Marshall University Graduate College

Graduate School of Education & Professional Development

Leadership Studies



COURSE:                              LS630 The School and Community (3 cr. hrs.)


TERM:                                   Fall 2012


INSTRUCTOR:                    Dr. Mary Harris-John

MU S. Charleston Campus, Office 235

100 Angus E. Peyton Dr.

South Charleston, WV  25303

(304) 746-1913 or (800) 642-9842  ext. 61913

Office Hours by Appointment


PREREQUISITES:              Admission to the Leadership Studies program


COURSE LENGTH:           Traditional MU Term: August to December


TEXTBOOK:                      Moore, Edward H; Gallagher, Donald R; & Bagin, Don (2012, 10th ed.). The School and Community Relations.   New York, NY: Pearson Publishing.


TECHNOLOGY:                 The student will need to be proficient in the use of Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, e-mail, and other common applications.


For minimum hardware/software requirements please see:

Be sure to run the free web browser tune-up:

If you have technical problems, please go to the Help page:


University policies regarding acceptable use of computer services can be found at:




DESCRIPTION:                   This course provides students the opportunity to study the concept of community; to examine relationship patterns between schools and their local communities; to explore the possibilities for combining the resources of the school and community in the interest of school improvement; and to evaluate communication strategies designed to enhance the school-community relationship.



CONTENT:                           This course focuses on the features that typify the interaction between schools and their publics, and examines the contemporary changes and problems that influence the current communication context. Among the topics for discussion are the concept of community; the community within a school; how the school community may function in the broader community; the issue of public confidence in schools; factors influencing schooling; and effective public relations techniques.



REQUIREMENTS:             Consistent with graduate studies, students are required to read assigned text sections, articles, websites, and other resource materials provided.  An important requirement is the students’ active participation in the course through discussions of topics by means of live synchronous Chat Sessions scheduled at various times throughout the term.  Completion of all field experiences is required; students must complete all field experience activities and reflective papers in order to earn a course grade.



OUTCOMES:                      The learner outcomes for this course are based on the National Policy Board for Educational Administration Standards for Advanced Programs in Educational Leadership. At the end of the course, students should be able to:

1.      Discus the concept of “school culture”, and identify and assess various types of cultures;

2.      Understand the role of politics in school-community relations;

3.      Describe how schools interact with the local community, and their place in the larger society;

4.      Identify the informal and formal forces that influence schools;

5.      Explain the importance of communication, both internal and external, and effective communication tools;

6.      Clarify the role of the local community in schools;

7.      Develop ways to interact with the media in positive and meaningful ways;

8.      Identify  service agencies in the local community and the part they play in supporting the needs of the school;

9.      Analyze a school/community survey, and develop a school public relations plan.



FIELD EXPERIENCES:    Every course in the principal preparation program has required field experiences.  This is an important component of the courses, as these activities provide the “bridge” from theory to practice; they provide opportunities for hands-on experience. The field experiences for LS630 include: 1) community survey; 2) school-community newsletter; 3) school-community meeting; and 4) community resources and social service agencies.  (NOTE:  Students MUST complete all field experience activities and reflective papers in order to earn a course grade.)


Each field experience requires a reflective paper in which the student considers the nature of the field experience, its relative value to his/her preparation as an administrator, difficulties in accomplishing the task, and other relative and pertinent thoughts. Graduate level writing (without spelling and/or grammar errors) and analysis are expected.


 EVALUATION: Deadlines for assignments and meeting dates can be found on the course calendar and on the course assignment chart. Students’ learning will be assessed on the completion and quality of the following assignments and field experiences:


            Assignments:              Sign-On                                               10 pts.

                                                1 School Culture                                 30

                                                2 Community Leaders                        30

                                                3 Board of Education                         30

                                                4 Communication & Leadership         30

                                                5 Parents and Schools             20

                                                6 School Crisis                                    30

                                                7 Press Release                                    30

                                                8 Media Interview                              30

                                                9 Public Relations Plan                       40

            Field Experiences:     FE#1 Sch/Community Survey            40

                                                FE#2 Newsletter                                 40

                                                FE#3 Sch/Community Mtg                 40

                                                FE#4 Community Resources              40

            Quizzes:                      Quiz Module A                                   15

                                                Quiz Module B                                   15

                                                Quiz Module C                                   15

                                                Quiz Module D                                   15

                                                                                    TOTAL          500


            Grading Scale:           93-100 % (465 - 500 points)

                                                85-92 %   (425 - 464 points)

                                                75-84 %   (375 - 424 points)





A grade of “Incomplete” will not automatically be given to a student who does not complete all course requirements. Incomplete grades will only be given to students who become ill or face some other type of emergency during the term and therefore cannot complete the course, and have completed at least half of the course. Incompletes will not be given to those who simply fail to drop the course by the appropriate date. The instructor determines the length of time the student has to complete missing class work, with a maximum of one year from the end of the course. In most cases, however, extensions of time granted are equal to one term. It is a student’s responsibility to contact the Instructor during the course if a potential problem is anticipated in completing the course.


 Policy statement on major projects, examinations and other assignments (due dates, make-ups).  Coursework must be submitted within the designated time period and in the designated location.  The submission ‘window’ is usually 5 days, unless otherwise stated. You may submit your work any time during that 5-day period without being considered ‘late’.  Due dates are posted on the Course Calendar and Assignment Chart.  All assignments are expected to be posted by the due date, and late assignments may be penalized with a loss of points.  Students who believe there are extenuating circumstances for late work must contact the professor via course e-mail, and every consideration will be made to assist students who need help.



For students enrolled in MUOnline courses, communication with the instructor is typically via one of the course tools (discussion posting or mail tools). If, however, it is necessary for you to contact the professor, program secretary, or anyone else at Marshall via e-mail, university policy requires you to use your Marshall Email account. The university contacts students using MU E-mail to share important information, including emergency announcements, course-related information, reminders and deadlines. You MUST have and use your MU e-mail account. Your personal e-mail accounts will not be used.  You may redirect your own personal email to the MU account, but you must sign into your MU account to do this. For more specific information and assistance, refer to the following site:



ACADEMIC  HONESTY:  Academic honesty is expected in all class-related endeavors, and students are expected to be honest in all academic work. Penalties for plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty can be severe and may include course failure, dismissal from the program or from the University.  Refer to the Graduate Catalog for further information:  The university policy may be found at Academic Dishonesty Policy and Report (requires Adobe Acrobat)


Plagiarism includes copying published or non-published works (including the Internet), or using another student’s work. Any assignment considered suspect will be submitted to by the instructor and the student will be contacted.



DISABILITIES:   Students with disabilities who require accommodations can find information at the following site:





Achilles, C.M., & Smith, P. Chapter 9 in Hughes, L.W. (1994). Principal as leader

(2nd ed.). Columbus, OH: Prentice-Hall.


American Association of School Administrators (1995). How to deal with community criticism of school change. Washington, DC: Author.



Brunner, C.C. (1997). When borders become barriers: Policy and the disconnection between public schools and communities. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration, Orlando, FL, October 31, 1997.


Calvert, P. (1990). The communicators’ handbook: Techniques and technology.

Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.


Culver, D. (1996). Putting your best foot forward, but not in your mouth

(pp. 29-36). Houston Business Journal Week, August 2-8.


Covey, S.R. (1989). The 7 habits of highly successful people. New York: Simon & Schuster.


Gallagher, D.R., Bagin, D., Kindred, L.W., & Moore, E.H. (2004). School and

community relations.  Allyn & Bacon.


Gestwicki, C. (2010). Home, school, and community relations. (7 ed.). Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.



Hughes, L.W. & Hooper, D.W. (2000). Public relations for school leaders. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.


Korem, D. (1997). The art of profiling: Reading people right the first time. Texas:

International Focus Press, Richardson.


Kowalski, T.J. (Ed.) (2003). Public relations in schools. Prentice-Hall.


Ledell, N. (1995). How to avoid crossfire and seek common ground: A journey

for the sake of children. Arlington, VA: American Association of School



Matthews, D. (1996). Is there a public for public schools? Dayton, OH: Kettering

Foundation Press.


Michel, G.J. (1997). Building schools: The new school and community relations. (This book has separate chapters on the parent, business, political, and the religious communities in which various influencers are described and discussed.)


Moore, E.H., Gallagher, D.R., and Bagin, D. (2012). The School and Community Relations. New York, NY: Pearson Publishing.


Olsen, G. & Fuller, M. (2012). Home and school relations: teachers and parents working together. New York: Pearson Publishing.


Spring, J. (1997). Political agendas for education.  Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.