Summarizes research conducted primarily over the past 10 years on how families’ involvement in children’s learning and development through activities at home and at school positively impacts literacy, mathematics, and social-emotional skills of children ages 3 to 8. Addresses implications for future research and practice on family involvement.
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3. Connecting Families, Schools, and Communities
Connecting Families, Schools, and Communities includes using multifaceted strategies to link these groups together. The purpose of this element is to increase and improve the quality of engagement among families, schools, and communities related to planning and implementing programs and activities that assist students.
Family involvement in children’s education has a significant impact on children’s academic achievement across many domains of interest for SS/HS, including better grades and test scores, better social skills, improved behavior, and graduation from high school. In addition, the positive involvement of community members in schools, as role models and mentors provides an additional layer of support and inspiration for students and teachers.
Summarizes lessons learned from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study about the prevalence, predictors and consequences of children’s exposure to: neighborhood violence, intimate partner violence (IPV), and harsh parenting.
The Nevada Department of Education, Office of Safe and Respectful Learning Environment (NDE OSRLE), established the Governor’s Social Workers in Schools Initiative with the focus of creating safe schools through prevention programming as well as a system of multi-tiered interventions for students. Providing a social worker in the schools has enhanced the strategy to create safer schools.
The SS/HS Initiative set an overarching goal to increase family engagement in schools. One key feature of this goal focused on the needs of parents and caregivers who struggled in navigating multiple child serving systems and in accessing services for their child with serious mental and/or behavioral health needs. As a result, Wisconsin’s state team partnered with Wisconsin Family Ties (WFT), the statewide family organization, to establish Parent Peer Support (PPS) providers in LEA’s across the state as a strategy to connect families, schools, and community.
The Greene County Educational Service Center (ESC) has a large minority population in their pre-schools and elementary schools with over 20 different languages and cultures represented. Most students need services through the ESL (English language learner) and LEP (limited English proficiency) programs. ESC desired to effectively address diverse student needs while also engaging students and their families in a positive and respectful manner.
Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) has been the “guiding light” for citywide collaboration, supporting an improved relationship between the Rochester School District (RSD) and the City of Rochester. The Rochester Recreation Department (RRD) is a key partner in this collaboration, which directly supports Rochester youth with new programing and access to key relationships. These connections offer validation to the RRD for their critical role in the life of the city.
The Family Center in Concord School District (CSD) is a district-wide early child development program focused on strengthening the home-school connection for Concord families with young children. With a boost from Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) funds, the program has expanded to four Concord locations.
Pennsylvania is integrating five previously discrete SAMHSA-sponsored initiatives to create a comprehensive system of care for families, children, and youth with behavioral health needs from birth to adulthood.
Pennsylvania’s SS/HS initiative has developed a protocol to guide community-level teams in identifying and selecting well-founded programs and practices to address salient student and school needs that fit the local circumstances and context. The protocol is designed to be used by an inclusive team involving educators, student and family representatives, as well as system partners.
SS/HS provided the opportunity for school districts in Michigan to reduce silos and partner and collaborate with families, schools, and community partners. As a result of increased focus on authentic family engagement and empowerment, 2,700 families across all three LEAs were actively engaged in school activities since implementation in 2013-14 academic year.
Safe Schools / Healthy Students
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