Required fields are marked *. Enlist other families to deliver a “Welcome to Our School” packet of key information that includes a personal note from you and other school personnel with information about direct contact for help. Principals’ access to school resources, deep and sustained roots with local families, and understanding of community needs place them in a strategic … Also, the arguments of principals about which principals are often indirectly held accountable to the retention of quality teachers and the welfare of the school community (Preston, Jakubiec, & Kooymans, 2013) support the fact that an immediate three-way communication (school, family, and community) should be established in order to respond to the shifting attitudes and demands from the public. Make sure Latino, African-American and other non-white parents understand you want their advice and leadership. Find a physical space with adult-sized furnishings – then add basic refreshments and information helpful to parents. 2. In fact, most schools that survey students' perceptions of community wind up with mediocre mean scores. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Often low-income families feel unwanted and unwelcome in their child’s school. Related posts: What is the Role of Headmaster or Principal […] techniques can mar or prosper school community relations. Improve the quality of children's learning and growing, 2. School-Community Relations is … Bruner (1981) lists the following 10 ways to get the community to come to the school: --make the back-to-school night exciting and productive, --use parent conferences to explain school programs and to resolve misunderstandings, --allow the school building to serve community activities, --facilitate open discussion (for example, at a school lunch) between parents and principal. Of further concern is the fact that low-income students and students of color usually report a lower level of community in school than do affluent or white students. Education World's "Principal Files" principals agree that parent newsletters should be an essential part of every school leader's communication plan. For this reason, McBeath and others (1983a) claim that principals, particularly new ones, should participate in civic activities outside of the school. Good communication is the key to any friendship; it is no different in schools." Another critical part of your job is leading a coordinated school-wide effort to interact with families in ways that support students, families, the school, and the larger community. The most effective learning occurs when members of these diverse communities are part of the training. ED 231 580. This task involves considering many factors including those which are examined in this Digest: the role of the principal and of the community, potential problems, evaluation procedures, and ways to involve the community. Few teachers or administrators are prepared in advance to work with families and communities as partners in their children’s education. Be cautious about relying on training, books and other resources that makes generalizations about poor families or families of diverse cultures. The best plans are developed with parents and community. You may need information written in a different language, such as Spanish, but you also may need to simplify the educational jargon in materials, realizing that your audience may not be familiar with acronyms, “data talk” and other insider words and expressions. Each principal strove to ... volunteer coordinator and a public relations promoter. Finally, parents value a personal connection with the teacher and others in the school who work with their son or daughter, so encourage communication from all school personnel. The Role of the Principal in Schools Student Discipline Chief. In any given day the principal can be a curriculum consultant, budget analyst, public relations representative, mediator, disciplinarian, and manager. The same study found that successful school-community relations prevailed in schools which allowed citizens to use the library; advertised events by newspaper, radio, or television; had a cafeteria or restaurant service; or opened gym or pool facilities to community members. Other sucessful efforts to promote positive school-community relations include: --informing persons living near the school of school events, --having informal breakfasts, rap sessions, tours of the school, --inviting service clubs and other organizations to meet in the school (Husen 1982), --teaming citizens, faculty, and administrators to assess linkages to community groups that are not presently being reached, --identifying "opinion leaders" in the community and involving these individuals (Rogers 1983). You might identify opportunities for students to participate in community service activities. Your email address will not be published. And teachers and administrators interact with families and the community every day – sometimes in direct ways, sometimes indirectly. Fairbanks, AK: The Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1983b. The strategies that follow are applicable to all the families in your school, but you will need to customize specific activities within each strategy to best meet the needs of particular families or groups of families. Tom Marshall is a former teacher and staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Publish a family-friendly school newsletter on a regular, consistent basis. Differing expectations and power struggles between community groups or between school administrators and community groups can result in problems for the principal. This has affected the quality of education in the country. They offer encouragement, ideas, and advice for those who want to start a newsletter or improve their current one. Ezeocha (2000) views the roles of principals as supervision of instruction, curriculum development and evaluation, school community relationship, staff personnel administration, student personnel administration, management of school finance and school physical facilities. And the payoffs in student achievement can be tremendous! One possibility is to create a family and community learning center. mediate relations within the local community and the larger school system. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Recently in a high-poverty school, we noticed that the curriculum coordinator made several contacts with parents during a trip to the local grocery store. It is also important to provide support and resources for the families of your students, although the specific types will vary depending on your specific population. The role of a principal is to provide strategic direction in the school system. Ron Williamson is a professor of leadership and counseling at Eastern Michigan University. Time is a common roadblock to coordinated parent/family involvement. Salt Lake City, UT: l982. Ron works with middle grades schools across the country and is the author of numerous books including The School Leader’s Guide to Social Media with J. Howard Johnston, and Principalship from A to Z with Barbara Blackburn (2nd Edition available in April 2016). For instance, Wilson and Stansberry (l976) suggest that principals might: --interpret school programs for the community, --determine community expectations of the school, --communicate with parents through the media and in group conferences, --arrange for parents to visit the school, --work with parent associations and related groups, --plan and coordinate the visits of school people to homes of students, --work with industry and community image groups, --determine the community power structure. The design was used to determine the extent effective school-community relations acted as a key performance indicator for the secondary school administrator. Improve the quality of community living. Lewis and Edington (1983) concluded that administrators should recruit teachers with positive community ties. Create a welcome wagon to greet new families and help them with the transition to a new school. SCHOOL AND COMMUNITYRELATIONS Randall B. Lindsey Schools of the 1990s arecharacterized by their continued interaction with the communities they serve.Today's and tomorrow's administrators need to have skills for workingeffectively with the diverse communities in which all schools exist. The only requirement was that they bring their school-age child with them. PERFORMANCE PROFILE OF PRINCIPALS' FUNCTIONS--EVALUATOR TRAINING PROGRAM. It’s important to work with teachers and other staff to become knowledgeable about the diversity present in your school community. WHAT PROBLEMS MIGHT PRINCIPALS ENCOUNTER? --communicate with parents through the media and in group conferences. Working in close collaboration with the community school coordinator, the principal builds partnerships with community based organizations, higher education institutions, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, among others to address the needs of their students, families, and the community. --arrange for parents to visit the school. But a related issue is lack of knowledge or training. And be sure to subscribe to MiddleWeb SmartBrief for the latest middle grades news & commentary from around the USA. Professional training and principal’s administrative roles. Students do best when their parents play four key roles related to their child’s learning: teacher, supporter, advocate, and decision maker. An important part of parent engagement is their sense of efficacy, believing that they can contribute to their child’s education. Every student in your building has a family and comes from a community, both of which influence the student. Keep some of the resource materials in the main office, with a note that more are available in the resource center. McBeath, Gerald A., and others. Seek ways to move beyond the doors of your school and support the larger community. San Marcos, TX: Small Schools Resource Center, 1983. MiddleWeb is all about the middle grades, with great 4-8 resources, book reviews, and guest posts by educators who support the success of young adolescents. Wilson, Alfred P., and Tony L. Stanberry. Personal relationships are important when working with families. The School Leader’s Guide to Social Media, Motivating Struggling Learners: 10 Ways to Build Student Success. Tom runs a course for literacy coaches from around New Jersey, coordinates the Littogether Teacher Leader Project, and is the founder of the New Jersey Literacy Leaders' Network, a learning group of … Even if you do not live in the same community as your students, every family in that community likely knows who you are as the principal of the school. Current governance structures like the School Improvement Team or the PTO may not adequately reflect the diversity of point of view central to a successful plan. Parents, particularly parents of limited means, but also parents from diverse cultures, perceive that the school may not value their knowledge about their own child. You are likely to have new students who enter your school after the start of the year. When a parent and a teacher work together to help a student in a specific subject area, such as reading, students typically improve in that area. Whether the school principal, district public information officer, or the superintendent responds, the basic response should be the same: (1) We are trying to find out what caused the fire to ensure that the school is safe; (2) We have already set up alternative teaching venues, with the cooperation of other staff; (3) We will restore the damaged areas as soon as we can reasonably do so without interfering with the … School principals are warmly committed to having a unit of planned and specialized people on public relations in their schools. The literature repeatedly discusses the importance of both learning from families about their children as well as sharing information about their children’s schooling with them. Learning Now / Reading for the 21st Century, Instant Relevance: Let’s Prep Students for Now, Argument Writing / Create Compose Connect, Promote Student Efficacy and Lifelong Learning, How to Teach Content Vocabulary to Our ELs, Reflection Can Help Us Revive Our Best Selves, Effective Questioning During Virtual Learning, Practical Wisdom for Scholar-Practitioners, Offering Student Choice Using a Menu Strategy, A Vision of Schoolwide Technology Integration, Tools to Grow Students’ Science Understanding, Powered by  - Designed with the Hueman theme. Remember, you both have the same priority: the well-being and learning of the children in your school. Citizens might assist the school principal by doing the following: --serving on staff development planning committees, --identifying resource people in the community, --teaching minicourses on local history, industry, and interesting area people (a district attorney might teach about juvenile justice or a social worker about child abuse) (Pelton 1983), --serving on advisory boards for various programs (Lewis and Edington 1983), --assisting in the recruitment of teachers who fit the community (Seifert and Kurtz 1983; Lewis and Edington 1983). Many parents are eager for an opportunity to provide leadership. SMALL DISTRICT TEACHER STUDY. A population of 240 teachers and 8 principals representing 100% of the teachers and principals made up the population. Improving parent engagement requires an intentional plan of action. Pelton, Mary Helen White. Perceptions of school-community relations by 104 building principals (from a sample of 177 in selected Illinois school districts) reveal ambiguity in support for and direction of school-community relations by school districts, policies and procedures manuals, written guidelines, and budgetary provisions. Provide timely, accurate information to internal and external audiences. Too often school communication occurs just one way, school to family, and is just about problems rather than successes. Parents are often concerned about being dismissed due to language or cultural barriers. PRINCIPALS IN RURAL ALASKA: A DESCRIPTIVE PROFILE. Fairbanks, AK: Center for Cross-Cultural Studies and The Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1983a. Well-developedcommunity relations skills are a necessary component in administrators' beingresponsive to the needs of students and other educators. How: Each nine weeks students will be selected to participate in the … The Principal's Role in School-Community Relations. Connecting with families can be time-consuming, but it is a priority that is critical to the long-term success of your school. Print signs in your building in the languages spoken by school families. "Principals who know and use proven public relations practices have schools where morale is high, parents are involved, and students have a real sense of pride. This is NOT a government sponsored There is growing evidence that well-designed programs and practices that incorporate the school, family, and community benefit students, families, and schools. —Jim Dunn, president-elect, NSPRA Identify ways to meet and talk with families at churches or community centers off campus. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. 3, Develop understanding, enthusiasm, and support for the community's program of public edu­ cation (12:424), All of these purposes must be kept in mind when developing a public relation program. Jake then met with the school principal to learn her perspectives about the community atmosphere in his school. Be creative as you develop options that add to the typical volunteer activities found in most schools. ED 233 839. As you create a library of materials they can access, don’t forget to have material that is written in appropriate language. As stated earlier, do not rely on a single book or training session to form generalizations about poor or Latino families. Small school principals have the opportunity to interact with the community in many ways that may help to develop positive relations. Be strategic, work with your school board to create an innovative new 21 st century strategic plan to drive the school successfully into the future. This site exists to provide the text of the public domain ERIC Documents Parents received hundreds of dollars of services, the students participated in fun activities, and the bonds between the school, families, and community were strengthened tremendously. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators, 1983. Just as two-way communication is essential, so is creating opportunities for families of diverse backgrounds to share their knowledge and skills. Seek opportunities for parents of limited means to participate in decision-making groups. Too often, much of that time is negative, coming after a major discipline problem or crisis. Browse Rita’s 2020 List! Because of limited time, principals need to determine carefully the most feasible methods for evaluating each situation. ED 230 337. "Ten Best Ways to Get the Community to Come to the School." Be sure to share necessary information about the school, but also include topics of interest to parents. Be sensitive to the diversity in your community. Barbara can be reached through her website or her blog. Don’t rely on a parent engagement program based solely on fund-raising or other resource-focused programs. Another way principals can contribute to the community is by recruiting community-minded teachers, as several studies have indicated. The responsibility for raising a well-educated and civic-minded generation of children cannot rest solely with schools. There are also benefits for teachers. Schools often create structures for parents to share information, but those systems are typically built on middle-class norms about when and how to interact with the school. You can build a terrific center for families, but if no one uses it, you have wasted your time. Their involvement makes the training more authentic and signals the community that you are committed to learning about and respecting the diversity present in your school. Teacher Evaluator. He is currently the principal of Stony Lane Elementary School in Paramus, New Jersey. TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION STRATEGIES FOR SMALLER SCHOOLS. Please note that this site is privately owned and is in no way related They are aware of the stereotypes present among school employees and other parents and may resist participating in parent activities where those stereotypes may be displayed. He was a middle grades teacher, principal and executive director of instruction in Ann Arbor, MI. Possible means of evaulation include: --needs assessments conducted among local businesses and/or citizens' groups to determine community needs for various programs, --citizen/faculty/administration team reviews of school relations, --surveys of staff memberships in churches, service clubs, and other organizations. Principal is the bridge between community and school. The short answer is, no. Parent involvement is more than a monthly meeting at the school; it is the sum of all your interactions with parents and family members of your students. CONCLUSION Based on the findings of the study, we conclude that there is more to effective school-community relations order than the principals’ management techniques. Too often, much of that time is negative, coming after a major discipline problem or crisis. RURAL TEACHERS AND COMMUNITY SCHOOLS IN ALASKA. Teachers who involve parents have a more positive attitude about families and stereotype them less. McBeath, Gerald A., and others. HOW CAN PRINCIPALS INCREASE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT? Siefert, Edward H., and William H. Kurtz. Manhattan, KS: Center for the Study of Principalship, 1976. Bruner, Howard. Finally, publicize what you are offering. --determine community expectations of the school. If you are attempting to implement a change in your school, their support will also be critical. Good intentions are noble, but a systematic, sustained commitment requires planning and resource allocation. A large part of any school principal’s job is to handle student discipline. Is “Engagement” Enough in the New Normal? McBeath and others (1983a) found that administrators felt assigning homework was a way of involving parents in the school. Your outreach must be culturally sensitive and specific to each cultural group. Similarly, parents of limited means share these concerns and resist participating in programs where involvement or recognition is determined by the economic resources you can contribute to the school. THE SMALL SCHOOL FORUM 3 (1981):21-22. Talking to Our Students about the Capitol Riots, A Toolbox Packed with Practical Math Ideas, Rocking the Constitution in Grade 8 History Class, 9 Ways to Support Staff and Teachers Right Now. Another alternative is to create family support groups that deal with topics identified by parents and family members. Unfortunately, schools with a strong sense of community are fairly rare. All parents want to be active partners in their children’s education. In addition, recruitment materials should include community information (Seifert and Kurtz 1983). The most successful teachers appear to be those who are welcome in community homes, participate in community activities, and invite community members to their homes (McBeath and others 1983b). If you have a large percentage of families who do not speak English as their native language, provide language training so that you and your teachers can communicate on a basic level with the family members. Seifert and Kurtz (l983), as well as Lewis and Edington (1983), advise principals to involve community members in recruiting and selecting teachers who fit their communities. A community resource map can come in the form of a hand-drawn map (use a graphic facilitator), Google Map, Mind Map or even a spreadsheet with some visual outputs. Most teachers and employees share a middle class background and view the role of parents through their own experience. 1983. It’s important to remember that, just as you balance the common needs of all your students with specific, individual attention, you will need to do the same with the families in your school. Charlton, Colleen A. Implement a Greeter Program. As a principal, you likely spend time working with parents and other family members of your students. HOW CAN PRINCIPALS EVALUATE SCHOOL-COMMUNITY RELATIONS? Counsel school board members on appropriate role in a crisis or emergency. Create and publicize sponsorship and donation needs throughout your community, to give local organizations and businesses the opportunity to partner with your school. 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