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Three Keys to Engaging Parent in Student Learning

One of the objectives of all educational institutions is to nurture and cultivate parents’ engagement in the academic growth of their children. Teachers and administrators in faith-based nonpublic schools must make an added, deliberate effort to engage and support the parent role as the primary educator, especially since these parents have consciously chosen to send their children to a nonpublic school. Presented by Dr. Ron Valenti National Manager for Non-Public Schools Catapult Learning

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Three Keys to Engaging Parents in
Student Learning
Presented by Ron Valenti, Ed.D.
January 29, 2014
The Added Significance for Nonpublic Schools
 Relationship between nonpublic faith based
schools and parents is rooted in the practice of
shared partnership.
 This partnership is grounded in shared beliefs and
tenets
 Expectations of parents are more demanding
 Parents have made a definitive choice both
academically and financially of how their children
are to be educated.
 Faith based schools must continually nurture and
cultivate the partnership between parent and
school
Know the Barriers
 First administrators need to know what could prevent parents
from being engaged in student learning:
 Are there language/culture barriers?
 Are there community limitations?
 What are the outside commitments? Working more than one
job?
 Are there negative attitudes about the school?
 What is the communication culture of the school?
Some Guiding Principles
 Recognize that all parents regardless of income,
education level, or cultural background want to be
involved in their children’s education. Parents are
the primary educators.
 Develop the capacity of school staff to work with
families
 Focus efforts to engage families on developing
trusting and respectful relationships
 Embrace a philosophy of partnership and be willing
to share power with families
 Children's development is a collaborative
enterprise
Three Keys to Engaging Parents
 Need to realize that there are other
factors but here are the three that I
feel are the most central:
 Effective Two-Way Communication
 Curricular Transparency and
Support
 Willingness to Share Power
Developing Effective Communication
 What is communicated?
 When is it
communicated?
 How is it communicated?
Question?
 How would parents rate your
institution’s communication efforts?
Good? Average? Fair ?
 Are you satisfied with the
communication efforts at your
institution? Yes? No? Could be better?
 Does your faculty understand the
importance of communicating with
parents. Yes? No? Could be better?
Meaningful Two-Way Communication
 Increases trust between school and
parents
 Encourages higher and realistic
parental expectations
 Serves as the first step to other
types of parental involvement

 Actions needed both by parent and
school to accomplish
Some Essential Actions of Parents
 Embrace the philosophy of partnership with
the teachers and the school

 Ask information about how the education
system works
 Ask teachers about the curriculum, the
textbooks and other materials.
 Get involved with the decision making
process
 Ask for information that addresses your
needs and concerns
 Share the ways encouragement is given at
home for learning
Some Essential Actions for School Personnel
 Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
 Create a welcoming environment for families where they feel
comfortable sharing ideas
 Stay in touch with parents

 Ask families what are their expectations for their children's
education
 Meet families face to face

 Communicate the positive. Use language that promotes
cooperation
 Make home visits to build relationships
WATER BREAK!
Questions ?
 What is the present attitude of parents
of your school’s curricular program?
Favorable? Unfavorable? Don’t know?
 Do parents understand the school’s
curricular program? Yes? Somewhat?
No?
 What role does the parent play in
planning the academic program of their
students? Significant? Somewhat?
None?
Setting the Stage: Curricular Transparency & Support
 Objective is to have a holistic approach
to students’ learning, such involvement
means transparency and openness
 The learning process is a full circle it
takes place at home and at school
 The partnership between parent and
school has to be defined and the
curricular goals explained and
understood in clear language – no
edubabble--no jargon
Actions for Curricular Transparency & Support
 Share your expectations and data regarding students’ learning
habits, attitude toward school and academic progress. Be clear
and help to interpret.
 Ask about families expectations for their students’ education

 Give families information how your class works
 Ask parents what they need to help their children to learn at
home. Provide opportunities in a variety of formats. Offer
workshops based on needs.
 ASK! LISTEN! PROVIDE!
Some Tips
 Develop and share a “tool box” for
helping students at home

 Provide parents with guidelines that
will help them monitor and supervise
their children's homework
 Share effective practices with parents
about involvement
 Make “homework” interactive but not
to the point that the parent has to be
the teacher of the learning
 Provide a family center in school
building
Questions?
 Do parents feel empowered to share
ideas and offer suggestions? Yes?
Somewhat? No? Don’t know?
 Do parents feel that they are part of
the decision making process? Yes?
Somewhat? No? Don’t know?
 Do you see your school as a collegial
community? Yes? Somewhat? No?
Never thought about it?
Willingness to Share Power
 Does not mean school leadership
forfeits authority
 Does mean the school leadership
recognizes the value of a collegial
environment where the common
good is to serve the students well
and all stakeholders are engaged

 Empowers the parent to fulfill their
responsibility as the primary
educator
Some Basic but Meaningful Tips
 Work with families to identify mutually convenient times for
class events and/or meetings
 Partner with families to plan academic program of their students
 Provide a variety of options for participation of parents, and let
them choose.
 Have parents participate as active members of the building’s
leadership team.

 Involve the parents in the decision making process as
contributors to the discussion
Two Major Key Findings for Engaging Parents
1. Respectful two-way communications which engage parents
as partners in their child’s learning have an impact on
student achievement.
2. Programs and interventions that engage families in
supporting their children's learning at home are linked to
higher education.
Research Has Shown
Students with involved parents are more
likely to:
 Earn higher grades and test scores
 Be promoted, pass their courses and
earn credits
 Attend school regularly
 Have better social skills and improved
behavior
 Graduate and go on to postsecondary
education.

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Three Keys to Engaging Parent in Student Learning

  • 1. Three Keys to Engaging Parents in Student Learning Presented by Ron Valenti, Ed.D. January 29, 2014
  • 2. The Added Significance for Nonpublic Schools  Relationship between nonpublic faith based schools and parents is rooted in the practice of shared partnership.  This partnership is grounded in shared beliefs and tenets  Expectations of parents are more demanding  Parents have made a definitive choice both academically and financially of how their children are to be educated.  Faith based schools must continually nurture and cultivate the partnership between parent and school
  • 3. Know the Barriers  First administrators need to know what could prevent parents from being engaged in student learning:  Are there language/culture barriers?  Are there community limitations?  What are the outside commitments? Working more than one job?  Are there negative attitudes about the school?  What is the communication culture of the school?
  • 4. Some Guiding Principles  Recognize that all parents regardless of income, education level, or cultural background want to be involved in their children’s education. Parents are the primary educators.  Develop the capacity of school staff to work with families  Focus efforts to engage families on developing trusting and respectful relationships  Embrace a philosophy of partnership and be willing to share power with families  Children's development is a collaborative enterprise
  • 5. Three Keys to Engaging Parents  Need to realize that there are other factors but here are the three that I feel are the most central:  Effective Two-Way Communication  Curricular Transparency and Support  Willingness to Share Power
  • 6. Developing Effective Communication  What is communicated?  When is it communicated?  How is it communicated?
  • 7. Question?  How would parents rate your institution’s communication efforts? Good? Average? Fair ?  Are you satisfied with the communication efforts at your institution? Yes? No? Could be better?  Does your faculty understand the importance of communicating with parents. Yes? No? Could be better?
  • 8. Meaningful Two-Way Communication  Increases trust between school and parents  Encourages higher and realistic parental expectations  Serves as the first step to other types of parental involvement  Actions needed both by parent and school to accomplish
  • 9. Some Essential Actions of Parents  Embrace the philosophy of partnership with the teachers and the school  Ask information about how the education system works  Ask teachers about the curriculum, the textbooks and other materials.  Get involved with the decision making process  Ask for information that addresses your needs and concerns  Share the ways encouragement is given at home for learning
  • 10. Some Essential Actions for School Personnel  Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!  Create a welcoming environment for families where they feel comfortable sharing ideas  Stay in touch with parents  Ask families what are their expectations for their children's education  Meet families face to face  Communicate the positive. Use language that promotes cooperation  Make home visits to build relationships
  • 12. Questions ?  What is the present attitude of parents of your school’s curricular program? Favorable? Unfavorable? Don’t know?  Do parents understand the school’s curricular program? Yes? Somewhat? No?  What role does the parent play in planning the academic program of their students? Significant? Somewhat? None?
  • 13. Setting the Stage: Curricular Transparency & Support  Objective is to have a holistic approach to students’ learning, such involvement means transparency and openness  The learning process is a full circle it takes place at home and at school  The partnership between parent and school has to be defined and the curricular goals explained and understood in clear language – no edubabble--no jargon
  • 14. Actions for Curricular Transparency & Support  Share your expectations and data regarding students’ learning habits, attitude toward school and academic progress. Be clear and help to interpret.  Ask about families expectations for their students’ education  Give families information how your class works  Ask parents what they need to help their children to learn at home. Provide opportunities in a variety of formats. Offer workshops based on needs.  ASK! LISTEN! PROVIDE!
  • 15. Some Tips  Develop and share a “tool box” for helping students at home  Provide parents with guidelines that will help them monitor and supervise their children's homework  Share effective practices with parents about involvement  Make “homework” interactive but not to the point that the parent has to be the teacher of the learning  Provide a family center in school building
  • 16. Questions?  Do parents feel empowered to share ideas and offer suggestions? Yes? Somewhat? No? Don’t know?  Do parents feel that they are part of the decision making process? Yes? Somewhat? No? Don’t know?  Do you see your school as a collegial community? Yes? Somewhat? No? Never thought about it?
  • 17. Willingness to Share Power  Does not mean school leadership forfeits authority  Does mean the school leadership recognizes the value of a collegial environment where the common good is to serve the students well and all stakeholders are engaged  Empowers the parent to fulfill their responsibility as the primary educator
  • 18. Some Basic but Meaningful Tips  Work with families to identify mutually convenient times for class events and/or meetings  Partner with families to plan academic program of their students  Provide a variety of options for participation of parents, and let them choose.  Have parents participate as active members of the building’s leadership team.  Involve the parents in the decision making process as contributors to the discussion
  • 19. Two Major Key Findings for Engaging Parents 1. Respectful two-way communications which engage parents as partners in their child’s learning have an impact on student achievement. 2. Programs and interventions that engage families in supporting their children's learning at home are linked to higher education.
  • 20. Research Has Shown Students with involved parents are more likely to:  Earn higher grades and test scores  Be promoted, pass their courses and earn credits  Attend school regularly  Have better social skills and improved behavior  Graduate and go on to postsecondary education.