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School-Community Relations

Learning Outcomes
(School-Community Relations)
Students are able to:
Explain the meaning of meaningful collaboration
with the community
Utilizing different tools to understand the structure
and evolvement of communities
Describe the gains from collaborating with
the community
Studies on Family/Community Involvement

Impact of family/community involvement on

student achievement
Effective strategies to connect schools, families,
and community
Parent/community organizing efforts to improve
Effective Strategies to Connect Schools and
School and Community partnership
Factors contributed to successful community
The schools commitment to learning
The principals support and vision for community
The schools willingness to engage in two-way
communication with potential partners about their
level and kind of involvement
Collaborating with Community
Quality Indicators
National PTA
Distribute information regarding cultural, academic,
health, social and other services that serve families within
the community
Develop partnerships with local business
Encourage employers to adopt policies that promote and
support adult participation in childrens education
Foster student participation in community service
Involve community members in school volunteer programs
Disseminate information to the school community
regarding school programs and performance
Collaborate with community agencies to provide family
support services and adult learning opportunities
The circle of adult relationships is now less likely
to include parents of their childrens associates,
thus reducing the availability of knowledge about
what their child is doing, and the opportunity to
influence the childs actions through norms and

Hoffer and Coleman

Issues Related to Community Involvement
in Schools
Public schools must hold themselves to high and
measurable standards if they are to survive
The majority of people in the community do not have
children in school.
The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2010, families
with children will account for little more than one-quarter
of all households.
The concept of making schools the center of community,
by creating joint-use facilities, is once again on the rise.
Your thoughts?
Many community members have no real idea of
the need or the conditions at their local school.
Create connections:
How to create meaningful connections between
school and community?
Supporting school communication is key to
boosting interest and involvement in schools by
parents and communities.
Meaning of Community Relations

School public relations is a cooperative development and

maintenance of of efficient two-way channels of
information and understanding between the school, its
personnel, and the community. (American Association of
School Administrators)
A process of communication between the school and
community for the purpose of increasing citizen
understanding of educational needs and practices and
encouraging intelligent citizen interest and cooperation in
the work of improving the school. (Kindred)
Educational public relations is a management function
which interprets public attitudes, identifies the policies and
procedures of an individual organization with the public
interest and executes a program of action to encourage
public involvement and to earn public understanding and
acceptance. (The National School Public Relations
Understanding the Community

Existing needs and expectation of citizens regarding public

Opportunities and means for creating better cooperative
relations with various publics
The nature of the power structure and the areas of decision
Situations to be avoided due to past history of conflict
Identification of those individuals and groups who are
friendly or unfriendly toward public education
The channels through which public opinion is built in the
Changes that are occurring in the patterns of community
Leadership and leadership influence
The number and types of organizations and social agencies
existing in the community
Sociological Inventory

Customs and traditions

Population characteristics
Communication channels
Community groups
Economic conditions
Political structure
Economic conditions
Political structure
Social tensions
Previous community efforts
Power Structure

A power structure is an interrelationship among individuals

with vested interests who have the ability or authority to
control other people, to obtain their conformity, or to
command the services of other men
Types of power structure
The elite power model
The community power structure is pyramidal, the base
representing the lower echelons of power distribution and
the apex representing the high concentration of power
The Pluralistic/diffused model
It has several centers of power
There are many groups that are highly influential and that
each one concerns itself with a different issue or issues
The Amorphous model
Power is basically absent (latent)
It resembles a condition that is that is controlled by those
who maintain the status quo
School Management and Power Structures

The best protection the school has against power structure

pressures on financial and other decisions is a well-planned
and carefully implemented program in school and
community relations
Proper organization of citizen and advisory committees
and groups of concern parents
How to Measure Public Opinion

Opinion research technique

Opinion research helps to determine:
How people get their information about the schools
How citizen judge the quality of their schools
Whether a change would arouse controversy
Whether a shift is taking place in the community
How well the public understands the education program
Point of popular Satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the
Opinion Research Methods

Forums and conferences

Advisory committees
Consumer panels
Key communicators
Public opinion surveys
Gains When Schools and Communities
Work Together
Families access community resources more easily
Businesses connect education programs with
realities of the work place
Students serve and learn beyond their school
Iowa Association of School Boards
Basic steps for Partnerships (With the business sector):
Start small
Having a pilot project/program
Promote awareness
Informing stakeholders that you are having a partnership
Involve potential key partners
Involve them at an early stage
Consider the needs of both parties
Look at mutual needs and goals
Identify potential resources for both parties
Determine how resources will be used effectively to meet
top priorities
Be specific about jobs that need to be done
Be specific about resources and duration of the partnership
Set up a system to monitor the program
Design for implementation phases
Provide skill training and etc.
Evaluation of the program
Determine if the partnership is achieving its goal