Parents and Communities

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A diverse Southern California district helps parents navigate its system
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All in the Family
Family therapists help keep students in school in this South Carolina district
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Community Education
A network of strong community associations, together with a public school system long committed to the education of all residents, no matter their age, is what makes adult education programs succeed
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Campaigning with Social Media
Social media is just another tool that allows people to interact with one another. What sets social media apart and makes it such an asset for those running an election campaign is its interactive and viral nature. Modern technology has had a multiplier effect on communication – for better and for worse.
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The Importance of Civics Education
With the vast majority of states signing on to Common Core standards in essential subjects – in order to better prepare graduates for college and the workforce – proponents of civic learning are saying a third pillar of a strong educational foundation needs to be added, which prepares students for citizenship.
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Teachers and Parents Working Together
An active PTA benefits children and their schools by providing connections, resources, and opportunities for school improvement. But it can be a challenge for schools, especially those in urban areas with poor families and at-risk students, to encourage their parents to join the PTA.
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Linking Schools and Businesses
Business partnerships have come into sharp focus and sharp demand as public education continues to take a beating from a struggling economy. Increasingly, school districts are joining forces with area businesses, who are finding they need schools as much as schools need them to build a successful future.
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The New Community Engagement
Parents’ level of school participation varies widely, based on their desire and their ability to participate. The key for school districts is to meet parents where they are, address their biggest needs, and help them move, at their own pace, to greater involvement. This policy benefits all major stakeholders.
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Parents' Place at School
Not every parent is going to respond with equal enthusiasm to your outreach. Parents may be intimidated by the school bureaucracy, or work two jobs and have little time for helping with homework or attending parent-teacher conferences. It’s a reality that requires school leaders to go the extra mile in reaching out.
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Higher Education Partners Benefit Schools
School systems in rural Virginia work with each other and higher education institutions to overcome their isolation and lack of resources. School leaders could find great value in forming similar partnerships with other districts and with colleges and universities. We recommend harnessing the energy of such collaboration.
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Rural School Basics
It sounds so simple, so traditional, and so old-fashioned. But it also makes perfect sense. Successful schools engage parents and the public to build community support. Schools need to put high-quality teachers in classrooms. They need to review academic data and pay attention to each student’s individual needs.
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Educationa Vital Signs: Parents & Communities
Education Vital Signs collection of reports on Parents & Communities.

Balancing the Booster Clubs
Dealing effectively with booster clubs requires more than simply accepting their hard-earned donations and doing what they ask. If districts don’t approach the question of booster club support with well-considered policies, they could open themselves to a host of potential problems, including negligence suits, Title IX violations, and even embezzlement and fraud.
August 2011

How Schools Can Engage Their Community
While communication is important in building strong relationships and support between families and schools, these conversations are often intermittent, one-way, and focused on problems. Social media have made it easier for districts to “connect” with communities, but some districts are more willing than others to venture into this new territory.
January 2011

"What Went Right in School?" Readers Tell Us
Recently, NBC’s “Today Show” asked viewers to write in with stories of what went wrong in school. We decided to go in a different direction and ask about what was right. Here is an edited sample from the more than 40 responses we received.
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Education Goes to the Movies
Filmmakers have turned their cameras toward the nation’s schools, with at least eight documentaries that examine the challenges of educating America’s children released in the past year. They have a hard-hitting message to share: There are bad public schools out there. And charter schools are the future of school reform.
November 2010