Monday, March 13, 2006

It takes a village....

Growing up outside of Chicago, I don't honestly remember my mom and dad playing much of a role in my education other than helping me with homework, attending parent-teacher conferences, and occassionally baking cookies for special events. I didn't feel especially deprived. In fact, as a teenager, I probably was thankful that my parents stayed away from school -- the threat of the chicken dance or some other humiliating parental outburst certainly loomed large.

But the long-honored tradition of distance between families and their schools has evolved since the '60s and '70s. Educators have realized that indeed, it takes a village to educate a child. And scholars are backing up what now seems like common sense with bucket-loads of research.

It all points to one conclusion: "When schools build partnerships with families that respond to their concerns, honor their contributions, and share power, they are able to sustain connections that are aimed at improving student achievement," (National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education website).

The question is then, what is JIS currently doing right in terms of building the partnership between the school and the JIS community? And what could it do better? For example, I think the weekly bulletins from each campus are a great start in terms of communications. How could they be more helpful? Any other ideas on how we could create the collaborative climate at JIS that will make JIS a better place for all our children?


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