School-family-community partnerships are collaborative and mutual relationships among school personnel, families, and community volunteers and organizations such as universities (Bryan & Henry, 2012). These partnerships have also been identified as multiparty collaborations, whereby multiple stakeholders representative of a school community can collectively explore solutions to pressing problems that must extend beyond individual approaches to problem-solving (Mellin et al., 2015). Researchers have identified the positive effects that such partnerships can have on students’ academic performance, attendance, and discipline (Epstein & Van Voorhis, 2010; Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Lee & Shute, 2010).
Several scholars have suggested that parent engagement has also been associated with improved academic success, including better attendance and higher test scores and grades (González & Jackson, 2013; Zhang, Hsu, Kwok, Benz, & Bowman-Perrott, 2011); and some investigators (González and Jackson, 2013) found that family engagement in decision making, combined with open communication between school stakeholders and families, was correlated with positive year-end data on reading and math performance among kindergarteners. Furthermore, educator practices that promote alliance building and open dialogue among school community members have been associated with positive school climate and a reduction in conflict (Acevedo-Gil, 2016; Nagda, McCoy, & Barrett, 2006).
Deliberate efforts to integrate culturally relevant activities and events may have helped to strengthen partnership relationships. Researchers have identified the importance of providing cultural enrichment activities for families as a vehicle for facilitating a sense of connectedness between school and community members and reducing isolation, particularly in urban settings (Yull, Blitz, Thompson, & Murray, 2014).
IINII uses a revolutionary Design Thinking process to help your school community gain an understanding of one’s sense of self, as well as developing an understanding of students’ and parents’ values; having an understanding of one’s values matters because research has shown that it is linked to better well-being, less stress, and increased confidence in one’s ability to succeed.
Understanding students’ values can be developed with culturally sustaining practices that reflect a student’s identity and experience. Particularly helpful is focusing efforts on cultural competence and relevance and providing opportunities for students to practice bridging differences between diverse identities in a safe environment. To learn how you can create a dynamic youth-centered environment that honors the unique values of your students and parents, and helps build a dynamic community partnership, visit our website at www.iinii.org, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800-507-2502.