When schools, families and the community work together, children benefit. School staff, families and community members each make important contributions to student development and success, and the best results come when all three work together as equal partners.
No matter what their income or background, students with involved families tend to have higher grades and test scores, better attendance, and higher rates of homework completion. They enroll in more challenging classes, have better social skills and behavior, and are more likely to graduate and go on to college.
The purpose of these school-family-community partnerships is to support students’ success in school and through life.
Studies of effective and systemic school-family-community partnerships reveal common characteristics:
- A shared responsibility with schools and other community organizations committed to engaging families in meaningful, culturally respectful ways as well as families actively supporting their children’s learning and development;
- Continuous across a student’s life, beginning in infancy and extending through college and career preparation programs; and
- Carried out everywhere that children learn including homes, early childhood education programs, schools, after-school programs, faith-based institutions, playgrounds, and community settings.
Taken together, this research-based definition supports the creation of pathways to partnerships that honor the dynamic, multiple and complementary ways that children learn and grow.