Schools play an important role in determining how involved parents are within our schools. What does your school do to solicit your parents? How much and in what different ways is information communicated through your teachers about the happenings throughout the building?
A New Wave of Evidence, a report from Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (2002) found that regardless of family income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to:
*Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs
*Be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits
*Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school
*Graduate and go on to postsecondary education (Henderson & Mapp, 2002)
Given that many parents only interpretation of school comes from their own past, it is important as a leader to communicate just how different education is today. The headlines certainly aren’t helping them understand our reality. There are amazing, life changing, DIFFERENT things that are happening within your walls…it’s up to you to make that understanding happen!
No longer is sending home a flyer in a brown envelope enough to solicit and encourage our families to be involved. There’s a variety of tools available that involve technology, social media, student creations all designed to communicate to our families. One of the first comments that is always shared when I talk about this is that “all of our parents don’t have computers”. In 2011, 75.6 percent of homes reported having a computer, with 71.7 percent accessed the internet. Statistics still vary across ethnicity, but the bottom line is that we are still making strides. By combining the technology resources we have available today and some of our “traditional practices” there’s no family we can’t reach.
We’re going to discuss several of them with two leaders who are on the forefront of connecting and involving parents, Joe Mazza and Tony Sinanis. Keep an eye out for that #SAVMP hangout to happen soon!
This week, I encourage you to blog or comment on the following:
What are you doing to encourage parent involvement?
How are you thinking out of the box to involve ALL of your families?
Have you encountered resistance to breaking away from the traditional strategies that parents may be used too?
Hope you have a GREAT week!