Action Steps - Standard 3
- Start with the end in mind. Determine what parents need to know and do to support their children’s academic success.
- Determine how family and community engagement can support school goals.
- Link all events to student learning, including those activities focused on making all families feel welcome.
What Parents and Parent Leaders Can Do
- Create a checklist and tip sheets for effective parent-teacher conferences.
- Work with school leadership to conduct workshops on interpreting standardized test data.
- Invite teachers and professionals from the community to speak at meetings on various topics.
- Provide workshops for parents and students on topics such as study skills, individual curriculum areas, and college and career planning.
- Provide parent involvement tips and suggestions through signs at the school and articles in the local newspaper.
What School Leaders and Staff Can Do
- Ask parents to take an active role in reviewing student portfolios.
- At a “Parents Make the Difference” evening, give parents an overview of what students are learning, how students are assessed, what parents should expect, and how parents can help.
- Institute student-led parent-teacher conferences.
- Develop a family-school compact focused on student achievement.
- Make it a policy that teachers send home materials, such as interactive homework assignments, at least once a month to help families work with their children.
All Kinds of Minds offers a parent toolkit to provide a better understanding of learning processes and strategies for mathematics, reading, and writing.
Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL) Resources: Conway Middle School Student-Led Conferences (2001), from the Jefferson County (KY) Public Schools in cooperation with the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and Louisville, Kentucky’s Conway Middle School, outlines the purpose and roles of student-led conferences for students, parents, and teachers.
The Education Trust works for the high academic achievement of all students and offers resources that link parent involvement to student learning.
The Florida Partnership for Family Involvement in Education offers tip sheets for parents on getting involved in their children’s education and achievement.
The National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University offers Promising Partnership Practices, a collection of family-school-community partnership practices that support children’s learning from preschool through high school.
A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement, by Anne T. Henderson and Karen L. Mapp (Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 2002), reviews the research regarding family-school partnerships and student achievement.
PTA provides many resources to help schools and parents support student success.
TIPS: Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork, developed by the National Network of Partnership Schools, is a program for interactive homework. It makes learning a partnership between the student, family, and teacher.
Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) includes several parent involvement requirements. For an overview of these requirements, see No Child Left Behind: What’s in It for Parents, by Anne T. Henderson (Parent Leadership Associates, 2002), available in English and Spanish in the Center for Parent Leadership (CPL) Publications section.