Sharing Strategies to HeightenFamily EngagementGwendolyn BettyCLDE 5140Fall 2012
• Currently 600 students at the high school.• The school is located in the far northeast area of Denver.• 92.9% minority student population.• 25% considered ELLs.• 60% Latinos and 30% African Americans and a small percentage each of non-Latino white, Native American and Asian/Pacific Islander students.• 100% great kids!(DPS Spotlight Scorecard, 2012)
- According to Lindsey, et al , “culturally proficient practice assumes the school setting includes the community and parents”(p. 105, 2009).- Too often faculty feels like families aren’t engaged enough- Teachers themselves are lacking insights on how to get families to get involved in clubs and academic programs.- How can teachers share strategies to get families involved?
- Goal: develop a way for teachers to share information about successful engagement strategies for parents.- Steps: o Talk with teacher/faculty club or program sponsors during a roundtable discussion to share ideas/strategies. o Provide a short set of questions for teachers to think about before they share out the ideas in order to focus and maximize the experience. o Post finding to online sharing site to allow for every teacher and even administrators to share and view these engagement strategies for families.
- Teachers are busy! Finding time for a roundtable become impossible so…- I decided to record interviews with some faculty sponsors of academic or afterschool groups and make them available to the rest of the school’s faculty and staff.- Interviews can be seen here: http://montbellofamilyengagement.blogspot.com/
- Teachers are frustrated at the lack of engagement and many don’t know how to activate the assets of students’ families in order to get them participating at a greater level.- When teachers are successful they always use what the families can do as a starting point for engagement.
- What strategies work? Culturally proficient practices such as: o Widen the family “net” to include older siblings, aunts and uncles as well as grandparents o Ask families to contribute in a non-monetary way. Pot lucks, rides to competitions and events, use of family resources (whatever they may be). o Educate families on what the club/program is doing throughout the year. Reach out consistently using translated materials if need be and phone calls to keep families in the loop about the successes and learning opportunities the club provides.
- School-wide: one small step to empower teachers and families. Get dialogue started about something tangible teachers can do to affect change.- My Practice: I can get families engaged by I need to ask myself several questions about how I approach this. - Am I looking to other family members as resources, not just Mom and Dad? - Am I keeping families in the loop throughout the school year, not just when I need something? - Am I looking to assets families have to help students succeeed?
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