School-Community Relations  book cover
4th Edition

School-Community Relations

ISBN 9781138823419
Published March 24, 2016 by Routledge
256 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Accessible and practical, School-Community Relations, Fourth Edition uses real-life examples to illustrate the ways in which administrators and school leaders can effectively engage and enlist partnerships with teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members. Case studies at the end of each chapter apply the strategies to realistic scenarios, and Questions for Analysis help readers engage critically with the material. This textbook provides aspiring educational leaders with the skills to establish strong systems for communicating with their various school constituencies and to improve public relations at all levels.

Features of this newly revised edition include:

  • Try This At Your School sections that offer insights into the ways in which actual educational leaders have fostered positive school-community relations.
  • Updated information about public opinion, how parents view their local schools, and the current education climate.
  • New strategies for utilizing social media to improve school-community relations and foster a positive school image.

Table of Contents

About the Author



1 The Importance of Public Opinion

Trends in the Public’s Perception

Misconceptions Regarding Public Opinion

The Purpose of a Plan

Three Kinds of Plans

The Coordinated Plan

The Centralized Plan

The Decentralized Plan

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

2 Feeling the Pulse of the Community

Get to Know Community Leaders

Look to Local Civic Organizations

Neighborhood Schools

Important First Steps

A Neighborhood Tea

Don’t Forget the Parents

Information Shared by the Teaching Staff

Information Shared by the Students

Information Shared by Business and Community Leaders

Information Shared by Other School Administrators

Multiculturalism and School-Community Relations

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

3 Establishing Everybody’s Role

School-Community Relations at the District Level

The Superintendent

Mistakes Made By Superintendents

The Director of School-Community Relations

School-Community Relations at the Building Level

The Principal

The Teacher

The Office Staff

Organizational Standards

Goals 2000

ISLLC Standards

The National PTA

Community Schools

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

4 Communicating Effectively: Everybody’s Job

The Communication Process

Idea Formation

Idea Encoding

Communication Channel

Receiver Decoding

Nonverbal Communication: It’s Not What You Said, But How You Said It

Communication Barriers

Language Barriers

Cultural Barriers

Barriers Inherent in Specific Physical Disabilities

Barriers Related to Time

Overcoming Communication Barriers

Perception Checking

Communicating Regularly

Communicating Purposefully

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

5 Building Relationships with Your Internal Publics

The Principal as Role Model

Visibility Is the Key

The Need for Effective Human Relations Skills

The Student as Internal Public

The Use of Discipline

Teachers—The Most Important Adults in the Building

The Friday Focus—A Tool for Positive Internal Communication

Positive Relationships with Non-Instructional Staff

Other Members of the Internal Public

Substitute Teachers

Student Teachers

The Importance of the School Secretary

The Entire School Staff—The Key to Strong School-Community Relations

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

6 Embracing Your External Publics

Appropriate Parental Involvement

Involving Parents While They Are at School

Welcome to Our School?

Involving Parents While They Are at Home

Other Members of the External Public

Establishing Key Communicators

Where to Start with Key Communicators

The Importance of Community Members with Grown Children

Intergenerational Programs in Schools

Presenting Students to the Community



Other Artistic Endeavors

Academic Competitions

Be Forewarned

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

7 Improving Relationships with the Media

All the News That’s Fit to Print

When the Reporter Initiates the Contact

When the School Leader Initiates the Contact

Involving Staff Members in the Process

The News Release

Communicating through Local Radio

Spreading the Good News

Public Service Announcements

Lights, Camera, Action!

You’ve Got the Look

Do Not Feed the Monsters

Be Proactive

We All Make Mistakes

Parting Shots

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

8 Putting It All On Paper

Three Kinds of Readers

The 20-Second Reader

The Newspaper Reader

The Novel Reader

Does Impressive Language Make the Impression You Desire?

The School Newsletter

The Use of Technology

Social Media is the New Normal

The Student Report Card

A Personal Letter or Email from the Principal

Words or Phrases to Avoid

Written Communication from the Classroom

Using Your School Website as a Communication Tool

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

9 Communication in an Electronic Era

The Resistor

The Dabbler

The Avant-Garde

Electronic Communication Devices

Communicating via E-Mail

Utilizing E-Mail Internally

Using E-Mail Externally

Proceed Cautiously with E-Mail

The Acceptable Use Policy

Sample Acceptable Use Policy

Using Technology for Instructional Purposes

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

10 Following and Being Followed: Social Networks, Tweets, and Other Updates


Utilizing Facebook Effectively

Keep it Current

Potential Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them


Some Suggestions for Utilizing Twitter in Schools

Advantages and Disadvantages of Facebook and Twitter

Legal Considerations

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

11 Saying What You Mean: Meaning What You Say

Telephone Etiquette

Telephone Calls From the Principal

Face-To-Face Conversations

Speaking to a Large Group

Communicating During a Campaign

Communicating with a Citizen’s Advisory Committee

The Campaign’s Conclusion

Online Communications

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

12 Communicating in Crisis

The Importance of Planning

An Opportunity for Staff Development

Communicating During a Crisis

Media Relations in Crisis Situations

Be Proactive with Social Media

Dealing with the Aftermath of a Crisis

Crisis Aftermath

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

13 Three Opportunities to Shine

Open House

Open House Tours

Open House Programs

Classroom Visits

Timing Is Everything

Advertising the Open House—Calling All Parents

The Cleanliness of the School

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Helping Teachers Prepare for Conferences

Conducting the Conference

Convocations and Celebrations


Awards Programs

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis

14 Evaluating Effectiveness and Building Confidence—The Future

Determining the Effectiveness of Your School-Community Relations Efforts

Verifying Results in School-Community Relations

Making Intangibles More Tangible

School Choice in the Twenty-First Century

Chapter Summary

Questions for Analysis



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Douglas J. Fiore is Provost and VP for Academic Affairs at Park University, USA.



"As a professor who has taught community relations for 15 years, I can shout: WHAT A GREAT TEXTBOOK!  This is the best community relations textbook there is.  When I thought it couldn’t get any better, here comes the fourth edition, which leaps into current issues and challenges.  I particularly enjoyed the insights on social and electronic media.  This book perfectly balances theory and practice and gives students real-life scenarios to demonstrate how to apply theory to practice."

--Sandi Estep, Professor of Educational Administration, Governors State University, USA

I have used all three editions of this text and will choose the fourth as well. This text continues to meet the needs of school-community relations courses."

—Kay A. Keiser, Chair and Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA