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Letters to Congress about new report, Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0 - Before- and After-School Support Programs

January 17, 2012

Dear Senator/Representative:

The before- and afterschool programs at Elmont Memorial Junior-Senior High School on Long Island, just outside New York City, are one of 16 exemplary efforts profiled in Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0, a new research-based report on the role of families and communities in raising student achievement from the National Education Association, which represents 3.2 million educators nationwide.

Family School Partnerships 2.0 is part of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which aims to transform struggling schools — especially the bottom five percent eligible for U.S. Department of Education School Improvement Grants — in collaboration with parents, students, and community groups. Such efforts are most effective “when schools link activities for families to what students are learning and doing in class,” according to the report.

At Elmont, communication with parents is an integral part of Elmont’s before- and afterschool programs for seventh and eighth graders, where students can complete homework, get extra help from teachers, or make up missed assignments. The results are impressive: 97 percent of Elmont’s students graduated in 2010 and 49 percent received advanced Regents diplomas.

NEA members play an active role in all of the initiatives profiled in Family School Partnerships 2.0. Other common elements include mechanisms to evaluate student outcomes, reasonable cost, and potential for replication. Successful strategies identified by the researchers include:

  • Setting high expectations for students
  • Using data to determine priorities and strategies
  • Tailoring programs to local needs

The full profile of Elmont’s before- and afterschool programs is attached and available online at, along with the rest of the report. We urge you to check it out!


Kim Anderson
Director, Center for Advocacy

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations