Family and Community

Editor’s Note

The articles on this page touch on the myriad ways in which families and communities serve as essential partners with schools in the education of their children. They probe the impact of policies and practices that affect the relationships between schools, families, and communities, and describe new ways schools and districts can engage these critical sources of support.

Using Technology to Engage Families

Digital tools help schools reach parents “where they are”

When the Home and School Association at Knapp Elementary School in Lansdale, Pa., holds its monthly meeting, it provides live streaming through so that busy parents can watch and send comments from home. Since starting the live streaming, the association has seen average meeting attendance go from 14 to 43, and parents who weren’t typically involved have become regular attendees.

When Shawn Storm’s sixth-grade class at Strayer Middle School in Quakertown, Pa., used Google Hangout to debate students in another state, parents could watch the debate live through YouTube or read the highlights students posted on the class website via Twitter. That night, parents were able to ask their children detailed questions about what they had done in school during the day, rather than making do with the common middle-schooler shrugs.Continue

Integrated Data Systems Link Schools and Communities

Researchers combine school and non-school data to inform interventions and policy

A few years ago, Milbrey McLaughlin, professor emeritus of Stanford University’s School of Education, presided over a briefing with a group of concerned youth services workers in northern California. Continue

Stopping Sexual Harassment in Middle School

New study points to successful strategies

The news that nearly half of students in grades 7-12 have experienced sexual harassment drew headlines around the nation last month, based on an online survey of nearly 2,000 students released by the American Association of University Women.

The Benefits of Service-Learning

The New Face of Homeschooling

Homeschoolers are tapping public schools for curriculum, part-time classes, extracurricular services, and online learning

Talking to Parents About Violence

“Wide Open and Welcoming”

How Trust Helped Transform a Small Chicago School

How Schools Can Help Refugee Students

Many schools are waking up to the impact post-traumatic stress disorder has on refugee students from war- and famine-wracked lands

The Power—and Limits—of 'Civic Capacity'

Outside organizations bring more than resources to Chicago schools

Do Working Mothers Hurt Their Children's Capacity to Learn?

How media reports about learning can oversimplify data—and alarm readers

Bringing Parents on Board

Strong home-school connections enrich learning opportunities for immigrant kids—and their parents, too

Parents as Partners in School Reform

Outreach, training—and respect—are keys to tapping this critical source of support

Meeting of the Minds

The parent-teacher conference is the cornerstone of school-home relations. How can it work for all families?

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