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Presented by: Marlon Cousin, Title I Coordinator

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1 From Compliance to Effective Practices: Strengthening Parent Involvement in EBR Schools
Presented by: Marlon Cousin, Title I Coordinator East Baton Rouge Parish School System

2 Goals Discuss characteristics of effective and engaging parent involvement programs. Share Best Practices and Ideas for improving parent involvement.

3 Why is Parent Involvement Important?
A synthesis of parent involvement research concluded that “the evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life. When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.”[1] [1] Henderson, Anne. T. and Mapp, Karen L., A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement, 2002, p.7

4 Parent Involvement and Student Achievement
Studies have found that students with involved parents, no matter what their income or background, are more likely to— Earn high grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs; · Pass their classes, earn credits, and be promoted; ·  Attend school regularly; and ·  Graduate and go on to postsecondary education.[1] [1] Ibid.

5 Compliance & Effective Practices
NCLB requires school districts and buildings to develop comprehensive parental involvement plans (compliance). Every LEA in the state that receives Title I money has a parent involvement policy at both the district level and at each Title I school site. However, not every school district can claim that they have great parent involvement. WHY??

6 What the Research Says…
“A New Wave of Evidence”: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement Reviewed over 50 comprehensive studies on the effect of parent and community involvement on student achievement over the past 25 years. Summarized the results and provides examples of successful practices. Issued 9 Recommendations for Creating Successful and Engaging Parent Programs Fully copy of report available as a PDF from:

7 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Recommendation #1: Recognize that all parents, regardless of income, education level or cultural background, are interested in their children’s learning and want their children to do well in school. Every study that looked at high performing schools in low-income areas found that parents were highly engaged. Most studies showed that the children’s gains were directly related to how much families were involved. What to do: Always proceed with the assumption that all families can help improve their children’s performance in school and influence other key outcomes that affect achievement. If school staff do not agree with this assumption, take a close look at staff attitudes and the reasons for them.

8 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Adopt a No Fault Policy Refrain at all times from blaming families for their children’s low achievement. Never assume that families don’t care about their children. High expectations should not apply just to students…but to teachers, school staff and families. How to do it: Ask families about ways they encourage their children at home and ways to share their cultural traditions. Create small, friendly settings that will encourage families to speak. At every conference, ask parents about their expectations for their children’s education.

9 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Recommendation #2: Create programs that will support families to guide their children’s learning, from preschool through high school. Early Childhood: Home Visits Lending Libraries Discussion Groups Workshops on how to stimulate their children’s mental, physical and emotional development. Elementary/Middle School: Interactive homework involving both parents/children. Workshops on topics parents suggest. Regular calls from teachers (not just when there are problems). Remember to always lead with something positive. Learning packets in reading, science, math, as well as training on how to use them. Regular meetings with teachers to talk about their child’s progress and what they are learning.

10 Creating Effective Parent Programs
High School: Regular meetings with teachers and counselors to plan their children’s academic programs Information about program options, graduation requirements, test schedules and post secondary education options and how to plan for them. Explanations of courses students should take to be prepared for college or other postsecondary education. Information about financing postsecondary education and applying for financial aid. At all levels: Work with families to support children in making transitions.

11 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Recommendation #3: Work with families to build their social and political connections When parents feel they have the power to change and control their circumstances, children tend to do better in school. Their parents are also better equipped to help them. When schools work with families to develop their connections, families become powerful allies of the schools and advocates for public education. Develop Families’ Social Capital by providing connections with neighbors, other parents in the school and teachers. Use the same vocabulary, shared rules of behavior and resources to make the connections possible. Try these type of activities: Translate all communications with families into their home languages; provide an interpreter at all meetings. Offer childcare, meals and transportation for all activities at school. Ask families about the best times for them to attend events at school. Ask what kind of events? Ask what they think would make the school better.

12 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Develop Families’ Political Knowledge and Skills by: Making sure parents understand how the system works and how to have an effect on public decisions. Give parents access to the people who run the school system and a voice in policymaking process. Make the school a “laboratory of democracy”. Support families’ involvement in decision making. Ask the Superintendent, Board Members and district staff to meet with parents at the school and explain what they do. Work with parents to develop an agenda for the meetings so they can voice their concerns Give families information about how the education system works. Try a field trip to the district office or to school board meetings. Keep voter registration cards and information about local government in the school office or parent resource centers. Open the school to community meetings.

13 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Recommendation #4: Develop the capacity of school staff to work with families and community members. Few teacher prep program include instruction on how to partner with parents and community. Design in-service opportunities for ALL staff that Help all staff recognize the advantage of school and family connections. Explore how trusting and respectful relationships with family and community members are achieved. Enhance schools staff’s abilities to work with diverse families. Explore the benefits of sharing power with families.

14 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Recommendation #5: Link family and community engagement efforts to student learning. Develop or adopt programs to engage parents in working with their children to develop specific skills. Demonstrate an activity for parents Give materials to each family, offering advice on how to use them Help parents assess child’s progress and steer child to next steps Lend materials to use at home. Work with local after school programs to link their content to what students are learning in the classroom. Link school’s traditional staples of parent involvement (open house, etc.) to learning Incorporate information on standards and exhibits of student work at open houses and back-to-school nights. Engage parents and students in math/reading games at Family Nights. Use school newsletter to discuss test results and how students are doing to meet higher standards.

15 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Recommendation #6: Focus efforts to engage families and community members in developing trusting and respectful relationships. A theme throughout all research studies indicate that relationships are key. Building of relationships must be intentional and consistent. Respect cultural and class differences. Make an effort to learn about the concerns of families and how they define and perceive their role in your school. (If parents don’t attend activities arranged by schools staff and held at school, the school should not assume that “parent’s don’t care”.) Parent and community members feel respected when educators attempt to understand and relate to their needs.

16 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Allocate Resources to help build relationships and support parent and community involvement. Adopt simple but effective practices of teacher outreach to families. These have been found to be effective. Meeting face to face Sending materials on ways to help their child at home. Telephoning both routinely and when a child is having problems. Allow school staff the resources and time to create programs that Invite and welcome parent and community members Honor the contributions and accomplishments of parents Connect families to learning goals for children.

17 Creating Effective Parent Programs
Recommendation #7: Embrace a philosophy of partnership and be willing to share power with families. Make sure that parents, school staff, and community members understand that the responsibility of children’s educational development is a collaborative enterprise. Partnerships mean sharing power with family and community members. Both will lose interest in partnering when their participation is token. Avoid using parents and community members to merely rubberstamp decisions already made.

18 Help is on the way… Very few schools and districts have parent programs and policies in place that address all of the recommendations included in the research. Districts have requested assistance and direction in helping to get to the level of parent involvement described in the research. So, where do you start?

19 Parent Involvement in NCLB
NCLB defines parental involvement as the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring— ·  that parents play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning; ·  that parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school; ·  that parents are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child; and ·  that other activities are carried out, such as those described in section 1118 of the ESEA (Parental Involvement). [Section 9101(32), ESEA.]

20 Three Levels of Parent Involvement
NCLB Parent Involvement Focuses on Student Achievement Level I – Parent Helping Children at Home LEA provides strategies, activities, materials and resources for parents to work with child at home. LEA provides training to assist parents’ ability to help child. Level II – Encouraging Parents to Be Involved in School Opportunities for Parent to Help or Observe in the Classroom Tutors, Teacher Assistants, Aides, etc. Level III – Parents as Active Partners in Developing Policy School Improvement Teams School-wide Teams Parent Involvement Policies, Compacts (required) Annual Review of Title I Program (required)

21 NCLB Requirements for Parent Involvement for LEA/Schools
Parent Involvement Requirements at Every Level of Process Examples: District Parent Policies School Level Policies Parent/School Compacts Parent Involvement Set Aside Evaluation of Title I Translation of Materials Notification Parent Choice Options (School Improvement) Districts and schools must demonstrate both “compliance” and “effective practices” Title I can give districts and schools the “teeth” they need to begin to develop effective and engaging parent involvement programs.

22 NCLB Requirements for States
Review Parent Plans Annually for Effectiveness Provide Technical Assistance to LEAs Ensure Compliance with Parent Involvement Components in Section 1118 PA has developed a tool for LEAs to use to help ensure the LEAs are in compliance with the parent involvement requirements of NCLB; but can also be used to increase “effective practices”

23 Parent Involvement Rubric
Developed by the Title I State Parent Advisory Council Used by school districts as a self-assessment tool to: Determine “compliance” with NCLB requirements Offer strategies and suggestions for moving to the “effective practices” level Includes cross-references to the Title I law, USDE Guidance and is being revised to include examples of effective practices, tools, materials and exemplars for each component.

24 Example Sec. 1118(a)(2)(B) - LEA provides coordination, technical assistance and other support to Title I schools in planning and implementing effective parent involvement programs to improve academic achievement and school performance. Compliance (3): LEA has met with school staff to discuss parent involvement and how the LEA can support the schools in implementing their parent involvement plans. Activities at the school level are linked to student achievement and/or school improvement. Effective Practice (5): LEA solicits input from Title I parents to develop the training sessions for schools staff and/or uses parents as facilitators during the training session in order to open the doors of communication between parents and school staff.

25 Example Sec. 1118(c)(2) Each Title I school offers a flexible number of meetings, such as in the morning or evening, and may also provide transportation, child care or home visits with Title I funds. Basic (3): Documentation exists - including letters, invitations, flyers, agendas, sign-in sheets, etc. - to verify meetings are held at various times or multiple times to best meet the needs of Title I parents. Proficient (4): Documentation includes notices that offer transportation, child care or the school offers home visits to parents that cannot attend the meetings. Advanced (5): Staff make extraordinary efforts to make it possible for Title I parents to attend the meetings (including volunteering time to do home visits or summer visits, etc.).

26 Resources for Parent Involvement
·   Education News Parents Can Use, a television series about ways to ensure children’s educational success. The third Tuesday of each month during the school year, Education News provides parents with the tools and information they need to be effectively involved in their children’s learning. [For information on how to register visit the following URL and go to FAQs: ·   The “What Works Clearinghouse” (WWC), a project to help education decision-makers answer such questions as how do we create better schools and how can we make sure that all children can read? A part of the Department’s Institute of Education Sciences, the WWC has been established to put solid evidence from high-quality scientific research into the hands of educators, policy-makers and the public so they may make better choices about programs and practices. To receive updates, subscribe to WWCUpdate on the Web at or call WWC-9799.

27 Resources for Parent Involvement
 National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, funded through the Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory (SEDL) by the Department’s Institute of Education Sciences, bridges research and practice to remove barriers to student achievement. The Center links people with research-based information and resources that they can use to effectively connect schools, families, and communities. The Center reviews emerging findings and research to develop an online database, annual conferences and annual reports to help advance procedural knowledge and provides training and networking across the regional educational laboratory system to link research findings to practice. [For more information visit Title I Parent Involvement Guidance –

28 Questions/Answers

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