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  Emerging Issues in School, Family, & Community Connections
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In this synthesis we examined the recent literature in the field of family and community connections with schools. This review provides a broad picture of research findings and emerging issues or themes, and makes a strong case for the need for further research in the field.

A general knowledge of the research is no longer enough for those who lead school, family, and community connection initiatives to be credible and to lead successfully. It is hoped that this synthesis will provide these leaders a quick, comprehensive reference they may use in several ways––to build the case for an initiative, to support an ongoing initiative, to secure funds for implementation of an initiative, to maintain a successful initiative, or to discontinue the implementation of an ineffective school-family-community initiative.

The themes distilled from the broad array of literature reviewed also point to the need for more coherent and organized discussion about these issues among leaders and researchers around the country. It is hoped that this review may provide a baseline of knowledge for these discussions.

It is clear that family, school, and community connections can benefit children and youth from before the time they enter Kindergarten until after they have left our schools. Our charge as a field is to come together to address the issues highlighted in this document––to clarify the concept and outcomes of family and community connections with schools and to improve the quantity and quality of the research base available. In so doing, we will better understand these connections and create the knowledge needed to realize the potential of family, school, and community connections for student learning and students’ lives.

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