Chapter 6: Strengthen Partnership Programs in Middle and High Schools

Three articles in this chapter provide details for more effective and equitable programs of school, family, and community partnerships in middle grades and high schools.

  • The first article identifies examples of age-appropriate and goal-linked activities for the six types of involvement and challenges that must be solved to ensure a welcoming climate of partnerships and to increase student success in secondary schools.
  • The second article summarizes the results of a study of over 11,000 parents of high school students. The study was one of the first to show that, regardless of students’ background and prior achievement, high schools’ practices of family and community engagement positively influenced students’ academic and behavioral outcomes through Grade 12.
  • The third article guides secondary schools, step by step, to take a goal-linked approach in planning their partnership programs. This article reinforces the guidelines in other chapters and will be useful to schools at all levels.

Chapter 6 supplements the examples for elementary schools in Chapters 4 and 5. The CD includes the following information and tools from Chapter 6 for easy printing and distribution at workshops for ATPs from middle grades and high schools.

Reach Middle and High School Goals Through Partnerships

CD 6_1

CD 6_1s (Spanish)

Handbook pp. 230–237

Show how the six types of involvement can be targeted to attain specific goals to improve the school climate and produce results for student success in the middle and high school grades. The activities involve families and community partners in ways that help students make successful transitions to the next school level, improve attendance, increase reading achievement, improve math skills, improve student health, plan for postsecondary education, and create a welcoming school environment.

These slides supplement the examples of activities for elementary schools on pages 163–166 and on the Handbook CD. If a workshop is attended by ATPs from elementary, middle, and high schools, leaders should select a group of slides that that illustrate how the six types of involvement apply to goals at all school lev- els, as shown in the PowerPoint presentation on the Handbook CD. Leaders may print and distribute these pages as a useful reference to ATPs by school level. Note that all activities may be adapted for use in other grade levels and customized for local  needs.

Why Partnerships Are Important in Middle and High Schools

CD 6_2

CD 6_2s (Spanish)

Handbook p. 238

Review eight research findings that explain why programs of school, family, and community partnerships are important in secondary schools.

Special Considerations for Middle and High Schools

CD 6_3

Handbook p. 239

ATPs may discuss several common challenges in middle and high schools that must be addressed to help ATPs establish and sustain successful programs of family and community engagement. The list reflects lessons learned from middle and high schools that are working to improve their partnership programs.

Transitions: Involve Families When Students Move to New Schools

CD 6_4

Plan to involve students and families in activities that will make it easier for students to transition and adjust to a new school. Page four of a school’s One-Year Action Plan for Partnerships may include activities that welcome students and their families to the school. This includes activities conducted collaboratively by feeder and receiver schools to prepare students and their families for a forthcoming transition (i.e., from preschool to elementary, elementary to middle, or middle to high school). The Transitions template enables an ATP to think about its students’ moves in and out of the school.

ATPs also may select “successful transitions” as a behavioral goal for student success on page three of the One-Year Action Plan for Partnerships. In that case, ATPs may select, design, and schedule family and community engagement activities to support students and their families new to the school, transitioning to the next grade level, and transitioning to the next school level.