Each week, I participate in the Parent Teacher Chat (#ptchat), a Twitter chat that enables parents, teachers, administrators and others to connect and discuss various strategies that strengthen home-school partnerships. Last week the topic was one that is very near to my heart, the National PTA Standards for Family School Partnerships!
If you follow this blog, you know that the National Standards are a framework that allows PTAs and schools to work together to engage all families in meaningful ways. I’ve posted several articles already about each standard to really break it down and provide links to some useful tools. This week’s #ptchat was really important because it allowed voices from the field to weigh in on some of the strategies they use to engage all families. Here are some of my favorite comments:
- Luisa Requenes (@LuisaRequenes) posted,“Family engagement standards take care of the WHOLE child for his/her future and academic success!”
- Francis Frost (@FrancisFrost) said, “The standards go to addressing the students whole education experience – academic, school community, parents.”
- Dana Sirotiak (@Siroticak) noted that “The standards benefit students because all tie to student success both in home and at school.”
- Lisa Davis (@lisaodavis) pointed out that “These standards are building blocks that keep improving and gain momentum.”
The chat included some fantastic PTA leaders. Here are some of their comments:
- California PTA (@CaliforniaPTA) said, “We envision all 1,000 school districts in CA having a family engagement plan based on the standards.”
- Massachusetts PTA (@MassPTA) provided a link to the Massachusetts state fundamentals.
- California PTA Executive Director Paul Richman (@PJR100) noted, “A key to successful engagement is meeting parents ‘where they are at’” including “languages, ability to get to meetings, etc.”
- Maryland PTA President Ray Leone (@President_Ray) shared that reaching out to the “local arts council is a great way to bring the community into the school.”
During the chat, I had the opportunity to promote the most recent tools we’ve developed to support the implementation of the standards with special groups. As a part of the National PTA Every Child in Focus Campaign, we have developed a set of documents to deepen family engagement in schools through the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Visit the site to explore tools for working with Hispanic families, urban families, American Indian families, families of children with special needs, suburban families and African American families. Don’t forget to check back next month when we unveil the new tool on working with foster families. And follow me (@PTAswilson) and my very good friend (@NationalPTA)!
ENGAGE! is a weekly column on Family Engagement written by Sherri Wilson, Senior Manager of Family and Community Engagement at the National PTA. Sherri is the former Director of the Alabama Parent Information and Resource Center and is currently responsible for developing and implementing programs related to family and community engagement at the National PTA.