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School, Parent, and Community Involvement

MCES follows the model from the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University on School, Family, Community Partnerships directed by Dr. Joyce Epstein. .   This model aligns with the Strand IV of the Michigan School Improvement Framework.   An MCES staff person has been trained in the Epstein approach and is providing professional development and support to schools to set up Parent Action Teams.   These teams will facilitate the development of the Six Types of Involvement for parents and community members:

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

Training objectives are to:     

  • Understand the framework of the six types of involvement;
  • Understand the Starting Points Inventory of present practices at the school;
  • Understand that you must meet specific challenges to conduct a high quality program of productive partnerships with all families;
  • Know that different practices of partnership lead to specific school goals;
  • Understand the structure and members of Parent Action Teams;
  • Develop a One Year Action Plan for school, family, community involvement.

Specific activities are recommended and may include:

  • Setting clear and measurable objectives based on parent and community input, to help foster a sense of cooperation and communication between families, communities, and schools;
  • Recognizing the importance of a community‚Äôs historic, ethnic, linguistic, or cultural resources in generating interest in family involvement;
  • Providing staff development for teachers and administrators to enable them to work effectively with families and with each other as partners in the educational process;
  • Ensuring access to information about nutrition, healthcare, services for individuals with disabilities, and support provided by schools or community agencies.

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