Principals Matter: A Guide to School, Family, and Community Partnerships

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Mavis G. Sanders, Steven B. Sheldon
SAGE Publications, Apr 27, 2009 - Education - 146 pages
'Addresses specific populations that are often alienated by schools: fathers, parents of children with disabilities, and families of poverty. It provides a good overview of key research on the topic of family involvement in schools, its impact, and practices for obtaining involvement'

--William Ruff, Assistant Professor

Montana State University

'An excellent book. Each chapter opens with relevant research and presents suggestions for practical applications. I would buy this book for a task force or professional learning community'

--Julie C. Burger, Principal

Frederick Leighton Elementary School, Oswego, NY

Research has shown that strong principal leadership is critical to developing effective school partnerships that include diverse school, family and community members. This book provides administrators with a clear road map for initiating partnership programs that are goal-focused, equitable, and sustainable.

In this research-based resource, the authors highlight the work of principals who have cultivated successful partnerships across many settings to show other school leaders how they can develop the necessary supportive school cultures. Examining the administrator's role in the success and quality of home-school partnerships and student outcomes, this guidebook:

- Synthesizes research on principal leadership, school and community partnerships, and urban education reform

- Discusses the role of fathers in children's learning and working with families that live in poverty, are linguistically diverse, or have children with disabilities

- Offers practical recommendations for evaluating and refining partnership programs to ensure they are linked with student achievement goals.

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About the author (2009)

Mavis G. Sanders is assistant professor of education in the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education, research scientist at the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR), and senior advisor to the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of many articles on the effects of school, family, and community support on African American adolescents’ school success, the impact of partnership programs on the quality of family and community involvement, and international research on partnerships. She is interested in how schools involve families that are traditionally hard to reach, how schools meet challenges for implementing excellent programs and practices, and how schools define “community” and develop meaningful school-family-community connections. Her most recent book is Schooling Students Placed at Risk: Research, Policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2000). She earned her PhD in education from Stanford University.

Steven B. Sheldon is a research scientist with the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and director of research of NNPS at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of many publications on the implementation and effects of programs for family and community involvement. His work explores how the quality and outreach of school programs of partnerships affect parents’ responses and student outcomes, such as student attendance, math achievement, student behavior, reading, and state achievement test scores. His most recent book guides principals in their leadership and work on school, family, and community partnerships (with Mavis Sanders, Corwin Press, 2009). In his current research, Sheldon is studying the influences of parents’ social networks, beliefs, and school outreach on patterns of parental involvement at school and at home and results for students. He earned his PhD in educational psychology from Michigan State University.

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