A Developmental Framework for School-Community Partnerships

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Close connections between schools and their communities reflect maxims such as ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ and are a centerpiece of the neighborhood schools movement. The public debate and consternation about school closings and/or reorganizations are clear indications of how we value school-community relationships. Although school-community partnerships are inarguably ‘a good thing,’ [...]

Measuring Supportive School Relationships to Foster Student Achievement

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Careful consideration of institutional and school-level data is an important tool to foster student success and to develop targeted services that reduce achievement gaps and/or help struggling schools identify domains in need of targeted intervention. While ‘hard data’ such as these are vital components of school success and data-driven decision-making, consideration of ‘hard data’ shouldn’t [...]

Community Connections: Building Strong Relationships with Communities in an Effort to Better Serve ELL Students

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Schools with significant populations of ELLs in their communities face many different challenges as they think through how to bridge the school-community gap. Although making community connections is important for all schools, the language and cultural differences between educators and business and church leaders in these areas of high ELL concentrations can certainly make the [...]

Beyond Translation: Connecting with Parents of ELLs

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It’s so easy to say that schools need to forge stronger ties with their students’ parents. However, the reality of doing that can certainly be a challenge, particularly when working with the parents of English language learners (ELLs). Often, the parents of ELL students face similar, if not more pronounced, challenges communicating in English as [...]

Factors Affecting Language Acquisition

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Educators know that students learn content and skills at very different rates. Most likely, you’ve seen some students excel, grasping new concepts very quickly, while other students need more time or any number of other pedagogical supports to aid their learning. In our article last month, we talked about Krashen and Terrell’s (1983) five major second [...]

Instructional Leadership at Work

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As a high school math teacher at a charter school in Boston, I struggled to teach algebra to students with varying levels of math skills. Some entered my classroom still needing to master changing fractions to decimals and percentages, while others were ready to grapple with the quadratic equation, point-slope form and writing linear equations. [...]

The Stories We Can Tell Using Culturally-Situated Data Dialogues

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When we talk about race, race matters; when we don’t talk about race, race matters. This is one of several arguments that educational researcher Mica Pollock makes in her book, Colormute, to underscore many educators’ inability to talk explicitly about race in meaningful ways in schools. Her statement highlights our need to acknowledge and respond to the [...]