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Trending Topic: It's All About Family Engagement


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The trinity of family and community engagement is relational trust, promising practices, and compliance. It's time to rethink family and community engagement - moving from management and presentation of information to relationships and capacity building, as well as, helping families, communities, staff, and students learn together.

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Trending Topic: It's All About Family Engagement

  1. 1. Trending Topic: It’s All About Family Engagement
  2. 2. Reneé Jackson, Ed.D. National PTA Senior Manager, Education Initiatives @reneelajackson
  3. 3. Stand up if you work at the district level Stand up if you work at the school level Stand up if you have children or grandchildren in a school Who are you? Sit down if you are a PTA member Sit down if you believe in the power of family engagement
  4. 4. By the end of this workshop you will be able to: • Understand what it means to effectively engage all families • Identify PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships • Demonstrate how to partner with families for continuous school improvement by using National PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships
  5. 5. Question to Ponder What is your district’s/school’s vision and core values for family and community engagement?
  6. 6. 4 Types of Partnerships
  7. 7. Core Values • All parents have dreams for their children and want the best for them. • All parents have the capacity to support their children’s learning. • Parents and school staff should be equal partners. • The responsibility for building partnerships between school and home rest primarily within the school staff, especially school leaders. (Henderson & Mapp, 2008)
  8. 8. National PTA’s Definition of Effective Family Engagement National PTA worked with the leading researchers to develop a formal definition of effective family engagement. There are three components.
  9. 9. National PTA’s Definition of Effective Family Engagement A Shared Responsibility in which: • Schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to engaging families in meaningful and culturally respectful ways, and • Families are committed to actively supporting their children’s learning and development.
  10. 10. National PTA’s Definition of Effective Family Engagement Cradle to Career: • Continuous across a child’s life, spanning from Early Head Start programs to college and career.
  11. 11. National PTA’s Definition of Effective Family Engagement Across Contexts: • Carried out everywhere that children learn – o Home o Pre-kindergarten programs o School o After-school programs o Faith-based organizations o Community programs and activities
  12. 12. Why is Family Engagement Important? No matter what their family income or background may be, students with involved parents/caregivers are more likely to: • Earn higher grades and test scores • Pass their classes • Attend school regularly • Have better social skills • Graduate and go on to postsecondary education Henderson, A., & Mapp, K. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
  13. 13. Dual Capacity Framework
  14. 14. Effective Family Engagement New research shows that meaningful family And community engagement is one of five essential ingredients for effective school reform: 1. (Principal) leadership as the driver for change 2. Family-school-community ties 3. Professional capacity 4. Student-centered learning climate 5. Instructional guidance Bryk, A.S., Sebring, P.B., Allensworth, E., Luppescu, S., & Easton, J.Q. (2010). Organizing schools for improvement: Lessons from Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  15. 15. Standard 1 Welcoming All Families
  16. 16. Standard 1: Welcoming All Families • Set up a parent help desk or welcome center • Conduct meet-and-greet walks in the neighborhoods where students live • Host events in varying community locations or format • Use a professional development day to address assumptions about race, class, and culture • Explore family resource center options • Consider childcare and transportation solutions • Show families their presence is valued
  17. 17. Standard 2 Communicating Effectively
  18. 18. Standard 2: Communicating Effectively • Use all communication channels: social media, cable television, newspapers, radio, automated phone systems, text messaging, school and parent group web sites, etc. • Identify parents, community members, organizations and businesses that can help facilitate home-school communication • Communicate in languages and formats that will best inform all families • Sponsor events that encourage interaction between educators and families in a fun, social way
  19. 19. Standard 3 Supporting Student Success
  20. 20. Standard 3: Supporting Student Success Link all events to student learning, including activities focused on making all families feel welcome. For example:  Provide workshops on interpreting standardized test data  Collaborate with teachers to provide fun, family- centered events focused on topics such as literacy, study skills, individual curriculum areas, and college and career planning
  21. 21. Standard 4 Speaking Up for Every Child
  22. 22. Standard 4: Speaking Up for Every Child • Host information sessions about special programs; reach out to under- represented populations to ensure access and equity for all students. • Involve families in ongoing training on topics such as being an effective advocate for your child, identifying and supporting learning styles, resolving difficulties, and fostering student achievement. • Share the school’s policy and procedures for resolving concerns frequently. • Promote any successful changes fueled by family engagement. • Facilitate family participation in school committees and other community groups.
  23. 23. Standard 5 Sharing Power
  24. 24. • Identify ways the parent groups can support the school improvement plan • Provide opportunities to interact with your elected officials • Conduct an annual family survey or focus groups to get on current and potential school programs and policies • Sponsor a school accountability meeting to inform families about school programs, services, and performance data • Invite parents to share concerns and ideas through a suggestion box or through other tools Standard 5: Sharing Power
  25. 25. Standard 6 Collaborating with Community
  26. 26. Standard 6: Collaborating with Community • Identify your goals and determine opportunities for community collaboration that will help you to achieve your desired results for family engagement and student learning • Leverage individual community connections and encourage connected individuals to take the lead on forging and sustaining the collaboration on behalf of the PTA/school • Bring partners together around a shared vision • Recognize partners and thank them whenever you can
  27. 27. Best Practices National PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships Examples • 10 states have codified the Standards into law and 5 states have included the Standards in State policy • Boston Public Schools uses the Standards as a part of their training for principals and school staff • Indiana PIRC embedded the Standards into their curriculum for Statewide Parent Leadership Academies • Kansas has integrated the Standards into their State Guidelines for School Improvement Plans
  28. 28. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Family Engagement • Title I, Section 1116: Parent & Family Engagement – Requires written family engagement policies • 1% reservation of Title I school district funds for family engagement activities such as professional development and home visiting programs
  29. 29. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Family Engagement • Consultation of parents in development of state plans • Parent-friendly state report cards • Title VI, Part E: Statewide Family Engagement Centers – Provides technical assistance and capacity building for states and school districts to engage families in their child’s education
  30. 30. At a National PTA School of Excellence, families feel welcomed and empowered to support student success, and PTA is a key partner for continuous school improvement.
  31. 31. Family Engagement Tools at • National Standards Poster • National Standards Brochure • National Standards Assessment and Implementation Guides • Tip sheets for parents and teachers • 100 Ways to Help Your Child and School Succeed brochure and poster • …and More!
  32. 32. PTA Parents’ Guides to Student Success Grade-specific guides that: •Increase understanding of the importance of academic standards •Provide key items children should learn in English language arts and mathematics •Share activities families can do at home to support learning •Offer methods for families to build stronger relationships with teachers •Give tips for planning college/career (high school only)
  33. 33. Visit to stay connected! • Site map for our programs, tools and resources • Social media (Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, One Voice Blog, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube)
  34. 34. Closing Reflection: PIE P: Priceless piece of information What has been the most important piece of information for you today? I: Item to Implement What is something you intend to implement from our time today? E: Encouragement I received What is something that you are already doing that you were encouraged to keep doing?
  35. 35. Questions? Reneé Jackson, Ed.D. @reneelajackson Evaluation