Partnership schools offer a new way of effectively passing on education to students through parents and stakeholders involvement. They create a freedom to design, plan and implement the schools overall educational program. Through such freedom, the school can spend their money and make their schedule comfortably. As well, they can hire new teachers, formulate and implement their instructional program as well as forge stronger ties with the community enhancing efficient learning. The paper below discusses the four versions of family-school partnerships
The first version is partnership schools. The adaptation offers building relationships. Here, every family and each community member have something, however little, that they can provide to help enhance the learning of the students (Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies, 2007).To facilitate and further contribute to the maintenance of this relationship, family centers where parents can participate in workshops and borrow videotape is availed by the school. More so, automated phone messages on parenting and child rearing at each grade level are always kept open. Additionally, the parents are trained on how to create and maintain conditions that support learning at home through suggestions. Moreover, they manage to prepare in courses like family literacy and family support programs to assist and ensure the familys nutrition, and health is intact (Adelman, & Taylor, 2003). As well, the school makes visits to homes with children in pre-school, elementary, middle, and high school. Furthermore, every new child admitted by the school receives a special visit. As a community, the neighbors meet to help families understand schools as well as, help the schools understand families. Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies (2007) state that from the close interaction between the parents and the schools, the former can pass on usable information relating to the childs needs, talent, background and culture making their learning successful.
The second version is open-door school. The version offers sharing power. Open-door-school system recognizes the communitys influence in running the school. A representative from the community is given a seat on the schools council. The school prepares the agenda for the PTA meetings but allows the parents freedom to raise issues that may not have been addressed in detail. Additionally, parents can be appointed to the PTA and they are even allowed to use the schools office as well as significantly influence the schools program (Roberts, & Pruitt, 2008). Moreover, parents can comfortably approach the schools head to discuss matters that are privately related to their child. Hence, they participate in making academic decisions concerning their child. The parents are more than welcomed to form a group of their own to pursue their agenda for the benefit of the schools running (Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies, 2007). For instance, parents can help raise extra money to help facilitate their childs training or purchase new attires for the team. In a bid to create uniformity, families with the low-income base are dully considered as well as their children in the schools programs. As Adelman, & Taylor, (2003) aver, the uniformity is possible through availing of portable classrooms as their resource center and availing of scholarship programs.
The third version is come-if-we-call school. The version offers sharing power. The system works based on a distinct line between experts and the helping hand. Experts, the school personnel, know best about the childrens academic success. Thus, they are tasked with significant decision-making responsibilities. Parents assistance is needed when the children are at home or when called. The communitys role is minimal compared to the parents, but in case they wish to pass information to the school, they are to approach the school board (Roberts, & Pruitt, 2008). Additionally, the schools head prepares the agenda for the parent meeting basing on his expatriate judgment of what is good for the schools running, after liaising with the teachers. The plan for the meeting is then communicated to the PTA/PTO who proceeds to inform the parents. The parents role is primarily to help the child fall in line with the program through following up with the child or confirming with the teachers concerned, in case the need arises (Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies, 2007). Given that parents are not experts when it comes to educational matters they influence very little the school program, however, they can help solve individual problems relating to their child.
The fourth version is fortress school. The version offers building relationships. Under the fortress education system, the family and the school staff do not have close ties. Communication between teachers and the childrens parents happens rarely. However, the few co-operative parents who are more familiar with the educational matters can have an audience with the principal (Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies, 2007). The system runs on its own without outside interference and influence by any community groups. It is vital that community influence and interference by the parents be kept out of the school. Consequently, if at all a parent wishes to come into the school compound, it is imperative that they go through security clearance. The system operates with an assumption that most parents from minority families do not value their childs educational success enough, to involve them in their childs education (Roberts, & Pruitt, 2008). The school does not seek minority familys opinion on how best to improve the childs performance, given that as the childs teacher they are more skilled (Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies, 2007). The relationship between the school and the family, as well as the community around, does not create room for any outside influence in the planning and implementation of the schools overall strategy.
In summary, school partnerships have effectively contributed to improving the learning process through having a shared vision and collective knowledge. The system creates room for continuous adaption of new ideas and ways of handling different issues arising in the daily running of the school system.
Adelman, H.S. & Taylor, L. (2003). School-Community Relations Policy and Practice. In
M.S. Fishbaugh, T.R. Berkeley, & G. Schroth (Eds.), Ensuring Sage School Environments: Exploring issues-seeking solutions. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Retrieved from http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/publications/39 school community relations policy and practice.pdf.
Henderson, A.T., Mapp, K.L., Johnson, V.R., & Davies, D. (2007). Beyond the bake sale:
The essential guide to family-school partnerships. New York: NY: New Press.Roberts, S.M. & Pruitt, E.Z. (2008). Strategies for effective collaboration with parents,
Schools and community members. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
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