Creating Effective School Change


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This is Alan Blankstein's text Failure is NOT an Option, Chapter 9. He wrote this chapter with Pedro Noguera. This chapter is about School Community Relations. They present a framework for engaging parents to create effective change in K-12 schools. This chapter includes many examples -- challenges and then the authors provide for solutions.

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Creating Effective School Change

  1. 1. Creating Sustainable Systematic School Change Wafa Hozien, Ph.D. Virginia State University Based on the Book: Why Failure Is Not An Option
  2. 2. Fifth Principle: Gaining Active Engagement From Family and Community CHAPTER 9
  3. 3. • • • • Nothing motivates a child more than when learning is valued by schools and families/ community working together in partnership… These forms of involvement do not happen by accident or even by invitation. • They happen by explicit strategic intervention. (Fullan, 1997) Partnership
  4. 4. • What is meant by “helicopter parents”?
  5. 5. • • • • Greater parental involvement leads to higher levels of student achievement and improved student behavior, irrespective of such factors as socioeconomic status or ethnic background. Involvement
  6. 6. Building Positive Family and Community Relationships • Three Key Principles in Building Positive Family Relationships: 1. Mutual understanding based on empathy and recognition of shared interests 2. Meaningful involvement of family and community in a variety of school activities 3. Regular outreach and communication to family and community
  7. 7. Areas in which schools can extend Understanding and Support • Creating afterschool homework centers so that children include who don’t have someone at home to help them are not penalized because they have not completed assignments; • Creating schedules, policies, and programs that take into account students’ home-life challenges; • Providing translators who can communicate with non-English-speaking families and produce versions of important school announcements and communications in the languages spoken by the families that are served;
  8. 8. • Creating waiting areas at school for parents and other visitors so that they don’t have to stand at the counter while waiting to speak to a staff; • Arranging for transportation of students to afterschool activities and for families to school events; • Setting up alternatives to telephone communication for families who lack telephones; and • Holding meetings for parents at public libraries and community centers when transportation to school is a problem. School as Community
  9. 9. Encouraging Meaningful Parental Involvement • Establishing a parent-to-parent outreach • Inviting parents and community members to provide lessons in the language/ culture represented in the community • Inviting parents and community members to provide leadership for extracurricular activities • Training teachers and the school receptionist in how to greet parents/ conduct productive parent to parent conferences
  10. 10. Teacher wisdom for maximizing parent-teacher collaboration includes asking parents to: • • • • Mentor and tutor students who need extra help Assist with classroom writing projects, science experiments and so forth Direct or assist with dramatic productions Present various performances, e.g. musicals, dramas, puppet shows, etc.
  11. 11. Strategies for Engaging Parents in Genuine Partnerships • Change middle and high school handbooks so that they provide positive, identity-building opportunities awaiting students. • Develop positive feedback systems • Provide parents with multi-media formatted guidance
  12. 12. • Creating forums for dialogue about cultural and ethnic differences • Create opportunities for community service and more meaningful student government • Provide forums for parent discussions and mutual support Partnerships
  13. 13. • How do you productively engage family and community in schools? • Why is this important? • What is your school doing that is providing for meaningful parental school relationships? • How can this be improved? Questions
  14. 14. • Blankstein, Alan M. (2004). Failure Is Not an Option: Six Principles That Advance Student Achievement in Highly Effective Schools. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Corwin. References