How can an ecological systems theory help us better understand school-community partnering that promotes student development?
Redland Junior School (RJS) is a community school and lies in one of the most-studied districts in the country. The term of”community school” describes some collaboration between the local school, parents and community health and social service agencies. RJS has partnered with various businesses, such as New England Telephone Company and the larger local consortium of businesses called the Private Industry Council, which was assembled to support youth development and employment in the city.Other partners have included the University of Bristol, the Trefler Foundation, youth advocacy groups, the neighborhood health center and the Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory at University of West England.School improvement studies sometimes focus on leadership development or teacher development. Broad measures of student attendance, achievement, promotion and graduation rates were found in school and district records. Measures of emotional, social, or physical development were also estimated indirectly from artifacts such as yearbooks, student publications, or interviews. A 10-year longitudinal survey showed that students in RIS achieved a better salary, career and family life and shaped their own future, compared to students who were not from a community school but had similar academic performance.