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Technology and Parent Engagement

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Presentation on theme: "Technology and Parent Engagement"— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology and Parent Engagement
Karen Rice Osterman Middleton-Cross Plains School District

2 Demographics in MCPASD
Total number of ELLs: 348 Total number of Spanish-speaking ELLs: 210 Total number of parents needing language support services: 179 How/why we keep track of parents needing LSS How we keep track of parents needing LSS: Infinite Campus, “Interpreter Needed” tab Indicates parent or student or student/parent Helps the teacher to know when to use language services when communicating with families Why we keep track? Communication is key to family engagement It is the ethical and equitable thing to do (equal access to education) It is the law We’ll talk more about these language support services during this presentation and how that relates to parent engagement.

3 Parent Engagement Dramatic shift in population during last 5- 10 years
Historically, same parents attending every event Goal to increase numbers of parents participating in events, increase parent engagement

4 Turn and Talk What goals does your district or school have for parent engagement? Have you noticed trends with attendance at school or events?

5 District website Use of Google Translate Available in MANY languages
Not perfect, but makes websites accessible

6 Spanish Attendance Line
We noticed families weren’t reporting attendance Each building had different procedures for contacting families when a student was absent Using in-building vs. district staff Promotion of attendance line use Explain attendance line – What info to leave That they won’t get a call back They have the option of pressing another button to bounce to my extension Monitored by district staff

7 Share Out How does your district or school handle attendance for speakers of other languages? Have you noticed that families call in or don’t call in to report attendance? How is attendance an important part of parent engagement? What can you do to increase engagement in this area?

8 Conference Calls The use of conference calls has increased school- home connection New practice that’s being done to contact families More efficient than scheduling meetings for smaller issues, concerns, or questions Message is more accurately relayed Parents talk directly to school staff, which further improves school-home connections Parents have a chance to ask questions directly Give examples of successful calls

9 Computer Classes Partnership with Latino Academy of Workforce Development LAWD provides teachers and curriculum District provides space, computers, childcare, coordination of events, outreach, promotion Teaches parents basics, including setting up , using the parent portal, checking their child’s Facebook account, typing, etc. Classes offered two different years Has led to increase of parents using to communicate with school

10 Parent Portal Use of Portal taught during computer classes
Translated Parent Portal guide All parents have an account Parent Portal has Google Translate option so families can navigate in other languages Parents requesting additional training Not every family is using this, obviously, but the numbers have definitely increased

11 Automated Messages (“All Call”)
Done through Infinite Campus Can be automated, although automatic pronunciation of other languages is unclear and causes confusion We record our own through Audacity Send them out through filters to families requesting Interpreters Use to promote events, parent meetings, weather closures, etc. Challenge: parents don’t answer phones, call back to ask what message was about; often creates more work Has helped communicate messages, especially about school events and school closures This started because of snow or weather cancelations that were only going out in English Can be done with too

12 Translator Email Account
Created to streamline language requests Used for requests for all languages Managed by district ESL/Bilingual staff Use of the account has improved communication with staff, and between home-school Increase in documents translated and meetings scheduled with an interpreter

13 Simultaneous Interpretation
We recently purchased equipment for meetings Allows parents to be discreet in large group meetings regarding language needs Increased participation in parent meetings Parents feel a part of the school community Has increased success of parents attending and participating in school meetings

14 Turn and Talk How are you using technology resources to increase parent engagement? Do you use features in Infinite Campus or other student management systems? Which ones? What’s working well? What goals do you have with regard to use of computers and computer systems?

15 Technology Access for All Program
Chromebooks Graphing Calculators Mi-Fi Purpose: increase student and parent engagement by making technology accessible to ALL families Provides option to purchase technology at reduced rate for F/R families or families asking for scholarships Initiative began as a part of our Technology Department Available to 8th and 9th grade students

16 Professional Development
Purpose is to increase awareness among school staff on increasing school-home connections Training staff at building staff meetings: How do know if a student/parent needs language services Why we need to provide language services How to access language services Available outreach services Language services video

17 Have these strategies been effective?
Overall, yes! We still have a long way to go, but we’ve made great strides too Increased attendance at parent meetings, events Increase in staff using language services Increase in services provided There are still challenges We have seen a definite increase in parent engagement through using these tools and technology Challenges: Still want to increase families accessing technology More parents participating in school events Staff knowing how to use technology and to access services to increase engagement Don’t have staff/resources to do everything we want to do

18 Collaboration is key! We try to work with all staff in our district
Spreading the word to the community Partnering and sharing with other districts Networking and partnering with community agencies

19 Share Out How do you engage parents?
Are there any of these strategies or ideas that would be useful? Any strategies or ideas that you do that might be useful to us? What will you take way from what MCPASD is doing, both positive and negative?

20 Questions?

21 Please feel free to contact me with any questions!
Karen Rice Osterman

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