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Family Engagement in Culturally Diverse Communities: Building (Structurally Sound) Bridges Maureen Manning, M.Ed, CAGS Director of Beyond School Time &

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Presentation on theme: "Family Engagement in Culturally Diverse Communities: Building (Structurally Sound) Bridges Maureen Manning, M.Ed, CAGS Director of Beyond School Time &"— Presentation transcript:

1 Family Engagement in Culturally Diverse Communities: Building (Structurally Sound) Bridges Maureen Manning, M.Ed, CAGS Director of Beyond School Time & Family Engagement

2 Who is at the table?

3 Wareham, Massachusetts: The Gateway to Cape Cod  Poverty level in Wareham is above the state average  The entire district is free lunch  Over the past several years, Wareham Public Schools has seen a dramatic increase in English Language Learners  Wareham has a higher population of Special Needs students than the state average  Wareham is a key area in the state for homeless families to be relocated

4 WHY ENGAGE FAMILY & COMMUNITY?  Higher grades and test scores  More classes passed  Better attendance  Better social skills and improved behavior at home And at school  Easier adaptation to school  Increased likelihood of high school graduation and attendance at post-secondary education Henderson, & Mapp,2002 via National School Board & Harvard University Survey

5 INVOLVEMENT vs.ENGAGEMENT The Engagement Continuum Moving from “random acts of family involvement” to meaningful and ongoing family engagement. Activity: List family and/or community engagement activities in your school/district/site. Where do they fall on the continuum?

6 In accordance with the National Family and Community Engagement Working Group’s standards, all engagement efforts should be:  Systemic, -meaning they are designed as a core component of educational goals;  Integrated, -meaning they are embedded into the structures and processes designed to meet those goals;  Sustained, -meaning they are operated with adequate resources and partnerships.

7 KEY ELEMENTS IN COMMUNITIES WITH SUCCESSFUL FAMILY & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS  Administrative beliefs and support in the importance of FCE ~ yet many districts do not have any funding allocated for this  Supportive Community Partnerships  Teacher proficiency in FCE Strategies~ yet according to a recent METLIFE National Teacher Survey~ Teachers find family engagement to be their biggest challenge. There is a growing need to provide concrete examples of teacher beliefs about and practices for engaging families that will contribute to their primary goal: helping students succeed.

8 3 Step Classroom Rubric  Beliefs and Mindsets  Relationships and Communication Systems  Core Instructional Program

9 BELIEFS AND MINDSETS  Teachers’ perceptions about families shape their family engagement efforts  The first set of objectives in the rubric focuses on the beliefs that teachers have about families and what the role of the teacher should be in facilitating family engagement.  Specifically, the teacher should value and respect families and see them as assets in supporting student learning  See engaging families as part of the teacher’s core role and responsibility  Be culturally knowledgeable and sensitive

10 Relationships and Communication Systems In order to engage parents in learning, teachers need trusting, mutually respectful relationships with families that are reinforced by consistent, two- way communication systems. To build these relationships, the teacher should:  Treat families in respectful and culturally sensitive ways and welcome their engagement in the classroom  Establish a meaningful, differentiated home school communication system  Be able to reach all families and be reached by all families in a timely way  Communicate with all families in a way that is accessible and easy to understand  Problem solve with families in positive ways  Learn from and about families to improve learning in the classroom

11 Core Instructional Program Research about the impact of various family engagement strategies shows that the ways in which families demonstrate the importance of education to their children is the largest predictor of student achievement. These practices, called academic socialization, encompass parents having high expectations for their child, discussing aspirations for the future with their child, fostering their child’s accountability Research about the impact of various family engagement for learning, and talking about the value of education.  Working collaboratively with families to set goals and foster high expectations for student achievement  Showing families what children are learning and demystifying grade level standards and assessments  Using data to show families how their children are doing  Helping families support learning at home.




15 FAMILY ENGAGEMENT  FREE FAMILY FIELD TRIPS - Freedom Trail, Boston - Franklin Park Zoo - Battleship Cove - “Annie” - JFK Museum - Plymouth Hall Museum/Plymouth Rock - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  LITERACY NIGHTS/SCIENCE NIGHTS  OUTREACH - Food Pantries, Church Suppers, WIC, Turning Pointe/Baby Pointe Resource centers, Salvation Army, homeless shelters, Laundromats, Libraries  PLAYGROUPS - Music & Movement, STEM, Teddy Bear Storytime  NON-TRADITIONAL CAREGIVERS GROUPS - Grandparents Raising Grandkids, Single fathers, Foster Families COMMUNITY CAFES

16  Parent Cafés are a series of structured small group gatherings that focus on conversations or activities that bring parents together to discuss issues or to enjoy hobbies that are important to them. The goal is to directly engage parents in building relationships in the school and community in order to promote and support healthy outcomes for all families.

17 5 Protective Factors of Strengthening Families  Parental Resilience  Social Connections  Concrete Supports in Times of Need  Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development  Social and Emotional Competence of Children

18 TYPES OF COMMUNITY CAFES  Academic (A) ~ Helping your Child with Math Homework in Grade 4, Community Book Club, Topics in Special Education  Enrichment (E) ~ Memory Keepers Scrapbooking, Knitting, Floral Arrangement, Healthy Crockpot Cooking  Financial Literacy (FL) ~ Couponing, Balancing the Family Budget, Saving for the Holidays  Social/Emotional (SE)~ Parenting the Difficult Child, Parenting Toolbox, Parenting by the Seat of your (Comfortable) Pants  College Prep/Career Planning (CP) ~ Interviewing Skills, Resume Writing, FAFSA Support

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