Changing Standards, Changing Relationships: Building Family-School Relationships to Promote Achievement in High Schools

August, 1998
Melissa Roderick, Susan Stone, Michael Arney, James Chiong, Kneia DaCosta, and Elaine Waxman
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Most educators agree that the extent to which children receive day-to-day home support for their work in school is critical in determining how well they do in school. This is as true during adolescence as it is during the elementary school years. However, after the transition to high school parents often become less involved with their children's homework and are less likely to talk with their children about school work and educational plans. Until recently, few high school teachers saw it as their role to work with parents in reversing this decline. Now, more and more high schools are placing a high priority on finding new ways of working with parents.

This research brief examines family-school relationships during the early high school years. What are high school teachers doing and saying about their relationships with parents and how does this differ across types of CPS high schools? How have family-school relationships changed over time? And what are parents' own views, experiences, and concerns? To address these questions, this study drew upon surveys of teachers and students, interviews of parents of freshmen, telephone surveys and site visits to schools to collect information on current approaches to parent involvement.

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