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Understanding the Six Types of Family Involvement Keys to Successful Family-School Partnerships Janie King Family Consultant, Tennessee Department of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the Six Types of Family Involvement Keys to Successful Family-School Partnerships Janie King Family Consultant, Tennessee Department of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding the Six Types of Family Involvement Keys to Successful Family-School Partnerships Janie King Family Consultant, Tennessee Department of Education Julie Sullivan Family Voices of Tennessee Reggie Curran University of Tennessee Center for Literacy Studies

2 Defining the Terms What does the research say about family involvement? Who is the family of family involvement? What is family involvement?


4 Parenting Assist families with: parenting and child-rearing skills understanding child and adolescent development setting home conditions that support children as students at each age and grade level Assist schools in understanding families.

5 Challenges Provide information to all families who want it or who need it, not just to the few who attend workshops or meetings at the school building. Enable families to share information with schools about background, culture, children's talents, goals, and needs. Make all information for families clear, usable, age-appropriate, and linked to children's success.

6 How has SIG responded to the challenges?

7 Main Point Workshop is not only a meeting on a topic held at the school building at a particular time, but also the content of a topic to be viewed, heard, or read at convenient times and varied locations.

8 Possible Results STUDENTS Awareness of family supervision, respect for parents Positive personal qualities, habits, beliefs, and values taught by family Balance between time spent on chores, other activities, and homework Regular attendance, awareness of importance of school PARENTS Self-confidence about parenting and knowledge of child/adolescent development Adjustments in home environment as children proceed through school Awareness of own and others' challenges in parenting Feeling of support from school and other parents TEACHERS Awareness of own skills to share information on child development Understanding of families' backgrounds, cultures, concerns, goals, needs, and views of their children Respect for families' diversity, strengths and effort

9 Communicating Communicate with families about school programs and student progress through effective school-to-home and home-to-school communications.

10 Challenges Make all memos, notices, and other print and non- print communications clear and understandable for all families. Consider parents who do not speak English well, do not read well, or need large type. Obtain ideas from families to improve the design and content of major communications such as newsletters, report cards, and conference schedules. Establish an easy-to-use two-way channel for communications from school-to-home and from home-to-school.

11 How has SIG responded to the challenges?

12 Main Point Communications about school programs and student progress are not only from school-to-home but from home-to-school, parent- to-parent, parent-to-child, child-to- parent, teacher-to-teacher, etc, etc, etc.

13 Possible Results STUDENTS Awareness of their own progress and skills, and knowledge of actions needed to maintain or improve grades Informed decisions about courses and programs Awareness of their own role as courier and communicator in school-family partnerships PARENTS Understanding school programs and policies Monitoring and awareness of child's progress in subjects and skills Responses to student problems Ease of interactions and communications with school and teachers High rating of school quality TEACHERS Diversity of communications with families Ability to communicate clearly Use of network of parents to communicate with all families Ability to understand family views and elicit help with children's progress

14 VOLUNTEERING Improve recruitment, training, work, and schedules to involve families as volunteers and audiences at the school or in other locations to support students and school programs.

15 Challenges Recruit widely for volunteers so that all families know that their time and talents are welcome. Make flexible schedules for volunteers, assemblies, and events to enable working parents to participate. Provide training for volunteers, and match time and talent with school needs.

16 How has SIG responded to the challenges?

17 Main Point Volunteer doesnt just mean those who come to school during the day, but also those who support school goals and children's learning in any way, at any place, and at any time.

18 Possible Results STUDENTS Learn communication skills through interaction with other adults Increased skills that are tutored or taught by volunteers Awareness of many skills, talents, occupations, and contributions of parents and other volunteers PARENTS Self-confidence about ability to work in school and with children Awareness that families are welcome and valued at school Use of school activities at home TEACHERS Organization, training, and use of volunteers Readiness to involve families in new ways, including those who do not volunteer at school Awareness of parents' talents and interests in school and children Individual attention to students because of help from volunteers

19 Learning at Home Involve families with their children in learning activities at home, including homework and other curriculum-linked activities and decisions.

20 Challenges Design and implement a regular schedule of interactive homework (e.g., weekly or bi- monthly) for which students take responsibility to discuss important things they are learning with their families. Coordinate family-linked interactive homework assignments if students have several teachers. Involve families and their children in all important curriculum-related decisions.

21 How has SIG responded to the challenges?

22 Main Points "Homework" not only means work that students do alone, but also interactive activities that students share with others at home or in the community, linking schoolwork to real life. "Help" at home means how families encourage, listen, react, praise, guide, monitor, and discuss schoolwork with their children, not how they "teach" children school skills.

23 Possible Results STUDENTS Homework completion -skills, abilities, and tests scores are linked to homework and class work Positive attitude about homework and school View of parent a similar to teacher and of home as similar to school Self-confidence in ability as learner PARENTS Knowledge of how to support, encourage, and help student at home Discussions of school, class work, homework, and future plans Understanding of instructional program and what child is learning in each subject Appreciation of teacher's skill and awareness of child as a learner TEACHERS Varied designs of homework, including interactive assignments Respect of family time Recognition of helpfulness of single-parent, dual-income, and all families in motivating and reinforcing student learning

24 Decision Making Include families as partners in school decisions, governance, and advocacy through PTA/PTO, school councils, committees, and other parent organizations.

25 Challenges Include parent leaders from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and other groups in the school. Offer training to enable parent leaders to develop skills to serve as representatives of other families. Include student representatives along with parents in decision-making groups.

26 How has SIG responded to the challenges?

27 Main Point Decision making means a process of partnership, of shared views and actions toward shared goals, not just a power struggle between conflicting ideas.

28 Possible Results STUDENTS Awareness of representation of families in school decisions Understanding that student rights are protected Specific benefits linked to policies enacted by parent organizations PARENTS Input into policies that affect children's education Feeling of ownership of school Awareness of parents' voices in school decisions Shared experiences and connections with other families Awareness of school, district, and state policies TEACHERS Awareness of perspectives of families in policy development and school decisions Acceptance of equality of family representatives on school committees and in leadership roles

29 Community Collaboration Coordinate resources and services for families, students, and the school with businesses, agencies, and other groups, and provide services to the community.

30 Challenges Solve turf problems of roles, responsibilities, funds, and places for collaborative activities. Inform all families and students about community programs and services. Assure equal opportunities for students and families to obtain services or participate in community programs. Match business and community volunteers and resources with school goals.

31 How has SIG responded to the challenges?

32 Main Point Community means not only the neighborhoods where students' homes and schools are located, but also all neighborhoods or locations that influence their learning and development. Community is rated not only by low or high social or economic qualities, but also by strengths and talents available to support students, families, and schools. Community includes not only families with children in the schools, but also all who are interested in and affected by the quality of education.

33 Possible Results STUDENTS Skills and talents from enriched curricular and extracurricular experiences Knowledge and exploration of careers and options for future education and work Self-confidence and feeling of value and belonging in the community PARENTS Interactions with other families in community activities Awareness of community's contributions to the school Participation in activities to strengthen the community TEACHERS Knowledge and use of community resources to enrich curriculum and instruction Knowledge of referral processes for families and children with needs for specific services

34 Conclusion Family Involvement is a win-win situation for all! Questions?? The content in this presentation is based on the work of Joyce Epstein. Please visit for more information.

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