The National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) is based on the work of Dr. Joyce Epstein from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Epstein, a foremost researcher in the field of school, family and community partnerships, developed NNPS based upon her thirty years of research and experience. The foundation of the program is developed on a framework of six types of parent/family involvement. NNPS helps schools to increase academic performance by structuring parent/family involvement activities to address areas of academic need (as reflected in school data). School action plans created at NNPS training align the school’s academic goals with their Plan for Continuous Improvement (PCI) already in place within the school. NNPS action plans can be included with PCI plans to address the parental involvement component of No Child Left Behind legislation.
Initially, NNPS was launched in Virginia Beach Schools when Action Teams from forty-one schools (approximately 200 participants) attended training in April and October of 2005. Quarterly meetings were held throughout the year to support participating schools and to share ideas for implementation. Currently, approximately half of the schools in the division are active members of NNPS. Annual training is facilitated by the Office of Community Engagement and Title I staff, monthly newsletters from the NNPS organization are received by all members and exemplary practices are shared by posting Promising Partnership Practices annually on the vbschools.com website. Action Teams evaluate their school’s parent/family partnership activities at the end of each year to reflect on the progress made and to continue to look for opportunities for growth.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools has been recognized as a 2007, 2008, and 2009 Partnership District of Excellence by the National Network of Partnership Schools. Parkway Elementary School was awarded the 2010 Partnership School of Excellence for the many community involvement activities that made families feel welcome at the school and encouraged parents to be partners in their children’s education. Each year, a large number of schools throughout the division have been recognized for their outstanding parent involvement activities in the NNPS publication of Promising Partnership Practices.