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Thursday, January 18th, 2018

About Family-School-Community Partnerships

When schools partner with parents and community organizations, there are positive results. “Families, schools and community organizations all contribute to student achievement; the best results come when all three work together.”  - Mapp & Henderson

Families, schools and communities share responsibility for the academic achievement of all students. Family-School-Community (F-S-C) partnerships utilize family support principles and community collaboration strategies. They:

  • Emphasize effective communication among partners;
  • Provide opportunities for trust and respect to grow;
  • Improve the quality of family participation with their children in schools;
  • Build linkages among families, schools and community organizations; and
  • Make more effective use of community resources.

In these partnerships parents of children enrolled in school are involved with school administrators, teachers, support staff and community stakeholders such as health and human service organizations, faith-based organizations, community and economic development groups, service clubs and residents.

Partnering together, they create action plans that build on the assets of the community and all its stakeholders. They engage families, teachers and administrators as well as community members to design a family-friendly school environment.  

No Child Left Behind requires schools to develop effective parent involvement practices. It invites parents to share the responsibility for their children’s academic success by being more involved with schools. Community organizations and residents have resources that support both school staff and families in these efforts. PA PIRC provides training and consultation services that support the growth and development of Family-School-Community Partnerships.

PA PIRC offers three unique services to promote parent involvement and student achievement through F-S-C partnerships:

  1. “Working Together for Student Success: The Importance of NCLB for Families” provides basic information about No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements, and identifies successful family and community engagement practices. This presentation may be made at your school, community recreation center or other locations. 
  2. Solid Foundation® is available to selected schools in Pennsylvania. This family-school partnership model includes a comprehensive needs assessment, guidance to create an action plan that addresses that school community’s goals, and support with implementation efforts.
  3. PA PIRC collaborates with the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University to support the development of effective, goal-linked programs of family and community involvement in districts and schools across the state.
  4. Workshops, materials and technical assistance are available regionally. The content and support services are designed to help family members, school staff and community organization staff work together effectively to support children’s development and academic success and to produce stronger communities.


Solid Foundation® is a school-based, team process that helps:

  • Strengthen family-school connections;
  • Engage parents in children's learning; and
  • Improve student academic and social learning.

Click here to access information about Solid Foundation ® and their resources.

Illinois-based Academic Development Institute and PA PIRC have partnered to provide the Solid Foundation® parent engagement process to 99 Pennsylvania schools. The three year process of service and support, provided through the PA PIRC (Pennsylvania Parent Information and Resource Center), is tailored to the resources and needs of each school.

Solid Foundation® improves student achievement through parent engagement. The strategies focus on engaging parents in meaningful ways with their child’s academic and social progress.

Solid Foundation® was developed by Academic Development Institute. Solid Foundation® has been used as a component of comprehensive school reform work, and is currently being implemented in several states. The program is grounded in effective, research-based, proven strategies. 

A study of schools implementing Solid Foundation® program for building a school community, published by the Harvard Family Research Project, found that the gain on state assessment tests demonstrated by these schools over a two year period was nearly double that of a control group of schools with identical beginning scores. 


National Network of Partnership Schools

National Network of Partnership Schools guides school teams of educators, parents, and community partners to use a research-based framework of six types of involvement (parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the community) to plan and conduct comprehensive partnership programs. Researchers and facilitators at Johns Hopkins University train and assist school, district, state and organization leaders to understand, implement, evaluate, and continually improve goal oriented partnership programs.  Researchers, educators, families, and policy leaders work together to improve the effectiveness and effects of family and community involvement.

PA PIRC assists Pennsylvania’s district leaders and their schools in implementing NNPS to strengthen their programs of family and community involvement in ways that increase student achievement and success.  This focus is to help districts and schools fulfill state and local policies and goals for improving parental involvement, and meet the requirements for family involvement in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).


Nationally over 1000 schools, over 150 districts, 21 states and many organization use NNPS’s research-based approaches to improve the quality of family and community involvement and results for students.  

To learn more about NNPS click here.