School Engagement Framework

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The role of the principal extends beyond leadership within the walls of the school. To be truly effective, the principal must extend his or her influence outside of the school and engage the larger community the school is located within. As stated in the North Carolina School Executive Rubric for Evaluation and Self-Assessment, “schools no longer reflect but, in fact, build community, the leader proactively creates with staff.” As this vital role has shifted, it has become a primary goal for every school leader to not only gain the support of parents and other community stakeholders but also create a shared vision of the school's goals that incorporate the influences and perspectives of all stakeholders within the school.
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Epstein and her colleagues developed a school engagement framework based on six indicators of school involvement (2004):
• Parenting: to support families with information on home conditions, skills, and learning support for children at each age and grade level.
• Communicating: Reaching out to families to provide timely information about school events and student progress through a channel of two-way communication.
• Volunteering: Empower educators to work with parents and community members to improve recruitment, training, and attendance of volunteer stakeholders.
• Learning at Home: Improve methods for including parents in the academic learning processes outside of the school building; including homework, curriculum-based projects, and personalized
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They examined six schools in a Midwestern state while implementing culturally responsive practices, interventions, and support systems to improve communication, parent involvement, and overall satisfaction with the school. They selected student and family focus groups of varying races/ethnicities, socioeconomic status, academic achievement, and grade levels for their study. Baker, et al. (2016) were able to identify five primary themes common to both families and school staff: providing opportunities for involvement, improving communication, welcoming families into the building, time conflicts or making time, and overcoming negative school experiences (Baker, et al., 2016). Their findings have been condensed and compiled into the information found in the table below (Figure

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