Medium 9781475834123

Jspr Vol 36-N4

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The Journal of School Public Relations is a quarterly publication providing research, analysis, case studies and descriptions of best practices in six critical areas of school administration: public relations, school and community relations, community education, communication, conflict management/resolution, and human resources management. Practitioners, policymakers, consultants and professors rely on the Journal for cutting-edge ideas and current knowledge. Articles are a blend of research and practice addressing contemporary issues ranging from passing bond referenda to building support for school programs to integrating modern information.

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Notes from the Editor

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Notes from the Editor

SUSAN C. BON

In this issue of the Journal of School Public Relations, we decided to highlight previously published articles that had an impact on the field and were widely read. Selecting just a few publications from among the many high quality articles published over the years was not an easy task. I owe a very special thank you to two graduate assistants, Brienne McDaniel and James Holt, who tirelessly reviewed articles and contributed their time and efforts to put together this special issue.

The first two articles explore the relationship between schools and parents employing qualitative and quantitative research methods. In “The Role of Trust in Strengthening Relationships Between Schools and Latino Parents,” Young, Rodriguez, and Lee studied an urban elementary school that served a predominately Latino and low-income community for a full year to examine the implications and effects of trust and distrust on parental involvement. The authors highlight the difference between trust and the concept of respeto, a form of respect in traditional Latino communities that includes a level of deference to authority, and they discuss strategies for building trust in home-school relations.

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The Role of Trust in Strengthening Relationships Between Schools and Latino Parents

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The Role of Trust in Strengthening Relationships Between Schools and Latino Parents

MICHELLE D. YOUNG

CRISTÓBAL RODRÍGUEZ

PEI-LING LEE

ABSTRACT: The concept of trust has become commonplace in discussions of school culture, with increasing numbers of researchers arguing that trust is an essential component of positive school communities. In this article, we explore the role of trust and distrust in the involvement of Latino parents in the educational process. After providing a theoretical conceptualization of trust, we examine several critical examples of how an absence of, or a breakdown in, mutual trust had negative consequences for home–school relations, as well as for the people who were involved in those relationships. Findings indicate that (a) the existence or absence of trust between the home and the school affects the development and sustenance of meaningful parental involvement and (b) traditional notions of parental involvement are inadequate for some school communities.

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Teacher Perceptions of Parent Involvement in Middle School

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Teacher Perceptions of Parent Involvement in Middle School

DOUGLAS W. SMITH

ABSTRACT: Three hundred thirty-three middle school teachers were surveyed about current degree of, desires for, and obstacles to parent involvement in their schools. Teachers desired parents to be involved in PTO/PTA, volunteering, and chaperoning and not with curricular or school governance matters. About 10% of teachers reported parents are actively involved in their school. Reported barriers to parent involvement were inflexible parent work schedules, negative parent attitudes toward school, and lack of parent concern for children. Teachers report the ineffectiveness at using the telephone for communication with parents. Recommendations are made for nontraditional approaches to establishing parent involvement in middle schools.

Involving parents in the school can be a very difficult undertaking. Most teachers can tell horror stories about uncooperative, mean, and even violent parents. As a former inner-city middle school science teacher, I can remember many times just scratching my head and saying, “there must be an easier way!” Well, as many teachers have found out, there is an easier way—don’t bother with the parents! As is usually the case, the easy way is not the most effective way. This article presents the feelings, beliefs, and practices of 333 South Carolina middle school teachers regarding parent involvement in their schools.

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Talking About Race in Schools Post-Brown: A Public Relations Challenge

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Talking About Race in Schools Post-Brown: A Public Relations Challenge

ROBERT COOPER

ESTELLA WILLIAMS CHIZHIK

ABSTRACT: The Brown v. Board of Education of 50 years ago was perhaps the most significant school reform implemented in American education. The goal of this landmark decision was to end public school segregation and introduce racially integrated schools. Now in the 21st century and clearly in the shadows of this decision, we argue that the hope and promise of Brown v. Board of Education has not been realized. Many public schools are still segregated and those that are racially and ethnically integrated face segregated classrooms as a result of white flight and college tracking. We argue that Brown v. Board of Education, the most racially explicit school reform enacted in 50 years, can be made more effective through additional racially minded and social justice reforms. Specifically, public school administrators and teachers can promote racial equity academically and socially by promoting learning opportunities, shaping the discourse about race, and developing multicultural curriculum.

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Standards for Educational Public Relations and Communications Professionals

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Standards for Educational Public Relations and Communications Professionals

MARSHA A. CHAPPELOW

This article deals with public education leaders’ and practitioners’ reactions to the revised standards adopted by the National School Public Relations Association. They were presented in an earlier article published in Volume 23, No. 3 of the Journal.

1.Standards for Educational Public Relations and Communications Professionals: These standards are provided as a guide for governing board members, chief executive officers, and officials of other educational organizations as they consider employing individuals to direct a communications program. These standards will assist university administrators and officials in state departments of education as they determine the necessary training requirements to become a certified school administrator. These standards will orient potential school communication practitioners as to the scope of responsibilities that professionals are expected to meet.

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Serving the Needs of At-Risk Refugee Youth: A Program Evaluation

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Serving the Needs of At-Risk Refugee Youth: A Program Evaluation

J. LYNN MCBRIEN

ABSTRACT: Refugee students, although frequently subsumed under the “immigrant” heading, often suffer from effects of significant trauma that can make them more vulnerable than children of voluntary immigrant families. This study evaluated a program created specifically for refugee youth at-risk for academic failure and “social death.” The program goals included the creation of a refugee–school–community services coalition designed to deliver culturally appropriate services for a diverse population of refugees. Using mixed methods, I found that the program resulted in positive change in the attitudes and behaviors of the refugee participants and in community social service providers.

Because refugee children account for so small a percentage of the U.S. school-age population (approximately 500,000 refugees of any age have been admitted to the United States in the past 10 years), there is a dearth of research that specifically addresses their needs. Much of the literature on refugee children in the United States includes this population in discussions on immigrant children (Allen, 2002; Cheng, 1998; Delgado, Jones, & Rohani, 2005; Gitlin, Buendía, Crosland, & Doumbia, 2003; Hones, 2002; Olsen, 2000; Portes & Rumbaut, 2001).

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