Research Shows that Children whose parents read to them at home recognize letters of the alphabet and write their names sooner that those whose parents do not. Children whose parents teach them how to write words are able to identify letters and connect them to speech sounds. Children’s early cognitive development is enhanced by parent supportiveness in play and a supportive cognitive and literacy-oriented environment at home.
Research Shows that Children in grades K-3 whose parents participate in school activities have good work habits and stay on task. Children whose parents provide support with homework perform better in the classroom. Low-income African American children whose families maintained high rates of parent participation in elementary school are more likely to complete high school. from “Family, School & Community Engagement: Reframing the Conversation” a presentation by Anna Hinton Ph.D., Director Parental Options and Information, U.S. Department of Education
Reframing Parent Engagement From an individual parent’s or teacher’s “job” To Shared Responsibility From Deficit-Based and Adversarial To Strength-Based and Collaborative From Random Acts To systemic approaches from cradle to career c From Add-On Services Integrated and Purposeful Connection to Learning Events DrivenLearning and Outcomes Driven Compliance Ownership and Continuous Improvement One-Time ProjectSustained
Instructional Core Content Teacher School Parent(s) Family Community Student Adapted from “Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning”
Suggestions from National PTA Involvement programs that link to learning improve student achievement Speaking up for children protects and promotes their success ALL FAMILIES can contribute to their children’s success Community organizing gets results
PTA National Standards for School-Family Partnerships Standard 1: Welcoming all families into the school community Standard 2: Communicating effectively Standard 3: Supporting student success Standard 4: Speaking up for every child Standard 5: Sharing power Standard 6: Collaborating with community
“My vision for family engagement is ambitious… I want to have too many parents demanding excellence in their schools. I want all parents to be real partners in education with their children’s teachers, from cradle to career. In this partnership, students and parents should feel connected – and teachers should feel supported. When parents demand change and better options for their children, they become the real accountability backstop for the educational system,” – Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education May 3, 2010
Fortress School (Below Basic) “Parents don’t care about their children’s education, and they are the main reason the kid’s are failing” “Parents don’t come to conferences, no matter what we do” Principal picks a small group of “cooperative parents” to help out “We’re teachers, not social workers” “Curriculum and standards are too advanced for these parents”
Come-If-We-Call School (Basic) Parents are told what students will be learning at the fall open house Workshops are planned by staff Families can visit school on report card pickup day Parents call the office to get teacher- recorded messages about homework
Open-Door School (Proficient) Parent-teacher conferences are held twice a year There is an “Action Team” for family engagement School holds curriculum night three or four times a year Parents raise issues at PTA meetings or see the principal Multicultural nights are held once a year
Partnership School (Advanced) Families are actively involved in decision-making Home visits are made to every new family Families are seen as partners in improving educational outcomes All family activities are connected to student learning There is a clear, open process for resolving problems Parents and teachers research issues together
The Joining Process* Welcoming Honoring Connecting * from Mapp, K.L. 2003. “Having Their Say: Parents Describe Why and How They Are Engaged in Their Children's Learning.” School Community Journal, Volume 13, Number 1
Welcoming Families are made to feel at home, comfortable, and a part of the school community.
Honoring Family members are respected, validated and affirmed for any type of involvement or contribution they make.
Connecting School staff and families put children at the center and connect on education issues of common interest designed to improve educational opportunities for the children.
Know – Positive Assumptions Yield Positive Results Assume ALL parents love their children Assume ALL children can learn DON’T Assume that parents KNOW how to help their children or understand that their child needs help. Expect parents to be involved Clarify expectations for parents from the beginning
Walk the Talk – Actions Speak Louder than Words Be prepared COMMUNICATE Have procedures for addressing parent concerns in a timely manner Plan for volunteers Value ALL families and SHOW students that their families are valued Expect ALL staff to invest in building school/family partnerships
Effective Communication Attributes of Effective Communication Barriers to Effective Communication
Effective Communication Attributes of Effective Communication Barriers to Effective Communication Common goals Trust Respect Consistency Knowledge and understanding of your partner of the situation Assumptions Cultural differences Lack of follow- through Putting yourself in the center
Additional Resources Pennsylvania Parent Information Resource Center (www.center-school.org/pa-pirc/) Center for Schools and Communities (www.center-school.org) The Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) (www.gse.harvard.edu/ hfrp/projects/fine.html)