School, Family, Community Partnerships


Published on

The basics of creating partnerships to support student learning

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

School, Family, Community Partnerships

  1. 1. Partnerships Joel Nitzberg [email_address] Schools Family Community
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ Given the crisis faced today by all children, many of whom are struggling to beat insurmountable odds, it is time for our society to look at what we can do to make parents’ jobs easier and how we can change some of the things we are doing that are making it more difficult than necessary to raise children.” </li></ul><ul><li>Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children’s Defense Fund </li></ul>
  3. 3. Families: the challenges, hopes and potentials <ul><li>Every family is unique. Every family is a distinctive blend of personalities and biological, cultural, economic and social influences which change over time. </li></ul><ul><li>“ America must find better ways to enable children and families to develop their potential. To do this, America needs to build communities where learning can happen – communities that have economic and physical resources and a profamily system of education and human services that will support children and families in their efforts to succeed.” Page 6 Together We Can. </li></ul><ul><li>In communities with a weakened infrastructure and where families have few resources, a profamily system of education and human services is critical. At the same time the best service delivery system is no substitute for a strong economy, safe streets, affordable housing, available transportation, efficient municipal services, active civic participation, and family resiliency. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand strengths and barriers that impact development. What prevents people from achieving goals? Look at families, schools and the community in terms of the obstacles involved in forming partnership. Understand the processes that impact relationships and problem solving. </li></ul><ul><li>What is occurring re: blaming people and institutions? We need to identify same areas of concern and understand the gains when resources are pulled in. What are the barriers that obstruct partnerships and the utilization of the strengths of families and family-centered practices? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Schools, social programs, and caring individuals can compensate for stressful environments and troubled families. </li></ul><ul><li>When you read the histories of children from impoverished neighborhoods: </li></ul><ul><li>The first thing that strikes you is the stunning number of obstacles they face – the hundreds of tiny curves where it’s possible for them to fall off a tightrope that’s much higher and narrower than any path more privileged children have to tread. </li></ul><ul><li>The second realization you have is how small the difference between success and failure can be. </li></ul><ul><li>The third is how resilient people can be – so many people are survivors. </li></ul><ul><li>The fourth realization is how important it is to be respectful of the strengths and knowledge which do exist in those communities. </li></ul><ul><li>The challenge will be how to tap into and utilize those strengths and knowledge. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What are the roles of parents?
  6. 6. <ul><li>Attend school events </li></ul><ul><li>Use effective parenting styles </li></ul><ul><li>Bolster self esteem, help to motivate </li></ul><ul><li>Provide daily experiences for learning </li></ul><ul><li>Help with, & monitor school assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Establish home structures that support learning </li></ul><ul><li>Create effective communication within the home </li></ul><ul><li>Connect one’s child to resources in the community </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage learning as something valued in the family </li></ul><ul><li>Establish communication and relationships with the school </li></ul>Roles of parents
  7. 7. <ul><li>What are the strengths that parents have available, and the barriers that impede people from achieving goals? Looking at families, schools and the community in terms of the obstacles involved in forming partnerships. </li></ul><ul><li>Blame </li></ul><ul><li>What is the blame that parents (and workers) receive for children not succeeding? </li></ul><ul><li>Schools (agencies) blame parents for not caring, not following through, not making sure the children are doing their work </li></ul><ul><li>Parents blame workers for not understanding, not spending enough time, not individualizing the work </li></ul><ul><li>Same </li></ul><ul><li>What do they have in common? </li></ul><ul><li>Both parents and personnel want kids and families to succeed </li></ul><ul><li>Parents and workers have skills and may have experiences in common </li></ul><ul><li>Gain </li></ul><ul><li>What resources do they have that could be helpful to one another? </li></ul><ul><li>Parents have skills and connections to the community </li></ul><ul><li>Workers could provide information to parents on how to help their children and how to use resources effectively </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>All people and all families have strengths. </li></ul><ul><li>All families need and deserve support. The type and degree of support each family needs varies throughout the life span. </li></ul><ul><li>Most successful families are not dependent on long-term public support. Neither are they isolated. They maintain a healthy interdependence with extended family, friends, other people, spiritual organizations, cultural and community groups, schools and agencies, private enterprises, and the natural environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity (race, ethnicity, gender, class, family form, religion, physical and mental ability, age, sexual orientation) is an important reality in our society, and is valuable. Family and school workers need to develop competence in working effectively with people who may be different from them or come from groups that are often not respected in our society. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Families need coordinated services in which all the agencies they work with use a similar approach. Collaboration at the agency, local, state, and federal levels is crucial to effective family development. </li></ul><ul><li>The deficit model of family assistance, in which families must show inadequacy in order to receive services (and professionals decide what is best for families), is counterproductive to helping families move toward self-sufficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>Changing from the deficit model to the family development approach requires a whole new way of thinking about social services, not simply more new programs. Individual workers cannot make this shift without corresponding policy changes at agency, local, state, and federal levels. </li></ul><ul><li>Families and family development workers are equally important partners in the empowerment process, with each contributing important knowledge. Workers learn as much as the families from the process. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Families must choose their own goals and methods of achieving them. Family and school workers' roles include assisting families in setting reachable goals for their own self-reliance, providing access to services needed to reach these goals, and offering encouragement. </li></ul><ul><li>Services are provided in order for families to reach their goals, and are not themselves a measure of success. New methods of evaluating agency effectiveness are needed to measure family and community outcomes, not just the number of services provided. </li></ul><ul><li>In order for families to move out of dependency, helping systems must shift from a &quot;power over&quot; to a &quot;power with&quot; paradigm. Workers have power (which they may not recognize) because they participate in the distribution of valued resources. Workers can use that power to work with families rather than use power over them. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Some basic assumptions: <ul><li>All families want their children to succeed. </li></ul><ul><li>Primary responsibility for the development and well-being of the children lies within the family, and all segments of society must support families as they rear their children. </li></ul><ul><li>Assuring the well-being of all families is the cornerstone of a healthy society and requires universal access to support programs and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Children and families exist as part of an ecological system. </li></ul><ul><li>Child-rearing patterns are influenced by parents’ understanding of child development and their children’s unique characteristics, personal sense of competence, and cultural and community traditions and mores. </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling families to build on their own strengths and capacities promotes the healthy development of children. </li></ul><ul><li>The developmental processes that make up parenthood and family life create needs that are unique at each stage in the life span. </li></ul><ul><li>Families are empowered when they have access to information and other resources and take action to improve the well-being of children, families, and communities. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Family Functions <ul><li>Economic Security </li></ul><ul><li>Money for necessities </li></ul><ul><li>Budgeting for financial needs </li></ul><ul><li>Money for the future </li></ul><ul><li>Stable income </li></ul><ul><li>Special occasions, vacations </li></ul><ul><li>Safe Physical Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Adequate housing </li></ul><ul><li>Safe neighborhood (protection) </li></ul><ul><li>Adequate heat and water </li></ul><ul><li>Organized home with routines </li></ul><ul><li>A home free of physical danger </li></ul><ul><li>A home free of abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Health Care </li></ul><ul><li>Adequate and balanced diet </li></ul><ul><li>Clean clothes for each season </li></ul><ul><li>Routine medical and dental care </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency care </li></ul><ul><li>Child Development </li></ul><ul><li>Validation </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Helps through the rough times and to appreciate the good times </li></ul><ul><li>Educational opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Monitors and guides to develop habits </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforcement of language, behavior, </li></ul><ul><li>and social skills </li></ul><ul><li>Transmission of culture </li></ul><ul><li>Transmission of values </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional Support </li></ul><ul><li>Listens </li></ul><ul><li>Plays </li></ul><ul><li>Laughs </li></ul><ul><li>Positive intra-family relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Positive relationships outside the family </li></ul><ul><li>Nurtures </li></ul><ul><li>Loves </li></ul><ul><li>Hugs </li></ul><ul><li>Shows compassion </li></ul><ul><li>Forgives </li></ul><ul><li>Discusses </li></ul><ul><li>Companionship </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of belonging to family </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of belonging to other groups </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to spend time with </li></ul><ul><li>significant others </li></ul><ul><li>Shares and promotes optimism for the </li></ul><ul><li>future </li></ul><ul><li>Remembers </li></ul>
  13. 13. Empowerment: the opposite of the “deficit” model <ul><li>The goal of family development is empowerment of families and the communities they live in, so families will be able to reach their goals of health and self-reliance. </li></ul><ul><li>Empowerment is a dynamic process through which families reach their own goals. No one can &quot;empower&quot; someone else. Empowering families means helping families reclaim their ability to dream, and to restore their own capacity to take good care of themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>This also means helping communities, states, and nations to create the conditions through which families can reach their own goals, which may mean changing service provider systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Empowerment is not a one-time goal to be attained. It is an ongoing process, which feeds itself and the empowerment of others. When one member of a family becomes more self reliant, the rest of the family, and their community, also benefits. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The deficit model of family assistance <ul><li>The model focuses on a family's weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>It sets as the primary goal getting them off public services. </li></ul><ul><li>Not very many agencies or family workers realize they use the deficit approach. </li></ul><ul><li>The current human service system has been influenced by the medical system, where expert doctors diagnose people's problems and prescribe treatment. </li></ul><ul><li>It forces families to show what is wrong before they can get the services they need. </li></ul><ul><li>In school this is often translated to looking at the problems that individual students display, rather than on what those students are doing that is successful. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>In the empowerment approach, we assume that family members know best what their problems are, and that they will be most successful in accomplishing plans they create. </li></ul><ul><li>The worker's role is to assist them in recognizing their strengths and challenges, and to support that planning process, which may require teaching the process. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>MEDICAL/DEFICIT ECOLOGICAL/PARTNERSHIP </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis-oriented Prevention/promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnose and label Understand the family's problem </li></ul><ul><li>from their perspective, and build on family strengths and values </li></ul><ul><li>Professionals determine Professionals/parents share </li></ul><ul><li>strategies &intervention strategies, knowledge & design action plans </li></ul><ul><li>Problems are categorized Services are comprehensive </li></ul><ul><li>Services are fragmented </li></ul><ul><li>Limited focus on Focus on creating empowering </li></ul><ul><li>environments environment </li></ul>
  17. 17. Family Support Bill of Rights All people have the right to be treated with kindness, respect, and consideration under all conditions and situations. All people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect by the institutions and individuals that assist them to resolve economic, work, health, and educational issues. All people have the right to be spoken to with simple courtesy. All people have the right to have access to second opinions concerning their lives and conditions. All people have the right to representation on the governing boards of the agencies that serve their communities.
  18. 18. Therapy Recycling Centers Electronic Stores Churches Community Newspapers Employment Training Gym Health Center Transportation Services Pharmacies Supermarket Hotlines Convenience Stores Group Homes Hobby Clubs Gas Company Cable TV Career Center Radio & TV Stations Higher Ed Classes College Services Shelters Religious Associations Telephone Company Hardware Stores Neighbors Public Housing Fire Department Public Access TV Health Clinic Addiction Treatment Alternative Care Planning Office Museums Nature Centers Chamber of Commerce Friends of Friends Book Stores Realtor Meals on Wheels Volunteer Groups Student Volunteers Department of Public Works Family Resource Center Housing Services Food Pantry Welfare Movie Theater Bowling Alley Banks Video Store Entertainment Center Ethnic Association Extended Family Nursing Homes Police Parks Social Security Auto Mechanics Amusement Park Carpenters Hair Dressers Nutritional Services Hospital Electricians Family Play Groups Head Start After School Programs Youth Programs Schools Parent Information Center Electric Company Community Center Restaurants Playgrounds Library Friends City Hall
  19. 19. QUESTIONS TO ASK <ul><li>What is a community? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you need to get to know your community? </li></ul><ul><li>What is a community description? </li></ul><ul><li>Why should you write a community description? </li></ul><ul><li>How can you use a community description? </li></ul><ul><li>When should you write a community description? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the basic principles for learning about a community? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you go about gaining an understanding of your community? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you write your community description? </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Defining a community </li></ul><ul><li>A community is a set of people bound together by common interests, goals, problems or practices, in some shared system. </li></ul><ul><li>Community n. 1. Common possession or enjoyment; participation; as, a community of goods. 2. A body of people having common rights, privileges, or interests, or living in the same place under the same laws and regulations; as, a community of monks. Hence a number of animals living in a common home or with some apparent association of interests. 3. Society at large; a commonwealth or state; a body politic; the public, or people in general. 4. Common character; likeness. 5. Commonness; frequency. </li></ul><ul><li>A unified body of individuals: as a : STATE , COMMONWEALTH b : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself (the problems of a large community ) c : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location d : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society (a community of retired persons) e : a group linked by a common policy f : a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests (the international community ) g : a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society ( academic community). </li></ul>
  21. 21. Things to consider <ul><li>geographic boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>how long the community has existed </li></ul><ul><li>general history </li></ul><ul><li>key people and leaders </li></ul><ul><li>demographics </li></ul><ul><li>expenses and income </li></ul><ul><li>important issues </li></ul><ul><li>morale & involvement levels </li></ul><ul><li>key allies and rivals </li></ul><ul><li>Basic principles for understanding the community </li></ul><ul><li>View the community as the teacher and yourself as the student </li></ul><ul><li>There is not always cause-and-effect logic for social interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Question the accuracy of all information </li></ul>
  22. 22. What is a community? <ul><li>While we traditionally think of a community as meaning the people in a given geographical location, it can really mean any group sharing something in common. </li></ul><ul><li>Most often what we share with others is: </li></ul><ul><li>locale </li></ul><ul><li>experiences </li></ul><ul><li>interests </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Communities within a community </li></ul><ul><li>the faith community </li></ul><ul><li>the arts community </li></ul><ul><li>the African American community </li></ul><ul><li>the education community </li></ul><ul><li>the business community </li></ul><ul><li>the homeless community </li></ul><ul><li>the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community </li></ul><ul><li>the medical community </li></ul><ul><li>the Native American community </li></ul><ul><li>the elderly community </li></ul><ul><li>...and of course, a city or town may be </li></ul><ul><li>referred to as a community. </li></ul>
  23. 23. What is a collaboration? -emergent -focused -focused Process -sustained relationship and effort; -more durable and pervasive -limited -limited Investment -shared risks, responsibilities, and rewards. -some resources and rewards shared -some resources and rewards shared Resource Sharing -high risk -limited risk -limited risk Risk -solve common problems; -solutions emerge from dealing constructively with difference; -mutual benefit -work together on program specific goals -more compatible missions -work together on joint goals -no commonly defined mission, structure or planning effort Mission/Goals -deliberately designed -more formal agreement -only mutual agreement Relationship Collaboration Coordination Cooperation Continuum of Collaboration Definitions
  24. 24. Why collaborate? People and groups have common agendas and interests in addressing concerns about their community. Working together will result in greater rewards than what an individual can accomplish alone. Different talents and networks are brought into the process to fuel a project or turn an idea into action. People have a commitment to make change happen.
  25. 25. <ul><li>Problems are complex </li></ul><ul><li>People learn from one another </li></ul><ul><li>More resources are available </li></ul><ul><li>People are energized by one another </li></ul><ul><li>There is diversity of input </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership brings change </li></ul><ul><li>Alliances are built for other issues </li></ul><ul><li>People know people and where they are </li></ul>Also,
  26. 26. <ul><li>Diversity of membership, experience and opinion is accepted and celebrated </li></ul><ul><li>Ground rules are established </li></ul><ul><li>Structures are easily understood and followed </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone feels useful </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions are based on a strategic plan </li></ul><ul><li>Even small successes are celebrated </li></ul><ul><li>Balance is created between process and action </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders are identified </li></ul>Elements of a successful coalition
  27. 27. <ul><li>Tasks, obstacles and solutions are fully understood </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamics of change is understood and change occurs based on the lessons learned </li></ul><ul><li>Members develop skills in speaking, listening running meetings, and establishing structures </li></ul><ul><li>Linkages are created with political structures, media and others in the community who can influence change </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate any impacts that are made </li></ul><ul><li>Efforts are sustained and successes celebrated </li></ul>
  28. 28. Values, mission and vision guide the actions of individuals, teams and organizations. Together they form an organization's identity, inform strategy and inspire commitment. Setting Direction: Values, Mission and Vision Values Mission Vision Our classrooms will be filled with children who enjoy learning, feel accomplished, and have high self-esteem. They grow into healthy and productive adults. An image of the mission accomplished, the ideal future state. Vision To increase the high school graduation rate of students in the metropolitan school district. A task, purpose, calling of an individual, team or organization. Mission Universal education, civic responsibility, raising healthy children. Beliefs or judgments about what is worthy, important or desirable that are reflected in individual and organizational behavior. Values Example: Stay in School Campaign Definition
  29. 29. <ul><li>What can be done ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide parents with information and opportunities to discuss and share with others. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide activities and learning events that are comfortable and familiar. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use hands-on activities to offer real experiences. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show how to use simple and affordable activities to provide meaningful experiences. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect what happens in the classroom to the home. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide information on how the home and daily living can be used as learning enhancements & reinforcements. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use community such as supermarkets and libraries to connect to parents. resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide follow-through and next steps to further support parents. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Stages of Parent Involvement* <ul><li>OBSERVER: watches what is happening (passive stage) </li></ul><ul><li>LEARNER: takes an active learning role with staff members and/or other parents, but generally wishes to be told what to do (relatively passive) </li></ul><ul><li>COLLABORATOR: works in concert with staff, both giving and receiving assistance (team approach) </li></ul><ul><li>TEACHER: seeks out methods or materials to use with own children </li></ul><ul><li>LEADER: has greater involvement in the lives of others; involved in policy-making and decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>CHANGE AGENT: believes in self; awareness of role in community; questions methodologies; implements change; seeks improvement (highest level) </li></ul><ul><li>*Presented at the Puget Sound Educational Service District </li></ul><ul><li>Parent/Family Involvement Institute, August, 1997. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Museums Community Organizations Libraries Faith Groups Graduates Individuals in the community Family Centers Adult Basic Ed Schools Home Communities Higher Education Teachers School Administrators School Council Health Clinics Media Students Who are the partners in education that can support families? Students Students Home Schools Communities Businesses Support Staff H.S. Community Service Family Members/Foster parents/Grandparents
  32. 32. Communities Parents Students Schools Education is a joint effort by parents, students, schools and communities. Collaboration results in Student Achievement Family Health School Success Community Development
  33. 33. Think about the community. Who should be at the table to create & support parent involvement