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Toolkits & Guides

Farm to School Planning Toolkit

Organization: Food and Nutrition Service
Date: 2014
Description: The Farm to School Planning Toolkit guides you through questions to consider and helpful resources to reference when starting or growing a farm to school program. It is designed for use by schools, school districts, and community partners. The toolkit is filled with tips and examples, insights from others, and lists of resources for further research. Each school district is unique, so browse the topics to find the resources most relevant to you and your implementation team! Learn more

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Transformation Toolkit

Organization: Center on Innovation and Improvement
Date: 2011
Description: This document is intended for use after the local education agency has determined that the Transformation model is the best fit for the school. The purposes of this document are to (1) outline action items involved in implementing the School Improvement Grant Transformation model and (2) provide tools and resources to help districts and schools implement the Transformation model.
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Parent–Teacher Conference Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers, and Parents

Organization: Harvard Family Research Project
Date: 2010
Description: Parent-teacher conferences are an important component of ongoing home-school communication and family involvement in children’s education. These three tip sheets — for principals, teachers and parents — can help ensure that parent-teacher conferences achieve their maximum potential. Designed to be used as a set, the tip sheets combine consistent information with targeted suggestions, so that parents and educators enter conferences with shared expectations and an increased ability to work together to improve children’s educational outcomes.  (English Version)
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Parent–Teacher Conference Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers, and Parents (Hojas de Consejos Para Las Reuniones de Padres y Maestros)

Organization: Harvard Family Research Project
Date: 2010
Description: Parent-teacher conferences are an important component of ongoing home-school communication and family involvement in children’s education. These three tip sheets — for principals, teachers and parents — can help ensure that conferences achieve their maximum potential. Designed to be used as a set, the tip sheets combine consistent information with targeted suggestions, so that parents and educators enter conferences with shared expectations and an increased ability to work together to improve children’s educational outcomes.  (Spanish Version)
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A Toolkit for Title I Parental Involvement

Organization: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
Date: 2009
Description: This toolkit is designed to provide information to those who are implementing Title I Part A parental involvement provisions. By using these tools, educators can increase the "transparency" for parental involvement in children's education.
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Data Collection Instruments for Evaluating Family Involvement

Organization: Harvard Family Research Project
Date: 2009
Description: Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) developed this resource as part of an ongoing effort to help practitioners and researchers collect and use data for continuous improvement. This guide provides stakeholders with some commonly used and standardized data collection instruments on family involvement. This resource can help stakeholders learn about and choose rigorous family involvement instruments to assess impact and ensure quality. By reviewing these and other instruments, program and policy leaders can also think about which measures are most appropriate for their work and how to adapt or develop tools to assess it.
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How to Develop a Logic Model for Districtwide Family Engagement Strategies

Organization: Harvard Family Research Project
Date: 2009
Description: This is a step-by-step guide to help readers understand and develop a logic model for districtwide family engagement efforts. This tool clarifies the steps between family engagement efforts and better learning outcomes for children and youth. 
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Successful School Turnarounds

Organization: The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement, Public Impact
Date: 2009
Description: President Obama and Secretary Duncan have called upon states, districts, and education leaders to change the lives of millions of children by dramatically improving the nation’s 5,000 lowest performing schools. These chronically failing schools will require intensive intervention to turn around performance that has fallen short of expectations for many years.

States and districts are likely to try a variety of approaches to improve performance, such as contracting with external providers, who often bring in new leadership and staff; closing schools outright and giving students the option to attend nearby, higher performing schools; or bringing in a “turnaround leader” to carry out drastic improvements. This last option is known in other sectors as a “turnaround” effort—a quick, dramatic, and sustained change driven by a highly capable leader. District leaders deploying this strategy in chronically failing schools can learn from the experiences of classic turnarounds that have worked. This brief draws from the cross-sector research base on successful turnarounds to offer seven steps for district leaders to support turnaround principals and maximize their chances of success.


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Still Looking to the Future: Voluntary K-12 School Integration. A Manual for Parents, Educators, and Advocates

Organization: The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at Harvard University
Date: 2008
Description: This publication is the second edition of the “Looking to the Future: A Voluntary K-12 School Integration Manual”—a 2005 manual designed to help parents, students, community activists, school board members, administrators and attorneys navigate the legal, political and policy issues related to the promotion of racial and ethnic diversity in public schools. This updated version of the manual provides guidance and information about how communities and school districts can promote racial diversity and address racial isolation in schools nationwide.
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Seeing Improvement: A Guide to Visiting Schools That Use Effective Whole School Improvement Models and Promising Practices

Organization: Comprehensive School Reform Quality Center, American Institutes for Research
Date: 2006
Description: The mission of the CSRQ Center is to provide timely and reliable tools and technical assistance to support urban and rural educators and education decision makers in choosing the highest quality comprehensive school reform (CSR) program to meet locally defined needs. The CSRQ Center promises to help raise student achievement and improve other important student outcomes for millions of America’s children by helping education decision makers identify and apply “what works” in the area of CSR. This guide will help you answer questions about choosing an evidence-based approach and adopting promising practices to improve your school. In addition, it will help you plan a visit to a school that already uses whole school improvement approaches and/or promising practices so that you can see for yourself whether they are bringing the improvements that you desire.
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