Principals Matter: A Guide to School, Family, and Community Partnerships

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Examines the principal’s essential role in developing equitable and sustainable school-community partnerships, synthesizes research on partnerships and principal leadership, and addresses the inclusion of diverse family groups.

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Editorial Reviews

Belinda Gimbert
"The book provides a vast overview of the many key aspects of partnerships between schools, families, and communities grounded in data and research that illustrates the positive impact that strong stakeholder partnerships have on student achievement. The examples, vignettes, and stories provide rich material to illuminate the points addressed."
Julie C. Burger
"An excellent book. Each chapter opens with relevant research and presents suggestions for practical applications. As a principal, I would buy this book for a task force or professional learning community."
Marian Hermie
"There is so much valuable information in this book that any administrator, regardless of experience, can gain huge benefits from reading it and putting into effect many of the suggested activities and programs."
William Ruff
"What sets this book apart from other school and community source books is that it addresses specific populations that are often alienated by schools: fathers, parents of children with disabilities, and families of poverty. It provides a good overview of key research on the topic of family involvement in schools, its impact, and practices for obtaining involvement."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412960410
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 4/27/2009
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mavis G. Sanders is assistant professor of education in the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education, research scientist at the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR), and senior advisor to the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of many articles on the effects of school, fam­ily, and community support on African American adolescents’ school suc­cess, the impact of partnership programs on the quality of family and community involvement, and international research on partnerships. She is interested in how schools involve families that are traditionally hard to reach, how schools meet challenges for implementing excellent programs and practices, and how schools define “community” and develop mean­ingful school-family-community connections. Her most recent book is Schooling Students Placed at Risk: Research, Policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2000).She earned her Ph D in education from Stanford University.

Steven B. Sheldon is a research scientist with the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and director of research of NNPS at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of many publications on the implementation and effects of programs for family and community involvement. His work explores how the quality and outreach of school programs of partnerships affect parents’ responses and student outcomes, such as student attendance, math achievement, student behavior, reading, and state achievement test scores. His most recent book guides principals in their leadership and work on school, family, and community partnerships (with Mavis Sanders, Corwin Press, 2009). In his current research, Sheldon is studying the influences of parents’ social networks, beliefs, and school outreach on patterns of parental involvement at school and at home and results for students. He earned his Ph D in educational psychology from Michigan State University.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
Introduction: Standards for School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Part I. Laying the Foundation
1. Policy, Theory, and Research on School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Partnerships and Academic Outcomes
Partnerships and Nonacademic Outcomes
Why This Matters for Principals
Reflection Questions
2. Reculturing Schools for School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Schools as Community Institutions
Developing a Coordinated Program of School, Family, Community Partnerships
Principal Leadership and School Outcomes
Obstacles to Effective School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Steps Toward Recultured Schools
Why This Matters for Principals
Reflection Questions
Part II. Responding to Diversity
3. Fathers and School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Why Fathers Matter
Father Demographics
The Role of Fathers
Guidelines for Developing Partnership Efforts to Involve Fathers
Why This Matters for Principals
Reflection Questions
4. Families of Children With Disabilities and School, Family, and Community Partnerships
IDEA and Children With Special Needs
District and School Outreach to Families of Children With Disabilities
Specific Needs and Experiences of Families of Children With Disabilities
Engagement Strategies for the Families of Children With Disabilities
Creating Inclusive Environments for Special Needs Populations
Why This Matters for Principals
Reflection Questions
5. Linguistically Diverse Families and School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Growth in Immigration and Limited English Proficient Students and Families
LEP Students and Families
LEP Students and NCLB
Strategies to Facilitate the Involvement of LEP Families
Culturally Intelligent Principal Leadership
Why This Matters for Principals
Reflection Questions
6. Families Living in Poverty and School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Challenges Faced by Low-Income Families
Avoiding a Deficit Perspective
A Collaborative Approach
Why This Matters for Principals
Reflection Questions
Part III. Maximizing Outcomes
7. Evaluating Programs of School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Planning an Evaluation
Collecting Data
Presenting the Findings
Why This Matters for Principals
Reflection Questions
Concluding Thoughts

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