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Communities, Families, and Educators Working Together for School Imporvement

Parent and community involvement is a dynamic process that encourages, supports, and provides opportunities for teachers, parents, and community members to work together to imporove student learning.
by

Penny Murphy-Potter

on 28 April 2010

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Transcript of Communities, Families, and Educators Working Together for School Imporvement

Students Parents Teachers Collaboration Parent Involvement Improves Student Achievement Teachers, Parents, Family Members and Community Members Can Work Together to Encourage and Promote School Reform--Collaborative Problem-Solving Structure Parent Involvement =
Importance of Parents within the lives of their children Parents are a child's first Educators Parents shape children's values Values, knowledge, beliefs, view of the world Benjamin Franklin High School
East Harlem, NY, founded Intergroup Education in the 1930's
Parents welcome, Teachers encouraged sctudents to appreciate their
parents beliefs, values, language and customs. Community groups actively involved in BFHS Community Members Teachers need to understand and be sensitive to
the ever changing Diversity of the Student Body More and more students and parents are from
more than one racial group Why families do not get involved in their children's education? Lack of Time Work first priority Tired Parents feel initimidated by Educators Do not feel they know enough to be involved Education should
be left to the educators Their own experiences in
school were negative, avoid being involved in
their child's education now Groups of Parents Underrepresented
in school activities:
special needs
single parents
low-income parents Education Through Collaboration! Education Through Collaboration! Collaboration Family and community diversity
may be reflected in different interaction
styles, expectations and concerns that can complicate
parent and community involvement but should not hinder
that involvement Types of Involvement:
parenting
communicating
volunteering
learning at home
decision making
collaborating with the community Diversity of Families and Communities
An important factor to remember Colonial Period
Schools were an extension
of the home Schools reinfored
parental and community
values Immigrant Parents
not welcome at schools-
immigrant children were taught that
their parents language, behavior and
thinking was inferior to those of main
stream America Except one school... Historically speaking... Society changed...
education removed from direct parent influence
trained professionals now in charge of education
community involvement minimal if at all
teachers did not always live in community that they taugt in
teachers did not always know parents or share same values
schools given more responsibilities that were previous parent and/or community responsibilites Changing Face of the Family Parent/family/diversity mirrors
student diversity Teachers have to be prepared to work
with a range of parents
single parents
parents with special needs
low-income parents
parents with disabilities
same sex parents
parents who do not speak English as their first language
Ethnic Landscape
Arab
Jewish
Eastern European
African (6% of immigrants) African immigrants not all of same race
Cubans
Dominicans
Nigerians
Kenyans
Haitians
Puerto Ricans Teachers need to understand and be sensitive to
the ever changing Diversity of the Student Body Special Needs Parents
found in all ethnic/racial/income groups
chronically unemployed
long-term illnesses
abusive parents
substance abuse problems


Working with Special Needs parents
requires district, building support and support
for students and teachers
community service workers
community members serve as surrogate parents when parents cannot participate in child's education Parents Want to be valued and treated fairly;
want their children to succeed May not always be involved in child's
education Teachers goal:
develop clear understanding of student's
home environment, help students perform
the best they can at school Single Parents
Women head most single family
African American families- half of Black children are from single families
10% Asian, 25% Hispanic
Family income below $30,000
Lower attendence rate at school functions (due to work or other family concerns)
still have the same hopes and dreams for their children's education as 2 parent families



How to include single parents
flexible conference times (mornings, nights, weekends)
Baby sitting service at school during school activities
Make sure you are aware of the custodial arrangements and communication for all parents (some non-custoridal parents are not allowed contact-you cannot give reports to that parent)
Make sure you know the parents last name as it may be different from the child's last name. Low-income Parents
Every race has low income parents
Strongest supporters of education
Education is a means to a better life for their children
Schools need to help support these parents efforts in educating their child
Schools need to provide educational supplies, transportation and monies for field trips, help parents with transportation to conferences.
Important to recognize that low-income parents can contribute to their child's education if they have the support that they need. Involving Parents
Communication is key
Open door policy
Phone calls (novel idea!)
Get to know student's community
Gather parent's input on education/child
Web pages, home work hotlines, email..technology at it's best
PTA
Decision making (curriculum, budgets, school policy Involving Community
Get to know the organizations within your community (drama, dance, music, art groups, civil rights groups, employment groups, salvation army, ECT)
Community based programs can provide opportunities for students to participate in their communities (clean up parks, help neighbors, plant a community vegetable garden)
Have skills that they can teach students (carpentry, painting, animal care/raising, video/camera knowledge, newspaper writing, sports (coaching).
Parent Involvement
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