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“No! I don’t want to get involved!” Overcoming barriers to parent engagement Data compiled by Susan Hamann; President-Elect, Oregon PTA Presented by Oregon.

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Presentation on theme: "“No! I don’t want to get involved!” Overcoming barriers to parent engagement Data compiled by Susan Hamann; President-Elect, Oregon PTA Presented by Oregon."— Presentation transcript:

1 “No! I don’t want to get involved!” Overcoming barriers to parent engagement Data compiled by Susan Hamann; President-Elect, Oregon PTA Presented by Oregon PTA’s Executive Director, Carol Wire

2 Agenda What is parent engagement and why is it important? What are the challenges and barriers related to parent engagement? How can I help parents at my site overcome these barriers? Oregon PTA

3 4 versions of partnership Review the four versions of Family-School Partnerships Partnership School Open-Door School Come-if-We-Call School Fortress School Follow the instructions on the rubric and score your site. Where does your school fit? Where does your program fit? Is there a difference? Share your results with your table mates. Source: Beyond the Bake Sale—The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships (2006) Oregon PTA

4 Why engage families? Boost grades and test scores Improve attendance Foster positive social skills Increase graduation rates and increase higher education attainment Improved relationships between parents and kids Improved outcomes for after school programs Source: Focus on Families! How to Build and Support Family-Centered Practices in After School. Harvard Family Research Project Build the Out-of-School Time Network (BOSTnet) Oregon PTA

5 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Parenting: Helps all families establish environments to support children as students Aligns with PTA Standard for Family-School Partnerships (#3) Supporting Student Success: Families and school staff continuously collaborate to support students’ learning and healthy development both at home and at school, and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so effectively. Sources: Joyce L. Epstein, Ph.D., et. al., Partnership Center for the Social Organization of Schools Ready, Set, Lead! PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Oregon PTA

6 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Parenting: Helps all families establish environments to support children as students Barriers and Challenges Information is not accessible to all families Translation and interpretation services are an added cost Information may be too academic Parent education opportunities should be linked to student success A family’s financial situation may not support the home environments being promoted Can they afford fresh, healthy food? Parents work in the evening (can’t be there to help with homework) Oregon PTA

7 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Parenting: Helps all families establish environments to support children as students Ideas: Offer parent education opportunities Parenting, language, healthy living, helping with homework GED, literacy, college credit Neighborhood meetings that help parents understand school Offer parent/teacher conference success tips Offer parent involvement ideas to the community Newsletter articles Signs at site Local newspaper Oregon PTA

8 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Parenting: Helps all families establish environments to support children as students Outcomes for kids Increased respect for parents Higher self-esteem Better health Students feel supported at home Oregon PTA

9 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Communicating: Design effective school-to-home and home- to-school communications about school programs and children’s progress. Aligns with PTA Standard for Family-School Partnerships (#2) Families and school staff engage in regular, two-way, meaningful communication about student learning. Sources: Joyce L. Epstein, Ph.D., et. al., Partnership Center for the Social Organization of Schools Ready, Set, Lead! PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Oregon PTA

10 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Communicating: Design effective school-to-home and home- to-school communications about school programs and children’s progress. Barriers and Challenges: Language – non-English speaking families Translation and interpretation are an added cost to programs Information sent home is: Unclear Too academic, full of teacher-ese and acronyms Frequent communication adds to the work load of staff Oregon PTA

11 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Communicating: Design effective school-to-home and home- to-school communications about school programs and children’s progress. Ideas Assist with parent teacher conferences Find translation and interpretation services Communicate frequently and consistently Sponsor events that reach all parents Events should allow staff and parents to mingle Provide a calendar of school events Oregon PTA

12 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Communicating: Design effective school-to-home and home- to-school communications about school programs and children’s progress. Outcome for kids Understanding of their own progress Understanding of school policies Informed decision making Awareness of role in communication Students as messengers of information Back pack mail Oregon PTA

13 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Volunteering: Recruit and organize parent help and support ARTICLE: “It’s O.K. to Skip That Bake Sale” By Bruce Feiler Barriers and challenges Encouraging all families to participate Scheduling Working parents, parents with really little kids Training volunteers for specific tasks Matching talents with needs of the program School culture may not support parent volunteers Article: “A New Breed of Volunteer Calls for a New Volunteer Culture” by Thomas McKee School climate survey Sources: Joyce L. Epstein, Ph.D., et. al., Partnership Center for the Social Organization of Schools Beyond the Bake Sale—The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships (2006) Oregon PTA

14 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Volunteering: Recruit and organize parent help and support Ideas Recruit widely Address school culture Create a community room for: Volunteer work Meetings Family resources Organize volunteers Create schedules Offer specific tasks Oregon PTA

15 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Volunteering: Recruit and organize parent help and support Outcomes for kids: Builds communication skills between children and adults Targeted attention from volunteers builds skills Increased awareness of talents in the community Future occupations, hobbies Oregon PTA

16 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Learning at Home: Provide information and ideas to help students at home with homework and other curriculum related activities, decisions and planning. Aligns with PTA Standard for Family-School Partnerships (#3) Supporting Student Success: Families and school staff continuously collaborate to support students’ learning and healthy development both at home and at school, and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so effectively. Sources: Joyce L. Epstein, Ph.D., et. al., Partnership Center for the Social Organization of Schools Ready, Set, Lead! PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Oregon PTA

17 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Learning at Home: Provide information and ideas to help students at home with homework and other curriculum related activities, decisions and planning. Barriers and Challenges Leaving the responsibility to students to communicate HW expectation, deadline and decisions Involving families in curriculum related decisions Language barrier parents may feel uncomfortable helping kids with homework Parents may dislike/distrust academic world Parent time Poverty stress, multiple children, multiple jobs or difficult working hours Oregon PTA

18 Group Discussion Parents without adequate resources often feel overwhelmed. Families suffering from economic stress must address their own needs for food, clothing, and shelter before they can see clear to become more involved in their children’s education. Brainstorm some strategies with a neighbor. Oregon PTA

19 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Learning at Home: Provide information and ideas to help students at home with homework and other curriculum related activities, decisions and planning. Survey: How closely is your school’s parent involvement program linked to student learning? Ideas Accessible information for parents Policies, guidelines, expectations, how to help with HW HW schedules Academic family activities at school Goal setting, college planning Open staff development to parents Oregon PTA

20 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Learning at Home: Provide information and ideas to help students at home with homework and other curriculum related activities, decisions and planning. Outcomes for kids Gains in skills and abilities linked to homework Higher grades due to homework completion Higher self-esteem as a learner Kids feel supported at home Parent and school present a united front Oregon PTA

21 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Decision Making: Include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives Aligns with PTA Standard for Family-School Partnerships (#5) Sharing Power: Families and school staff are equal partners in decisions that affect children and families and together inform, influence and create policies, practices and programs. Sources: Joyce L. Epstein, Ph.D., et. al., Partnership Center for the Social Organization of Schools Ready, Set, Lead! PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Oregon PTA

22 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Decision Making: Include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives SURVEY: How well does your school support parents as advocates? Barriers and Challenges Parents leaders are reflective of the all the groups at the site Ethnic, SES, racial, LGBT Offering training that is accessible to all Including students in decision making Sources: Beyond the Bake Sale—The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships (2006) Oregon PTA

23 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Decision Making: Include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives. Ideas Organize parent groups (PTA!) Parent Advisory Council Site Council How can parents support the school improvement plan? Committees Site level  district level  regional level  state level Engage in local elections Candidates forum, education Create a parent involvement policy Oregon PTA

24 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Decision Making: Include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives. Outcomes for kids Students feel that their family has a voice Students’ rights are protected Benefits are linked to policies enacted by parents and experienced by students Oregon PTA

25 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Collaborating with the Community: Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices and student learning and development. Aligns with PTA Standard for Family-School Partnerships (#6) Families and school staff collaborate with community members to connect students, families and staff to expand learning opportunities, community services and civic participation. Sources: Joyce L. Epstein, Ph.D., et. al., Partnership Center for the Social Organization of Schools Ready, Set, Lead! PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Oregon PTA

26 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Collaborating with the Community: Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices and student learning and development. SURVEY: How well is your school sharing power and practicing democracy? Barriers and Challenges Communicating with families about opportunities Equity Whose responsibility is it? Funds, staffing, locations Community contributions should integrate with program needs Sources: Beyond the Bake Sale—The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships (2006) Oregon PTA

27 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Collaborating with the Community: Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices and student learning and development. Ideas Distribute resource information Alumni participation Reach out widely Resource fair Engage older adult community Press relaeses Service learning Oregon PTA

28 Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement Collaborating with the Community: Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices and student learning and development. Outcomes for kids Increased skills and talents Greater awareness of career options, education opportunities Linking resources to people who need them. Oregon PTA

29 Involved vs. Engaged Whose energy drives it? Involved: Ideas and energy come from the school/site. Engaged: Ideas and energy come from parents Invitation Involved: “We’re” involving “them” Engaged: Starts with building relationships. Parents are challenged to do something. Roles of Parents and Staff Involved: Families complete school/site directed tasks Engaged: Community organizers who do things for themselves with the support of the school. Source: Oregon PTA

30 Questions? Comments? Oregon PTA


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