Syllabus for EDL-690



Developing School and Community Partnerships explores the family and community factors that affect teaching and learning. The course examines how school initiatives can enhance family and community supports for children's learning. Students learn how to nurture a sense of "school community," garner public support, increase parental involvement, and engage community agencies as educational partners. Students learn to design school initiatives to strengthen productive ties with families and the community.

Ultimately, students will be developing competencies as educational leaders as outlined in the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC 1, 2, 4. 5. 6) and New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE 1, 2, 4, 5, 6) standards.


Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to locate and use relevant resources addressing school and community partnerships available in online archives.
  2. Distinguish key components of a "curriculum of the home," including the family relational factors that influence a child's school learning.
  3. Synthesize research findings on a key component of the "curriculum of the home."
  4. Evaluate research-based school initiatives to determine how they strengthen the "curriculum of the home" through parental involvement and partnerships.
  5. Design school initiatives to strengthen the "curriculum of the home" and methods to evaluate their effectiveness.
  6. Analyze the key components of a "school community," including the relational factors among students, teachers, school personnel, families, community volunteers and partners, that enable the school to function as a community of support for children's learning.
  7. Synthesize research findings on a key component of the "school community."
  8. Evaluate research-based school initiatives to determine how they may strengthen the "school community" based on given criteria.
  9. Design school initiatives to strengthen the "school community" and methods to evaluate their effectiveness.
  10. Distinguish between a contextual community and a "school community.”
  11. Analyze the varying impacts of the contextual community on the "school community."
  12. List and categorize the types of community resources and partnerships that enhance the school's ability to achieve its goals with its students.
  1. Design school initiatives to forge useful alliances with community groups and resources and methods for evaluating their effectiveness.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The Epstein textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

  • Epstein, Joyce L. (2011). School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools (2d ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

ISBN-13: 978-0813344478

  • Redding, Sam, & Thomas Lori G. (Eds.). (2001). The Community of the school. Lincoln, IL: ADI.

    Links to assigned chapters will be provided in the appropriate modules.

Other Required Readings

Links to assigned research articles will be provided as appropriate in the module study materials.

Reference Web Sites

Electronic Portfolio Registration

As a capstone experience in the Educational Leadership program, you will prepare an electronic portfolio that demonstrates your incremental achievement of the program standards. Each course in the program helps you to identify artifacts to place in your portfolio on completion of the course. To this end, you are required to purchase an electronic portfolio registration code upon your entry into the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program. Basic directions for purchasing access to and using your electronic portfolio are posted within the Educational Leadership Students Organization (online community).


Developing School and Community Partnerships is a three-credit online graduate course, consisting of five modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles and topics are listed below.


Parent-child relationships and how they influence the child's school learning


Routines of family life and how they influence the child's school learning


Family expectations and supervision and how they influence the child's school learning


Self-efficacy perception for parents and for children and the effects on school learning


Parental involvement


Family/school partnerships




School/home communication


Parent education


Family/school relationships


Program design and evaluation


"School community"




Educational values






Common experience




Practical school initiatives to build "school community"


Parental involvement


Family/school partnerships




For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete self-quizzes. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

Each module in the course has an online class discussion forum.

Online discussions provide an opportunity for you to share your findings on a topic or question with your classmates. You are expected to post a well-reasoned and thoughtful reflection for each item, making reference, as appropriate, to that which you have read. Discussion forum interactions promote development of a community of learners, critical thinking, and exploratory learning.

Please participate in online discussions as you would in constructive face-to-face discussions. You are expected to post well-reasoned and thoughtful reflections for each item, making reference, as appropriate, to your readings. You are also expected to reply to your classmates' posts in a respectful, professional, and courteous manner. You may, of course, post questions asking for clarification or further elucidation on a topic.

 Evaluation Rubric.

Written Assignments

There are three types of written papers that you will submit for this course: 5 minor papers; 3 major papers with designs, including PowerPoint and narrative presentations; and 2 major research papers. These activities are your opportunity to demonstrate understanding of each module as it relates to the course and to the field of study as a whole. You are encouraged to incorporate any resources you have found and are required to use APA format for your work.

Minor Written Papers

The five minor papers require you to prepare and submit descriptions, explanations, and/or syntheses of a particular topic related to the modules. Length ranges from two to three pages (500–750 words). Please be sure that you address all parts of the question or questions you are being asked to respond to. Be sure to give appropriate credit (in APA style) to any sources of information you consult.

Full instructions for completing each minor written paper are found within the appropriate module.

Evaluation rubrics (click respective links):

Major Papers with Designs

Each of the three major papers with designs require that you prepare a 7-page paper in which you complete one or more designs. Your paper should include all the elements of the activity and demonstrate an understanding of the underlying purpose and concepts.

In addition to the paper, you are asked to prepare and submit a five-minute PowerPoint presentation and accompanying narrative of your paper, in which you demonstrate your understanding of the design topic.

Also, you are asked to share with your cohort the PowerPoint and narrative through the appropriate class

discussion forum.

Directions about these papers and topics are located within the appropriate module.

Evaluation rubrics (click respective links):

Major Research Papers

Each of the two major research papers requires that you prepare a 7-page paper in which you synthesize research articles of your choosing on the assigned topic. You will be presented with several topics from which to choose.

Full instructions for completing each major research paper are found within the appropriate


Evaluation rubrics (click respective links):

Module Self-Quizzes

As a supplement to your reading activities and Web research, you are asked to complete a multiple-choice self-quiz before you begin each module; you are then asked to repeat the quiz after you have completed the module as a way for you to check your comprehension of the concepts of the module. These self-quizzes are ungraded. If you get a question wrong, go back to the relevant reading and study that section until the concepts are clear to you.

Portfolio Artifacts and Reflective Narrative

The principal artifacts for this course are the three major papers with designs. Accompanying the artifact is a reflective narrative that describes the process and how the artifact meets specific standards and prepares you for school leadership.

Upload your artifact to your electronic portfolio, and be certain to indicate its alignment to the applicable ISLLC standards.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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