PARENTS AS PARTNERS -Mohua Bose -Shilpa Solanki THE ORCHID SCHOOL, PUNE
INTRODUCTION“In this complex world, it takes more than a good school to educate children. And it takes more than a good home. It takes these two major educational institutions working together.” –Dorothy Rich, author of Mega Skills.
Awareness of parents rights of a child to receive quality education decisions taken by the school from the fee structure to the appointment of teachers from curricula choices to extra-curricular activity choices transparency in a relationshipOnce parents are enrolled in the school philosophy, it is easy to make them understand the choices made by the school. It is also the only way to counteract the skepticism with which parents generally greet any policy changes or decisions taken by the school.
The Orchid Belief informed, engaged/ enrolled, involved ‘informed and engaged’ parents - better home-school cooperation and increased student success. ‘enrolled parents’ - conduits though which the teacher is able to reach a child even when he/she is outside her sphere of influence. when parents are ‘involved’ in their children’s education, children do better in studies, are more interactive in class, and are in fact, more ‘interested learners’.
Parent Teacher AssociationGeneral Body MeetingsTransport CommitteeTeacher Recruitment PanelRTE CommitteeFood CommitteeAdmission CommitteeDecision making and enhancementprograms- Leapstart, XSeed
Class Parent Volunteer System - Structure Support Set of 8-10 Parent -1 parentsMain Class Support Set of 8-10 Parent Parent - 2 parents Support Set of 8-10 Parent - 3 parents
Class Parent Substitution Volunteer School Council for teacher System Selection Panel Channel for Concerts, sensitizing Cultural parents programs, Class PresentationsPool of human resource Field trips and camps Awareness Strategic drives Planning quick and efficient system of sending Teacher messages Evaluation
Other Areas Of Parental InvolvementREGULAR COMMUNICATION• Parent Meetings• Newsletters• Phone calls• Class Mail Group• School WebsiteMAKING LEARNING VISIBLE (MLV)• Presentation to parents• Exhibitions and fairsLIFE SKILLS ORIENTATION PROGRAM
Process • introduction of School policies and philosophy General Orientation • mention of Class Parent Volunteer System • detailed explanation according to Level wise Orientation requirements of each level- Pre Primary, Primary and Secondary • expectations for that particular class and Class Orientation CPVs selection/nominationWorkshop for the teachers • Filling grids and forms as well as the CPVs
Epsteins Framework of Six Types of Involvement1. PARENTING2. COMMUNICATING3. VOLUNTEERING4. LEARNING AT HOME5. DECISION MAKING6. COLLABORATING WITH COMMUNITY
Using The Orchid ModelSchools need to have guidelines and a structure in which parentvolunteers and teachers can work hand in hand. So Class Teachersare encouraged to:• Create guidelines for parent volunteers - clear dos and don’ts• Encourage teachers to list what parents can do at home and atschool to support their childs learning.• Communicate what parent groups can do.• Send out a volunteer survey, to find out what parents are interested indoing.• Have an orientation to train the volunteer coordinator team.
Using The Orchid Model• Make sure class teachers have all the volunteer activities listedwith the time slots available and the amount of time requested.• Create a potential pool of human resources• Contact parents the way they want to be contacted, by phone, e-mail, etc.• Assign one main parent volunteer and three support volunteerfor every class – our 3 tier CPV system• Confirm assignments with parents and thank them.• Always stick to an agreed schedule
Assessment of success or failureCUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY correlation between engaged parents and level of satisfaction. “Overall satisfaction of parents who are actively engaged with the PTA is higher than other parents.” - CSS ReportSURVEY OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS questionnaires and open forums to discuss effectiveness of the system for parents, students and teachersPERFORMANCE ANALYSIS REPORT- joint endeavour by parents and school on actual student performance record can make a difference
Analysis According to the CSS report, “Overall satisfaction of parents who are actively engaged with the PTA is higher than other parents.” when parents are ‘involved’, their choices and responses are educated. comments are not on assumptions but on data gathered or practices observed. whether supportive or not, their views being based on facts, gives a true picture of the effectiveness of school policies and programs. system needs periodic reviews and checks to ensure that the goal is not tampered with.
The Flip SideThere are many reasons why parents may not become active in school life:•Too little time/work schedule/single-parenthood•Lack of resources/transportation/child care•Language barrier/cultural isolation•Social isolation/low educational level•Not knowing how to contribute•Feeling overwhelmed, intimidated or unwelcomeThe responsibility for changing this state of affairs must liewith the school.
What research says..The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a majorinfluence on their children’s achievement in school and through life. … Theresearch continues to grow and build an ever-strengthening case.When schools,families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tendto do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more. (Henderson& Mapp, 2002, p. 7)Specific to academics, there has been a positive link made between parentinvolvement/engagement and the following indicators of student achievement:higher grades and test scores (on teacher ratings, achievement, and standardizedtests), enrolment in higher level programs and advanced classes, greater promotionrates, higher successful completion of classes and earned credits, lower drop-outrates, higher on-time high school graduation rates, and a greater likelihood ofmovement into post secondary education (Epstein &VanVoorhis, 2001)
Conclusion“I learned the hard way. I learned that if I took time at the beginning ofthe school year to phone each family to introduce myself, offer a fewpositive statements about their child, and let them know what washappening in class, I had fewer problems during the year. In fact,communicating with parents turned them into advocates for me and for mystudents -- a helpful resource rather than a dreaded hindrance. In short,we became partners.” – a teacher.
Thank YouVisit The Orchid School, Pune – website – www.theorchidschool.org