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Parent Engagement and IEP Meetings HPEC Principals and Superintendent Meeting June 15, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Parent Engagement and IEP Meetings HPEC Principals and Superintendent Meeting June 15, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parent Engagement and IEP Meetings HPEC Principals and Superintendent Meeting June 15, 2011

2 Why is parent engagement important? Leads to increased student achievement Reduces drop-out rates Teachers who reached out to parents through initiating face-to-face meetings, making phone calls, and sending information home about how to support student learning had higher student test scores than teachers who did not conduct this outreach

3 Three interdependent pieces of parent engagement 1. Schools beliefs and mindsets 2. Relationships and communications 3. Investing families in student goals and helping them monitor progress and support learning

4 Schools beliefs and mindsets School sees parents as the problem The parents are the reason the student is so far behind The students families are just as important as the students All parents want the best for their children

5 Schools beliefs and mindsets Negative comments about parents Not calling back when a phone call is not answered Being patient with parents even if they are hesitant to speak with someone from the school Listen to parents before speaking Acknowledge parents fears and concerns

6 Relationships and Communications There is no communication between parents and the school on a regular basis. The parents are only contacted when there is a problem. Parents receive weekly, individualized communication about their child that is positive and linked to student learning (weekly data folders/ s) Regular phone calls or contact with parents that is positive (every parent at least once a month)

7 Relationships and Communications Teachers do not share contact information with families. Teachers have limited contact information for parents, or the information is inaccurate and has not been updated since enrollment. Parents and students have the teachers school phone number and address, as well as an alternative contact number for non- school hours. The teacher has cell phone and additional contact numbers/ addresses for parents.

8 Relationships and Communications Information is provided to parents only in written format. The information is text-heavy and intimidating to adults with low literacy. Information is provided in a variety of formats including phone calls, written, and home visits. Translations are provided for parents that speak a different language.

9 Relationships and Communications Parents have no opportunities to share feedback or concerns with the school and their efforts are met with negativity, defensiveness, or unresponsiveness Regular opportunities to share feedback, concerns, and suggestions. When a problem arises the school seeks information to decide the best course of action. There is a concrete plan and follow- up to ensure the problem was solved.

10 Parents are engaged in their students learning The only information parents receive about how their child is doing in school are report cards and state assessment scores Parents can access weekly, personalized student performance data and can use the information to describe how their student is doing related to benchmark goals and to the class- average for that grade level

11 Parents are engaged in their students learning Parents do not receive information from the school on how to support student learning at home. Parents receive information and training on how they can support learning at home. School sends home tip sheets, guiding questions to ask students when reading, and provides workshops and mini- lessons on academic subjects and appropriate methods of helping their student at home.

12 Communicate Effectively Be a good listener as communication is a two- way process. Listen and acknowledge what you hear before expressing an opinion.

13 Communicate Effectively Even if you disagree with the speaker let your body posture show you are listening Make eye contact Smile Nod head in understanding Lean towards the speaker Open your body posture (dont sit with arms folded)

14 Communicate Effectively Restating or paraphrasing – I hear you say that the preferential seating as we designed it is not working. Reflecting– What I hear you saying is that if we tried the same reading strategies you use at home, we might see better results for Joe. Summarizing – It sounds as if you are really frustrated with Joes behavior at home. Strategies at school are really working and if we can teach you how to use them at home, we will have better results. Questioning – What can we do to support you in getting Anthonys homework completed? (Avoid why questions because they make people defensive.)

15 When communicating with parents becomes difficult Use I statements. Beginning your statement with I versus you is more direct and less threatening to the other person. When others speak louder, you speak softer – Other people will have to lower their voices in order to hear you, which will help to calm things down. Strategic silence – Sometimes just listening and not saying anything is the best approach. Take a breath and give yourself a chance to process the information at hand.

16 Be specific when talking to parents about their child Ashley didnt listen to anything at school today. I hope she listens better for you tonight. Ashley had a difficult day. When she was asked to line up for music, she refused and placed her head on her desk. Later she was blurting out answers during whole group instruction and did not stop when asked. As a result, she had to sit at her desk while we finished the lesson.

17 Communication Exercise

18 Using these strategies in an IEP meeting Walk parents into the room and ensure not everyone is sitting when they enter Greet parents and introduce everyone present Walk them out when the meeting concludes Be aware of parents time limits

19 Using these strategies in an IEP meeting Ask parents about their child and their opinions Listen, rephrase and check for understanding Communicate in their language Invite parents to talk but dont put them on the spot Be cognizant of our language and the jargon we use

20 Using these strategies in an IEP meeting Use a respectful tone Be aware of posture, be open armed and pleasant faced Talk about the students strengths Accentuate student growth and the progress he/she has made

21 Using these strategies in an IEP meeting When concerns are shared, have ideas for making things better Dont ever say We dont know what to do Be honest about services and significance of an IEP Be prepared to explain what services are being provided and how grades are being figured.

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