Published Online: September 13, 2000
Published in Print: September 13, 2000, as Children & Families

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Award Winners: Two state departments of education, five school districts or subdistricts, and six schools have been recognized for forming exemplary partnerships involving schools, families, and communities.

The 1999-2000 "partnership awards" are being presented for the first time by the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

"These sites are demonstrating that programs of partnership can be sustained as a regular part of school life," said Joyce L. Epstein, who directs the network, which now has more than 1,300 members, as well as the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins.

The applicants, which had to have been members for at least two years, were required to show that they were meeting high standards in six areas: teamwork, leadership, plans for action, implementation and facilitation, evaluation, and network connections.

They also had to show that their efforts were permanent—meaning, Ms. Epstein said, "that if a new principal came to the school, this program would last."

The applicants' responses were verified with annual data that each site had submitted since joining the network. The awards program is based on the network's research on effective family and community partnerships.

"We're just happy if schools make progress from year to year," Ms. Epstein said. "But these sites have done extremely well." Yet as successful as they have been, she added, the award winners still face "ongoing challenges" and consider their work unfinished.

The state, district, and subdistrict winners are:

The Connecticut Department of Education; the Ohio Department of Education; the Baltimore City Public Schools—Southern Area; the Grand Blanc (Mich.) Community Schools; the Los Angeles County Office of Education; the Los Angeles Unified School District's Polytechnic/North Hollywood Cluster; and the Naperville (Ill.) Community Unit School District 203.

The winning schools are: Bouquet Canyon Elementary School in Saugus, Calif.; Franklin-York Learning Community in Massillon, Ohio; Florence Nightingale Middle School in Los Angeles; Mount Logan Middle School in Logan, Utah; Westlake Elementary School in New Carlisle, Ohio; and Woodridge Elementary School in Cuyohoga Falls, Ohio.

The exemplary schools will receive banners that announce the honor while the states and districts will receive plaques.

-Linda Jacobson

Vol. 20, Issue 2, Page 15

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