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Beyond the Bake Sale Chapter 3 Ready, Set, Go!

Beyond the Bake Sale Chapter 3 Ready, Set, Go!

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Beyond the Bake Sale Chapter 3 Ready, Set, Go!

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  1. Beyond the Bake Sale Chapter 3Ready, Set, Go! How do You Know if You’re Really Open to Partnership?

  2. How Do You Know if You are Really Open to Partnership? • Most schools across the country agree that families must be involved in their children’s education and that home-school partnerships are important. • With such overwhelming agreement, why can’t we find REAL partnerships in EVERY school? • “The reality is that educators and parents have beliefs, attitudes, and fears about each other that hinder their coming together to promote children’s education.” Page 27

  3. “Before we can create strong and effective partnerships with families, we have to believe not only that it’s important but also that it can be done – and that we can do it. That means it’s necessary for school staff to hold a set of positive beliefs about family engagement. So the answer to “Are family-school partnerships important? Tends to be “Yes, but…” Page 27

  4. I Believe Partnership with Families is Important… “When teachers reach out with the goal of building partnerships based on mutual respect and common purpose, families will respond.” All schools must use what Beyond the Bake Sale describes as 4 Core Beliefs. Page 28

  5. Core Belief 1: All Parents Have Dreams for Their Children and Want the Best for Them “It is vital for educators to understand that the families who send their children to them each day want their children to succeed in school and in life. Yes, families may say or do things that lead us to wonder if they respect the importance of education. But these actions and behaviors often are triggered by other stressful factors in parents’ lives.” CORE BELIEF 1 Page 28 Educators can help to foster these dreams……

  6. Communicate with Families • Family Contact Log • * P=Phone N=Note E=Email C=Classroom O=Other

  7. Research Brief: • Research states that families of all backgrounds feel college is essential. • “Not only do many parents of color value K-12 education, they feel college is essential for their child. In a survey of African American, Hispanic, and white parents, Public Agenda found that parents of color actually placed a greater priority on higher education than the white parents.” Page 29

  8. CORE BELIEF 1 Suggested Steps for Action… Workshops for families to identify dreams and help them achieve them for their children by: Showing families effective ways to support their children’s learning. Giving families ideas about how to talk with their children about their goals and dreams. Explaining the steps that children at their current grade in school must take to complete the classes and programs required to reach their goals. What programs are available at the next level that will give them knowledge and skills they need for postsecondary education or training? Pages 31-32

  9. What about parents who really don’t want to be involved? Those children must have another adult to support them. Remember over 4 million children are being raised by grandparents or a close family friend or neighbor. WHAT CAN WE DO? • Use school volunteers to act as Big Brother/Big Sister type role models to tutor and encourage the students that need support • Use Benchmarks and mClass to identify children that need help and also target the children that you know do not have home support.

  10. Core Belief 2: All Parents Have the Capacity to Support Their Children’s Learning “Regardless of how little formal education they may have or what language they speak, all parents can contribute to their children’s learning. Parents’ knowledge, talents, and experiences in life give them plenty of capacity for assisting their children with school skills – but school staff may need to help parents understand and use that capacity. All parents have “funds of knowledge” about their children and the community that should be respected and tapped by school staff.” CORE BELIEF 2 Page 32 Researchers found that three key concepts influence the choices parents make about being involved in their children’s education…

  11. 3 Key Concepts that influence parent participation • How parents develop their job description as a parent. • What parents think they are supposed to do to help their children. • What family and friends tell them is important in helping their children. • Cultural background and surroundings Page 33

  12. 3 Key Concepts that influence parent participation • How confident parents feel about their ability to help their children. Parents are more likely to become involved if they feel that: • They have the skills and knowledge needed to help their children • Their children can learn what they have to share and teach • They can find other sources of skill or knowledge if needed • What they do will make a positive difference in their children’s learning Page 33

  13. 3 Key Concepts that influence parent participation • Whether parents feel invited – both by their children and by the school • Parents are more motivated to support their children’s learning when they receive clear invitations and support from teachers and other school staff to be engaged, are confident about their ability to support their children, and are clear about what they should do to support their child’s learning. Page 34

  14. How can we help parents participate? Develop family job descriptions: Use and update the family-school compact each year with family participation Recruit families to be “role models” for new arriving families List the school’s expectations for family involvement in the school handbook and explain at open house or other activities Ask families from different cultures to share their values Pages 34-35

  15. How can we help parents participate? Build families’ confidence in their ability to help their children Offer workshops and materials to give families skills and information Send home learning packets, educational games, and videos that are linked to what children are learning in class Invite families to observe what children are learning in the classroom Remind families of how they are their child’s first teacher at parent-teacher conferences Page 35

  16. How can we help parents participate? Making sure all families feel welcome and invited by school staff and their children Offer home visits to families to get to know them and build a personal connection Following up flyers and notices of activities with phone calls and invitations from the children Survey families to see how they would like to be involved offering a range of ways to be involved Pages 35-36

  17. Core Belief 3: Parents and School Staff Should Be Equal Partners School staff should receive professional development to help them work with families and families should be taught how to support learning at home. CORE BELIEF 3 Pages 36-37 The school and family relationship should be mutual and not lopsided…For example:

  18. Example of RELATIONSHIPS Lopsided relationships Mutual relationships • “Have your children follow my directions about their homework and other assignments.” • “Here are some ways to monitor your children’s homework and build their skills. Tell us what else you do to help your children.” Page 37

  19. Suggestions for including families as Equal Partners: • Engage families in planning how they want to be involved in school. • Consult a representative group of parents, not only those who attend PTA/PTO. • Invite families to observe in classrooms, review books and materials, and visit other schools for ideas. • Invite families to attend staff development and faculty meetings. Pages 38-39

  20. Suggestions for including families as Equal Partners: • Offer workshops about topics they suggest. • Involve families in action research – for example, surveying families about school climate, what workshops and activities families are interested in, and the best ways and times to communicate about their child’s learning. Page 39

  21. Core Belief 4: The Responsibility for Building Partnerships Between School and Home Rests Primarily with School Staff, Especially School Leaders “To create a climate and culture that supports partnership with parents, strong leadership is essential from both the principal and teachers.” CORE BELIEF 4 Page 39 How can we do this?

  22. Brainstorm what would improve parent and family involvement at your school. Take 3 minutes to make a quick list of what would improve parent and family involvement at your school. When you hear this clapping sound, please stop and finish this PPT presentation.

  23. Beyond the Bake Sale Suggests… • Grouping your lists into two columns • What would improve family involvement – looking out the window • What would improve family involvement – looking in the mirror

  24. Just to think about… Looking out the window list examples Looking in the mirror list examples • More respect for the value of education • Parents who are more motivated • More money to hire staff who can work with families • More parent involvement programs run by the district • More discipline and better behavior in the home • A more welcoming school building and front office • Positive phone calls home at least once a month • Workshops on reading and math • More planning time to meet with families • A family center stocked with learning materials that families can take home Page 42

  25. There are Barriers to improving family engagement! Who is going to do all this? Beyond the Bake Sale suggest appointing a team of people. It is too big a job for one person to increase family engagement. The book suggest using the SIT which “includes a partnership team of teachers, parents, and administrators who work together to make sure that school, family, and community partnership are well designed, integrated, and goal oriented.” Take one step at a time to help increase family engagement. Remember, family engagement means “regular, two-way, and meaningful communication about student learning and other school activities.” Family Engagement is about children learning and growing with families and schools partnering together.

  26. What are we already doing? • Participating in Family Friendly Walkthroughs • Contacting families with positive comments & documenting contacts using a contact log • Giving parents tips in newsletters for what to work on at home • Using School Messenger • Giving personal invitations to families to attend events • Having students send invitations to remind parents about events • Hosting events for families • Involving families in planning the events • Giving families activities to do at home with their children • Giving families books and reading strategies to use at home • Having family resource centers • Parent-teacher conferences • Having an open-door policy to help families with school concerns • Etc., etc. etc….

  27. So, what should we do next? • Homework • Go to • Review Joyce Epstein’s six types of parent involvement • Remember you chose one of these six strategies to focus on from Beyond the Bake Sale Chapter 1. • Review the one “sample practice” item that your school chose to focus on to improve this year. • Document your progress in this area and send to to share how your school is increasing family engagement using this strategy.