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Does Your Race to the Top Include Parent Engagement? If Not, Will You Make It to the Top?? Capacity Building Partnerships Download http://www.projectappleseed.org/ProjectAppleseedrt3.pdf Our Program Outline for U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top Fund Investing In Innovation Grants
Index Six Slices of Parental Involvement topic slide Our History & Mission 5 Barriers to Parental Involvement 11 Four Myths of Parental Involvement 17 Six Slices of Parental Involvement 22 Parental Involvement Pledge 28 Parental Involvement Toolbox 37 Logic Model 44
Our History A dozen parents and citizens in the St. Louis County, Missouri, community of University City, formed this organization in October of 1992, when the board of education’s strategic plan called for the establishment of a model parent group. The plan called for: “ An independent self-perpetuating group, interested in the overall welfare of District schools, that will maximize community involvement, develop fund-raising activities, monitor District progress, and perform studies and make recommendations to the District.” By 1994, we became a model for the White House in the landmark inclusion of parental involvement mandates, in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act. This legislation currently affects half of the public school children in America. Nationwide over 5,000 schools & districts are a part of our organization’s campaign. Our newsletter, Appleseed Today , reaches 400,000 educators each month. Our web site has over 250,000 unique visitors and is accessed in the United States and over 30 countries around the world each day.
Top 10 Project Appleseed's leadership is among the Top Ten in American education. Project Appleseed’s founder and president, Kevin Walker, was named one the Top Ten People In American Education during the last decade of the 20th century by Teacher magazine. Mr. Walker is also the recipient of Parenting magazine's Parenting Leader Award, honoring men and women who are working to improve the lives of children and public education in the United States. Project Appleseed is the #1 source for 'parental involvement in public schools' in Google & Yahoo .
We are a catalyst in the implementation of effective, research based, model parent and community involvement programs that increase social capital, improves the lives of families and revitalizes schools and communities
across the United States.
Our Three Purposes To positively impact public education, we promote total quality improvement in learning, wellness, and school facilities. We aid parents & educators in meeting the needs of the whole child through three purposes:
1 . Increasing student achievement by mobilizing parent, family and community volunteers inside and outside schools.
2 . Strengthening fitness & nutrition by supporting family participation in physical activities and healthy eating.
3 . Enhancing the learning environment by utilizing alumni and community giving – as universities do - to finance the rebuilding of public schools as green buildings.
What if 100 million parents, grandparents, and caring adults volunteered 10 hours in America’s public schools each year?
They would contribute one billion hours
of valuable family involvement capacity -
critical to increasing student achievement
for the nation’s 50 million K-12 students.
Financially, if teachers dedicated similar time
one-on-one with their students, the minimum dollar
benefit to children and schools would be $34 billion .
That matches the $37 billion
spent by the federal government on
all public schools this year.
Based on the average teacher pay in America of $34.00 an hour* Wall Street Journal. Includes: ESEA, Title I, IDEA, Improving Teacher Quality, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, English Language Learners and Impact Aid
The most recent research on effective parental involvement shows that numerous barriers to involvement exist for both schools and families. Some barriers are created by limited resources, while others originate from the beliefs, perceptions and attitudes of families and school staff.
The most common barriers to family involvement include:
Lack of teacher time.
Educator’s misperceptions of parents ' abilities.
Lack of understanding of parents ' communication styles.
Family mobility, limited family resources, such as transportation and child care.
Parents ' lack of comfort and vested interest in the school along with tension in relationships between parents and teachers.
Difficulties of involvement in the upper grades.
(Jones, 2001; Baker, 2000; Caplan, 2000; American Association of School Administrators, 1998; Liontos, 1992)
Additionally, family involvement programs are often not fully implemented because:
School staff had not been trained to work with families.
Administrators and teachers worried that increased family involvement would add to their already busy schedules.
Educators were concerned that closer relationships with families would mean giving up power and decision-making.
Families were not sure how far they could go in making suggestions or asking questions; they worried that children would be punished for their parents ' actions by a teacher or principal who was annoyed or threatened by the parent.
"It Takes A Parent” Federal, state, and local officials must do a better job of abiding by the parental involvement sections of the No Child Left Behind Act. "It Takes A Parent" is a report based on research involving 18 school districts in six states. The report finds that:
Current parent involvement provisions of the law are solid and ambitious, but require more faithful implementation and greater enforcement .
Teachers and administrators often lack training in how to engage parents ; and parent involvement has fallen to the bottom of the list of NCLB requirements, though it is integral to the success of the law and of students and schools.
Data reports are often confusing and overwhelming, and parents wait months for performance results , often into the next school year.
Not all parent involvement activities are created equal!
The National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) has combed through research to learn how parents can help improve their children's achievement. Based on this research, SEDL responds to four misconceptions of parent involvement in schools.
Myth #1: As a parent, the best way to get involved in my child's education is by joining the local parents' organization.
Parents who are dues-paying members of their children's school PTA are supporting the oldest and largest child advocacy organization in the United States. But being a member alone doesn't ensure effective involvement in a child's learning.
To support achievement, research suggests the most effective parental involvement focuses on learning activities-reading to children, letting them figure prices at the grocery store or setting aside time and space to do homework and projects.
There are benefits in joining an organization like the PTA or PTO, such as the opportunity to share experiences and information with other parents and access to organizational resources. Just the same, parents can provide the support needed at home for their children to be successful in school without joining a local parent organization.
Myth #2: The teacher is the sole expert in educating a child, so a parent should never question a teacher or staff on school-related issues.
Teachers and parents or family caregivers play different roles in a child's education. And a good relationship between a teacher and a parent, based on mutual respect and trust, benefits students. At times, parents may need to ask a teacher or school staff member for clarification about a specific issue or information.
Parents should contact their children's teachers or other school staff when they have questions about their children's education. Most school staff members begin to see parents as partners when they know they will ask questions when information is unclear.
Myth #3: The influence of parent involvement on school achievement depends on the parents' income, level of education, and employment status.
A large body of research confirms that family involvement in children's school experiences has a positive effect on children's attitudes toward achievement in school, regardless of how much money parents have or how many years of school they completed.
More important is the parents' attitude toward learning. Working parents may not have much time to be involved at their children's schools, but they can show how much they value education and take an active interest in what their children are learning.
Myth #4: The key actors in parent involvement are the teacher, parents or family, and the student.
Meaningful and successful parent involvement is not limited to partnerships between parents and teachers. Parents and family caregivers should think of the following educators and decision makers as participants in their children's educations-teachers, the principal, the school board, the superintendent, and public officials.
Parents can influence school board members and public officials by participating in meetings, voting, and engaging in discussions of education matters and child advocacy issues.
The Double Helix of Public Schools In the 21st century school improvement works like the double helix that combines and recombines genetic material to renew life. An effective school improvement strategy must combine two complementary strands:
The inside strand focuses on the content of schooling - curricula, academic standards, incentives and work rules for teachers and a philosophy of school management.
The outside strand attracts and mobilizes community and political support, social capital, and other resources from outside the traditional school bureaucracy - from parents, grandparents, community members, alumni, businesses and the larger community.
Many communities have the financial, intellectual, and leadership resources needed to rebuild their own educational improvement strategies . To initiate an effort to improve public schools in all of our nation's communities, Project Appleseed concentrates on the outside strand of school improvement. We mobilize Americans to volunteer and give to their local public schools based on the Six Slices of Parental Involvement . (Hill, 1989) School Genome
Six Types of Parental Involvement, Epstein, et. al. 2002.
GOAL: Design more effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications with all families each year about school programs and their children's progress.
SAMPLE BEST PRACTICES
Parent and student pick-up of report card, with conferences with every parent at least twice a year, with follow-ups as needed.
Weekly or monthly folders of student work are sent home and reviewed, parental comments returned to teacher. Regular schedule of useful notices, memos, phone calls, newsletters, and other communications.
Clear information on all school policies, programs reforms, and transitions. Clear information on choosing schools, or courses, programs, and activities within schools.
The Parental Involvement Pledge tm AS A PARENT, GRANDPARENT, OR CARING ADULT, I hereby give my pledge of commitment to help our community's children achieve a truly independent future. My declaration of responsibility and commitment to my public schools is stated in the five self-evident truths as spoken by President Woodrow Wilson…
How To Build Capacity With the Pledge Our Title I learning compact is called the Parental Involvement Pledge and it is the most widely distributed compact in the United States. By signing the Pledge, parents agree to "take personal responsibility" for their children's education. We ask you, as parents, grandparents or as caring adults, to pledge to spend at least five hours each semester assisting at school, and fifteen minutes reading with your child each evening.
How To Build Capacity With the Pledge The Pledge is distributed to families in individual schools and school districts, to connect them with volunteer opportunities programs for adults, focusing on school improvement and building social capital for the school community. The Pledge entices parents to come to school for volunteering, parenting, academics, communication, safety, decision making, performances and more. By coming to school often, parents communicate more with teachers on their children's progress and learn how to support learning at home. Excited by new ways to participate in school programs, and once comfortable, parents get involved and volunteer to help. Parents of students and other adults participate in programs to further their own interests and education. Many parents become role models while aslo stimulating their children's improved performance, by demonstrating an interest in education,
The Parental Involvement Pledge is a learning compact that has two components. It provides an opportunity for parents to formalize their commitment to working with their child's school through a written agreement they can complete and take to their parent leader, school secretary, teacher, or principal.
The Pledge also provides a survey of parent volunteer interests. The survey identifies 37 areas in which parents can volunteer in school, outside the classroom and at home. The Pledge is aligned with the Six Slices of Parental Involvement.
How Do You Use the Pledge? The Pledge is a tool to share with staff and parent organizations as a way of recruiting volunteers and appropriately connecting them with specific needs and activities. When Do You Use It? Title I of No Child Left Behind requires that a Pledge or other learning compact be used during parent-teacher conferences. Use it also when you want to encourage parents to volunteer or when you want teachers to invite and encourage parental involvement on National Parental Involvement Day , the third Thursday in November or Public School Volunteer Week which is the third week of April.
Why Do You Use It? U.S. Department of Education research demonstrates that schools that use learning compacts like the Parental Involvement Pledge have higher student achievement than those that don't use them. The Pledge provides a concrete way to help parents volunteer because it allows them to choose very specific activities. It is easier to get a commitment and follow-through if it is clear exactly what is being asked and what is expected. (Prospects Study 1993) Who Do You Involve? Use the Pledge with parents, family members, parent groups, and staff as a tool and encouragement for parental involvement. When parents are involved, their children do better in school, and they go to better schools.
A growing number of school improvement initiatives seeking to transform schools are engaging significant numbers of organized parents . The initiatives strive to improve a school ’s culture; the quality of relationships among educators, parents, and children; and students ’ educational outcomes. The initiatives work toward effecting systemic change in a school, and they situate their reform efforts within the context of the surrounding community.
Since schools alone cannot solve the problems imported into them from society, some projects reach beyond schools ; they draw upon the power of community institutions, such as businesses, civic groups, and churches to improve schools and aspects of life in the community that impact education. Successful systemic initiatives usually result in an increase in the quantity and quality of the various forms of parent involvement, such as the number of parent volunteers in the school, and the number of parents helping their children with homework. ( Lewis, 1997; Murnane & Levy, 1996, Giles 1998)
How Much Is Parental Involvement Worth to Your School?
If volunteer service were calculated into the school budget at $34.00 an hour, based on the average teacher pay in America*, then 100 family volunteers who take the Pledge will generate at least $34,000.00 of volunteer service for their school each year!
How much volunteer time
did your school get this year???
For just $250.00 per school, the Parental Involvement Toolbox has the cost effective, research-based tools, like our learning compact called the Parental Involvement Pledge.
Project Appleseed has developed effective community engagement strategies that will organize parental involvement, increase school safety, and raise student achievement in local school districts. Each Toolbox has school branded master copies and a year long authorization to reproduce unlimited copies of:
The Parental Involvement Pledge learning compact
Parental Involvement Pledge Online
The Parental Involvement Report Card
Certificates of Parental Involvement for families and schools
Secure Credit Card - Use your major credit card or debit card. Debit cards (also called check cards, ATM cards, or banking cards) are accepted if they bear the Visa or MasterCard logo. Click here and go to our secure donation site at the Network for Good. Once there you will create a password, enter your order as a 'Parental Involvement Toolbox', and enter the correct 'donation' amount for your school or district.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Title I No Child Left Behind
"Principles: The overall goals of the ARRA are to stimulate the economy in the short term and invest in education and other essential public services to ensure the long-term economic health of our nation. The success of the education part of the ARRA will depend on the shared commitment and responsibility of students, parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, education boards, college presidents, state school chiefs, governors, local officials, and federal officials."
Under Title I, each school district is required to spend at least 1% of its Title I funds on programs for parents . Parents must be involved in decisions about how that money is to be spent. In fact, parents must jointly develop and approve the district and school's parent involvement policies which should spell out how this money is spent.