Examining family-school partnerships
By Michael J. Coutts, Shannon R. Holmes, Sonya A. Bhatia, and Amanda L. Moen
This article identifies family-school partnerships as a distinct form of family involvement in which teachers and caregivers collaborate to address children's needs. From an ecological perspective, the authors propose some defining features of family-school partnerships. These include collaboration on child-focused goals, shared responsibility and decision making, inclusion of all pertinent parties, building strengths and promoting skills, and an emphasis on continuity across systems (Christenson & Sheridan, 2001; Clarke et al., 2010; Crosnoe et al., 2010; Daniel, 2011; Garbacz et al., 2008; Jones, 2010; Sheridan & Kratochwill, 2008). Current research is described, which indicates that family-school partnerships have a significant effect on children's academic, behavioral, social and emotional outcomes. Practice implications, the need for consensus regarding the features of family-school partnerships, and the importance of developing consistent methods for measuring the effectiveness of family-school partnerships is addressed. Limitations to current research and suggestions for future research are also presented.