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Why Family and Community Involvement Is Important


Why should I care about Family and Community involvement in schools?

Schools, parents, and the community should work together to promote the health, well being, and learning of all students. When schools actively involve parents and engage community resources they are able to respond more effectively to the health-related needs of students.

Family and community involvements foster partnerships among schools, family and community groups, and individuals. These partnerships result in sharing and maximizing resources. And they help children and youth develop healthy behaviors and promote healthy families.

Research shows that students whose parents are involved in their education are more likely to:

  • Adapt well to school
  • Attend school more regularly
  • Complete homework more consistently
  • Earn higher grades and test scores
  • Graduate and go on to college
  • Have better social skills
  • Show improved behavior
  • Have better relationships with their parents
  • Have higher self-esteem

Additionally, linking community activities to the classroom

  • Improves school-related behaviors
  • Positively impacts academic achievement
  • Reduces school suspension rates

What are New Hampshire's Requirements for Family and Community Involvement in schools?

Ed Rule 306: Standards for School Approval

306.04 (a) The local school board shall adopt and implement written policies and procedures relative to:

(11) Promotion of a school environment that is conducive to learning and supports strong family and community partnerships.

(k) The policy relative to partnerships among schools, families, and communities shall comply with the following standards:

(1) Schools shall strive to involve parents and family members of all ages and grade levels.

(2) Schools shall strive to provide parent educational activities throughout the school year to help parents support their children's learning.

(3) Schools shall frequently communicate school performance, student progress, personalized learning strategies as adopted by the local school board, and academic opportunities, using both print and online formats.

(4) Schools shall work with agencies and businesses to support community based developmental activities that prepare young children for school, promoting ongoing achievement.

(5) Schools shall promote collaboration among parents, schools, and community on school improvement and student achievement projects.

(6) Schools shall strive to harness all available community resources, including but not limited to organizations, businesses, talented individuals, natural resources and technology, to engage each student in achieving the necessary skills and knowledge, and

(7) Schools shall encourage business partnerships to assist students in the successful transition to employment or further education.

Federal Public Law 108-265 requires that schools establish a wellness policy which will encourage the school community to provide a healthier school environment. A parent must be a member of this team. Parents may contact their school or find out who represents parents on the wellness committee. Parents may also go the USDA Child Nutrition Web site.

The Child Nutrition Programs also require that school food service annually incorporate parents and the community at large into the program plans and activities. The federal citation is 7CFR Part 210.12. To find out what parent involvement plans you can get involved with, contact your local Food Service Director.

What are some best practices related to Family and Community Involvement in schools?

Effective parent involvement programs include activities that are addressed by the following National PTA Parent and Community Standards:

  • Collaborating with community - Community resources are used to strengthen schools, families and student learning.
  • Communicating - Communication between home and school is regular, two-way, and meaningful.
  • Parenting - Parenting skills are promoted and supported.
  • School decision making and advocacy - Parents are full partners in the decisions that affect children and families.
  • Student Learning - Parents play an integral role in assisting student learning.
  • Volunteering - Parents are welcome in the school, and their support and assistance are sought.

I'm a parent. Where do I go for parent information and resources about Family and Community Involvements in school?

New Hampshire Department of Education - Families and Communities provides information and resources for parents and families.

New Hampshire Children's Alliance - This is a children's policy and advocacy organization that provides information on child well being, stimulates dialog on children's issues, and promotes accountability and action.

Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) - This is a Harvard Family Research Project national network of over 5,000 people interested in promoting strong partnerships between children's educators, their families, and their communities.

National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education - Advocates the involvement of parents and families in their children's education, and fosters relationships between home, school, and community to enhance the education of all our nations' young people.

National PTA - This is a resource for parents that offers useful information to many thousands of parents just like you. PTA provides the resources and support you need to stay involved in the life of your child every day.

 

I'm a teacher or school administrator; what resources or tools are available on Family and Community Involvement?

Annie E. Casey Foundation's Family and Community Involvement - This Web site includes information, resources and tools to help empower families, communities and schools to work in partnership with one another.

Family Friendly Schools - This Web site is dedicated to helping schools and districts around the country to increase student achievement by developing networks of integrated relationships between leadership, staff, and families that creates a culture of high performance and learning outcomes.

National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools
The Center links people with research-based information and resources that they can use to effectively connect schools, families, and communities.

National Network of Partnership Schools at John Hopkins University - This network brings together schools, districts, and states that are committed to developing and maintaining comprehensive programs of school-family-community partnerships.

 

Whom do I contact for more information?

Martha Judson
School Nurse Consultant
UNH Cooperative Extension
Nutrition Connections Program
(603) 778-8824
mbjudson@aol.com

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New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711