Home-School Communications Research Presentation

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Home-School Communications Research Presentation

  1. 1. Home-School Communications A Study of Methods, Effectiveness, and Improvements
  2. 2. Purpose <ul><li>This project examined patterns of home-school communications in order to: </li></ul><ul><li>Discover what methods of communication are used most often and why they are preferred </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the effectiveness of home-school communications </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest ways to improve communications between families and staff </li></ul>
  3. 3. Instruments and Data Collection <ul><li>The families of 450 students at Ashley Elementary School were asked to complete a home-school communication questionnaire. Of those, eighty returned the surveys. </li></ul><ul><li>Eighty staff members were asked to complete another home-school questionnaire during a staff meeting. Staff members not present were given surveys to complete and return. Twenty-seven returned the surveys. </li></ul><ul><li>Family and staff surveys were examined. Answers to multiple choice questions were analyzed. Free-responses generated from the remaining prompts were subjected to thematic analysis. </li></ul>
  4. 4. From School to Families
  5. 6. Why Do Teachers Contact Parents These Ways? <ul><li>Staff members preferred using different methods of communication for different reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>quick response </li></ul><ul><li>directness </li></ul><ul><li>two-way collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>documentation </li></ul>
  6. 7. Effectiveness of Communications from Staff Members <ul><li>Effectiveness can be measured in a variety of ways, including: </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of contact </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency of communications </li></ul><ul><li>Response elicited </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for contact </li></ul><ul><li>Tone of communication </li></ul>
  7. 8. More Positive Contact Is Needed <ul><li>A system to communicate both student strengths and weaknesses must be created. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff members must be encouraged to contact families regarding academic achievements and positive behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Existing programs such as student of the week should be utilized and promoted. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Family Suggestions <ul><li>More frequent reports on their child, especially if there are academic concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Written explanations of directions and homework </li></ul><ul><li>Share both the child’s strengths and weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>“Stop yelling at them” </li></ul><ul><li>“Traveler’s Notebook” </li></ul>
  9. 10. Staff Suggestions <ul><li>Update demographic information </li></ul><ul><li>Parents: Take more initiative to contact teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Parent education </li></ul><ul><li>More time to communicate with families </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that everybody’s goal is to support children </li></ul>
  10. 11. From Home to School
  11. 12. Methods Received by Staff <ul><li>Staff members receive phone calls and notes most often from families. </li></ul><ul><li>These findings are similar to family reports. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Effectiveness of Communications <ul><li>Effectiveness can be measured by a variety of factors, including: </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of contact </li></ul><ul><li>Response elicited </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for communication </li></ul><ul><li>Tone of communication </li></ul>
  13. 14. It Would Be Easier to Contact Staff If Teachers Were More Available <ul><li>Families would like: </li></ul><ul><li>a voicemail service so that parents can leave messages which teachers can hear </li></ul><ul><li>the ability to call a teacher in their classroom, rather than leave a message in the office </li></ul><ul><li>teacher’s personal phone number </li></ul>
  14. 15. Staff Should Communicate in a More Positive and Explanatory Way to Ease Contact <ul><li>Families request that communications be more positive and are not only initiated to inform them of “bad” things. </li></ul><ul><li>They would also like teachers to take more time with them, and better explain why their child is not on grade level. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Parents Can Communicate Better <ul><li>Why should teachers work so hard when families are “unconcerned”, have “NO TIME to go to school”, seem “unresponsive”, and are “too busy” to care for their own child’s education? </li></ul><ul><li>The most requested action is that families participate more in their child’s education, in school and outside of it. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important for families to initiate contact with their child’s teacher regularly. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Families Can Also… <ul><li>respond to teacher contacts so that staff members know if the communication has been received and understood. </li></ul><ul><li>care for their children’s health, as well as the health of others. </li></ul><ul><li>make communications clear. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Other Findings <ul><li>91% of families feel the current discipline plan is working </li></ul><ul><li>65% of staff members report that the current discipline plan is working </li></ul><ul><li>56% of staff members feel that culture affects communication </li></ul>
  18. 19. Future Research <ul><li>There are a variety of ways to expand the study of home-school communications, including: </li></ul><ul><li>Comparing communication at Ashley with communication patterns at another school </li></ul><ul><li>Comparing sub-groups within Ashley </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing a program to regularly evaluate and improve communications </li></ul>

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