Collaborative Approach Can Connect Schools, Families and Communities

March 4, 2005
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

Gone are the days when schools only invite parents to attend performances or hold bake sales. Not only do many schools include families and community members on school improvement teams and in the school’s decision-making process, but more and more schools are educating parents about the ways they can support learning and improve student achievement. The No Child Left Behind Act, with its requirement for a School-Parent Compact, has also helped spur many schools to change the way they think about family and community involvement.

Catherine Jordan, director of the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, says, “For some schools, the idea of involving families and community members actively in the decision-making process and in school improvement efforts is intimidating. That is why the National Center offers a number of resources to help school leaders create a culture that encourages a strong partnership between families, communities, and schools.”

The Center’s latest offering is a research brief, Developing a Collaborative Team Approach to Support Family and Community Connections with Schools: What Can School Leaders Do? The brief provides information on factors that are key for schools to foster strong partnerships with families and communities. It also describes a collaborative action team process to help school leaders being building strong relationships with parents and community members.

Developing a Collaborative Team Approach is available online at Many other resources and research-based reports are available through the National Center as well at

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the improvement of teaching and learning for all students through the research, development, and transfer of knowledge.

About SEDL

The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit