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Network Created To Share Ideas On the Parent-School Connection

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Twenty-four schools serving 15 urban areas have been selected for membership in the League of Schools Reaching Out, a newly formed network designed to share ideas on parental and community involvement in schools.

The schools were chosen by the Institute for Responsive Education, a Boston-based group that is studying new approaches to improving relationships between schools, parents, and the community.

According to ire officials, the schools have all initiated one or more successful programs in that area and serve urban populations, especially low-income communities.

Schools in the network will share information, materials, and other resources, which may eventually include grants, the officials said. In May, league members will take part in a national videoconference linked with an ire conference in Boston.

Over the past two years, the ire has been studying the effects of parental involvement on students in lab schools in Boston and New York. A report on those findings will be released in June. Ire officials said the results may lead to further initiatives for the league, including the addition of new members.
Parental and community involvement in schools can "break the link between poverty and school failure," said Don Davies, the ire's executive director.

The institute's research has indicated that efforts by schools to reach out to families and communities can have such beneficial effects as improving student academic and social success, reducing absenteeism and tardiness, increasing positive exchanges between parents and schools, increasing the use of community resources by schools and parents, and encouraging higher expectations by teachers and parents for student performance.

The schools selected for the new league are:

Comprehensive Pupil Services Center, Parenting Teen Program, Memphis; Comstock Elementary Community School, Miami; Fairfield Court Elementary School, Richmond, Va.; Ferguson-Florissant School District Early Education Program, Florissant, Mo.; Thomas D. Gregg School, Indianapolis; Alexander Hamilton Intermediate School, Cleveland; LaFollette Elementary School, Milwaukee; Miles Park Elementary School, Cleveland; Montgomery Junior High School, San Diego; Luis Munoz Marin School, Carolina, P.R.; School Number 5, Perth Amboy, N.J.; Shaed Elementary School, Washington; Kate Sullivan Elementary School, Tallahassee, Fla.; Sylmar Elementary School, Los Angeles; Daniel Webster School, San Francisco.

The league also includes the following schools in San Diego:

Boone Elementary, Correia Middle, Fulton Elementary, Grant Elementary, Lincoln Preparatory, Marston Middle, Oak Park Elementary, Sherman Elementary, and Torrey Pines Elementary.--lj

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