4A Framework in the Community
The following set of local practices present examples of how communities can develop effective programs within the 4A framework.
Attendance Every Day
Building a Partnership
In Indianapolis, Ind., Emma Donnan Middle School set new expectations for attendance at the beginning of the school year. It went from 50% to 85% of students attending the first day of school. The school communicated a clear process for monitoring student attendance, including the identification of all “no shows” with calls by administrators daily. Students with struggling attendance were assigned to make presentations to students in elementary school about the importance of attending school. Monthly parent newsletters are bilingual and always include an attendance focus on the front page. School social workers offered bus tickets and alarm clocks to help parents create a consistent routine of going to school. The school also held parent focus groups identify strategies to promote attendance and had them help create a parent-student compact related to attendance.
- For more information about the important role that school attendance plays in achievement and for additional in-depth community examples related to boosting attendance every day, visit Attendance Works.
Achievement Every Year
Boost Student Performance with Literacy Programs
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading aims at closing the gap in reading achievement by increasing the percent of low-income children who read at or above grade-level by the end of third grade. The more than 120 cities, towns, and counties that are a part of the Grade-Level Reading Community Network, have all adopted a collective impact strategy that engages stakeholders from every sector, including community members, parents, funders, nonprofit leaders, and government officials, in an effort to close the readiness and attendance gaps, and prevent summer learning loss.
- For more information, visit The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading website.
Support Learning at Home
The Parent Academy of Montgomery County Public Schools’ Department of Family and Community Partnerships builds the capacity of parents to support learning at home. Free workshops are offered at several accessible locations around the county. Free interpretation and child care are offered for all participants and registration for workshops is made easy for parents—by phone, mail, or online. Each year, over a thousand parents from all over the county participate and benefit from the program with open dialogue and student success.
- For more information, email Eric Davis, Director of Family & Community Partnerships at [email protected] or visit the Parent Academy Website.
Attainment Over Time
Creating a College-Bound Culture
Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams) is an integrated approach that includes scholarships for students meeting achievement and participation goals, summer institutes on college campuses, parental and community involvement, social services and academic enrichment programs at the school site, and interventions at “feeder schools” of participating high schools. Project GRAD in Houston has a separate program that caters specifically to parents to increase their knowledge and understanding of the academic preparation required for their children to access a variety of post-secondary options so that every child realizes their greatest potential. Each Project GRAD school has campus-based professionals to provide dropout prevention, counseling, community outreach, and family-case management services to all at-risk children. As a result, students and their parents learn how to access the private and public community resources that will help them meet their social, economic, health needs and appreciate the value and importance of education.
- For more information, visit Project Grad Houston.
Developing Community Partnerships
Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and Alignment Nashville have created a task force to develop a comprehensive parent education program in collaboration with Nashville’s non-profit community. Several organizations are already providing effective parent education programs in the community, but there is no central repository for this wealth of information. Therefore, the MNPS and Alignment Nashville have developed a Parent University model that provides a variety of workshops at no cost and is open to all MNPS families. All workshops focus on the information and resources necessary for parents to take an active role in their children’s education. Finally, literacy enrichment workshops are also provided for children who attend the conference with their parents.
- For more information about Alignment Nashville’s Parent University, please visit the website .
Advocacy For All
Training Parents as Advocates
The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL) offers a variety of programs aimed at bringing together parents, teachers, community members, and school administrators for training, information, and experiences that will help them work as partners to raise student achievement. CIPL has a well-developed curriculum to help parents understand how the state reform law works; how to build productive partnerships with school staff, parents, and community members; and how to access and use data on student performance both to hold schools accountable and to develop programs to improve achievement.
In many schools, teams of parents have attended the program and developed joint projects to improve science instruction, open after-school programs, increase the number of students applying to college, and help students and families with the transition to middle or high school.