Defining Family Involvement What is your definition?
Can all of our families live up to our definition? If not, how can we modify our definition to reflect our unique family contributions? Key questions- How would our families define family involvement? What can we do to value diverse contributions? How can we make every family believe they have something valuable to offer the school? How can we let families know about the enormous variety of opportunities to contribute (various times of day, various skills required, things can be done at home, etc)? What does it feel like to parents to come into our school? Do we need to develop a different definition of family involvement?
Benefits of Family Involvement Higher achievement Improved school attendance Improved student sense of well-being Improved student behavior Better parent and student perceptions of classroom and school climate Better readiness to complete homework Higher educational aspirations among students and parents Better student grades Increased educational productivity of the time that parents and students spend together Greater parent satisfaction with teachers (Anfara, 2008)
Epstein’s Six Types of Family Involvement Communicating Communication between home and school is regular, two-way, and meaningful. Parenting Parenting skills are promoted and supported. Student learning Parents play an integral role in assisting student learning. Volunteering Parents are welcome in the school, and their support and assistance are sought. Decision making Parents are full partners in the decisions that affect children and families. Collaborating with community Community resources are used to strengthen schools, families, and student learning. (Epstein, Coates, Salinas, Sanders, & Simon,1997)
Continuum of Supports Following Epstein’s Six Types of Family Involvement Parenting Student Learning Volunteering Decision Making Community Collaboration Communication Activities
Communication Newsletters Email Phone calls Meetings Surveys Things to communicate- Data Upcoming events Ways to participate Individual student progress (to individual parents) Successes Actions in response to Parent Survey results
Parenting Training opportunities Universal Ex. general behavior management, how to set up expectations at home Secondary Ex. using behavior intervention plans, rewards at home Tertiary Ex. community agency supports, exceptional children process
Parenting Cont. Survey families about types of training Include community agencies to provide support for parenting- consider meeting place Parent resource library
Steps for Success For Training and Support for Families Collect Data Tell Parents why it is important Plan Intervention Get Feedback Do Intervention Share data results Ex. Many students are struggling with letter identification. 65% could only identify 20 letters. We would expect 80% to have this skill at this time of year. We provided training and materials for families to work on this at home. Great Job Families- now we have 92% who can identify 20 letters!
Student Learning Make and Take Trainings Themed academic nights involving PBIS expectations “Respect Night” Teach skills to use at home Game show review night before tests Provide parents with questions and answers
Volunteering Ask parents about their talents, provide opportunities to share those skills Ex. music, art, organization, event planning, etc. Tutoring Mentoring Teacher Assistance Fund Raising Guest Speakers Variety in scheduling- day/evening, 1x mo, 1xyr
Decision Making Representative on PBIS Team Drafts sent to PTO team members for feedback Involvement and support for meetings about his/her child
Community Collaboration Letters about PBIS Providing PBIS expectations to post where students are (YMCA, Churches, restaurants) Request volunteers/support for activities and celebrations Ask for sponsorship of events- advertising
Recognition Awards Certificates of Recognition Announcements Interviews/ Articles Donated gifts from the community Tickets to events
Steps for Success Training and Support with Staff Define family involvement Collect data Consider data about the current families that are involved as well as the families that are not involved Emphasize the importance Match efforts to the culture and values of your families Avoid saying that it won’t work. If you identify barriers, identify solutions. Recognize the efforts of staff who work to build family involvement Incorporate activities that are helpful to staff Use the TIPS problem solving process to ensure that each of the 6 types of family involvement have been considered and addressed
Family is… 2 a: a group of persons of common ancestry : b: a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock :3 a: a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation : b: the staff of a high official (as the President)4: a group of things related by common characteristics: 5 a: the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children ; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family (family, 2012)
Are we a part of a child’s family? How much time? Responsible for teaching? Guiding, shaping, teaching values? Social skills, life-long learners? Investment Do we make children and their families feel that we are an extension of their family?
Problem Solving Practice Review the parent survey data and practice the problem-solving process with your team.