School, Family, and Community Partnerships:
Your Handbook for Action, Third Edition

Joyce L. Epstein, Mavis G. Sanders, Steven B. Sheldon,
Beth S. Simon, Karen Clark Salinas, Natalie Rodriguez Jansorn,
Frances L. Van Voorhis, Cecelia S. Martin, Brenda G. Thomas,
Marsha D. Greenfeld, Darcy J. Hutchins, Kenyatta J. Williams

This user-friendly handbook guides school, district, and state leaders to organize and implement positive and permanent programs of school, family, and community partnerships. The Third Edition includes research summaries and useful tools for developing and evaluating programs of family and community involvement. 

A CD comes with the Third Edition.  It provides a PowerPoint presentation to conduct the NNPS One-Day Team Training Workshop, copies of workshop handouts, activities, planning and evaluation forms, and selected Spanish translations of workshop materials.

The handbook focuses on schools because that is where the children are. It is designed to guide the work of Action Teams for Partnerships (ATPs) consisting of teachers, parents, administrators, and others. The information, forms, and activities in the handbook also enable district and state leaders support, facilitate, and reward the work of their schools.

Ten chapters offer step-by-step strategies to improve leadership and programs of school, family, and community connections.

Chapter 1: A Comprehensive Framework for School, Family, and Community Partnerships. This chapter summarizes the theory and research on which the Handbook is based. The first article describes the framework of the Six Types of Involvement, identifies challenges that must be met, and results of well-implemented partnership programs. It also discusses an Action Team approach for developing comprehensive programs of partnership. The second article presents an overview of how school-community connections can be organized to strengthen partnership programs.  The third article, new in the Third Edition, summarizes research on the results of family and community involvement for student success in school in reading, math, science, attendance, behavior, and other outcomes.

Chapter 2: Using the Framework in Practice: Stories from the Field. Examples from elementary, middle, and high schools illustrate how the Six Types of Involvement and Action Team approach work in various schools and communities.  The examples show how elementary, middle, and high schools are working to create a welcoming climate for partnerships and to implement partnerships that contribute to student success.

Chapter 3: Taking an Action Team Approach. Twelve common questions are addressed on organizing effective ATPs. Several tools and guidelines are included to help develop strong and successful teams.

Chapter 4: Conducting Workshops. Agendas are provided for state, district, or school leaders to conduct team-training workshops and end-of-year celebration workshops for schools' ATPs. The chapter includes suggested "scripts" and activities to help workshop leaders cover key topics, themes, and activities.  These workshops, which prepare educators, parents, and community partners to work together, are important professional development activities.

Chapter 5: Selecting Materials for Presentations and Workshops. Charts and diagrams are supplied which may be reproduced as handouts, and activities for the workshops described in Chapter 4 and other presentations. These materials enable workshop leaders to present and discuss the framework of the six types of involvement, challenges to meet, results of partnerships, team structures, and how to write a One-Year Plan for partnerships. The same materials are on the Handbook CD for easy printing, along with a PowerPoint presentation for the full Team-Training Workshop.

Chapter 6: Strengthening Partnership Programs in Middle and High Schools. Three articles summarize research and practical approaches to family and community involvement in secondary schools. Additional reproducible materials are included to use in workshops attended by middle and high school ATPs and in presentations to leaders who will assist middle and high schools with their partnership programs.

Chapter 7: Developing State and District Leadership for Partnerships. District and state leadership activities are outlined to increase expertise on school, family, and community partnerships. Information is included on the costs of partnership programs and sources of funds. Checklists are provided to help state and district leaders organize their partnership programs. Two new inventories are included in the Third Edition to help district and state leaders for partnerships to plan and improve their programs and practices.

Chapter 8: Implementing Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS). Two research-based partnership approaches are described. TIPS Interactive Homework increases family involvement with students at home in positive conversations about schoolwork. TIPS Volunteers in Social Studies and Art increase family and community involvement at school by organizing volunteers to present art "masterpieces" linked to units in history to increase students' art appreciation. The chapter includes sample interactive homework assignments for the elementary, middle, and high school grades, and a sample social studies and art presentation.

Chapter 9: Planning and Evaluating Your Partnership Program. The Third Edition includes a new chapter on the importance of evaluating school-based partnership programs every year.  It includes essential “built in” tools in the Handbook that help elementary, middle, and high schools evaluate the merits of every activity that is implemented and a measure to assess the progress of their partnership programs.

Chapter 10: Networking for Best Results on Partnerships. Information is provided for readers of this Handbook to join other schools, districts, and states in the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University. A Web-map is included for readers to obtain more information about NNPS, about promising practices in schools across the country, and about partnership program development.

The handbook is based on knowledge gained over many years of research on partnerships and on field work with thousands of teachers, administrators, families, and students in schools and communities cities across the country. In elementary, middle, and high schools, teachers and administrators want to know how to work with families in positive ways. Parents want to know how to help their children succeed in school, how to recognize and ensure high quality education for their children, and how to support and improve school programs. Students want to succeed in school, but often need guidance and encouragement from many sources. These different needs and interests can be met in research-based and goal-linked programs of school-family-community partnerships that encourage all who are interested in children to work effectively together.

NNPS provides one copy of the Handbook to each school, district, state, and organization that joins the network.

Additional copies of School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action, Third Edition and CD may be ordered from Corwin Press for $43.95 (paper) plus shipping/handling.  

To order call 800-233-9936 or go to Ask about discounts for large quantity orders at 800-831-6640.