Wednesday, March 13, 2013

School and Community Relations Week 2

Week 2 Assignment, Part 1: Gathering Data
To complete Part 1 of this assignment, answer the questions provided.
Current Reality: Identify a current student issue or need that interferes with academic achievement at your school. Cite data that supports the need. This could be data that relates to academic achievement, student attendance, discipline, or other sources. Look at trends of data and disaggregated data, where available.
Despite our district’s attempts to keep parents informed, and we have many, including a school website, individual teacher websites, parent meetings, automated phone messages, Twitter, and Facebook pages, we still do not have a great deal of parental involvement. We had a 3rd grade parent meeting at the beginning of the year. Out of 147 students, there were only 27 that had parents come to the meeting. We are ability grouped, and we have two low classes. Not one parent of a student in the low classes came. We have a need for parental involvement, or more so, parental support from home. We need the parents to know what is happening at school everyday so that they can support and help their kids at home. I set up a Facebook page this year. Out of 40 parents, I only have 10 that participate. Those ten kids whose parents find information on Facebook are always prepared and have their homework complete. The problem is that not all parents have a Facebook or want a Facebook. Our district is really pushing Twitter. I have had a Twitter account for a month and sent out notes, posted it on my website, Facebook, and blog, and I have no parent followers. Technology can be a great tool for communication, but if your parents aren’t using it, it does no good. We need a way to reach these parents.
Vision: How will the family-school-community partnership that you are proposing resolve the issue by meeting the demonstrated need, and how will it support student achievement?
I am proposing more PTO or Open House-type meetings. The sign-in sheets prove that more parents come to those types of meetings than grade-level informational meetings. Parents show up for Open House and want to talk about how their child is performing and that is not really how they are set up. But, if parents will come to those types of meetings, I propose we have more of them and utilize that time to reach the parents. If we transformed the meetings and incorporated time to speak with teachers and time to have teachers present what is going on in their classrooms, maybe we could gain the support of the parents. They will know what to expect and we know that when teachers and parents are on the same team, the kids will gain more. Right now it feels like we fight a lot of our parents. They are not on the same page we are and often times are not supportive.

Week 2 Assignment, Part 2: Initial Partnership Proposal
The first step in establishing either a new family-school-community partnership, or strengthening an existing one, is to clearly articulate your idea. While your idea will probably evolve as stakeholders contribute their perspectives, you will use this assignment to solidify your initial concept.
To complete this assignment, fill out the chart.

Describe the need for the new or improved school-community partnership. Summarize the strategies/ activities you are recommending.
We have a need for more parental support. I am recommending more PTO/Open House-type meetings. These meetings draw the parents in; then we can utilize that time to talk with them and give them information.
Reference the research that supports the strategies/ activities you are recommending.
We have read and heard throughout this course that parental involvement is vital to student academic success. In the Comer reading, we learned about the Comer principals: collaboration, consensus, and no-fault. These are guidelines when working with others. The goal of the Comer process is to form a partnership between administration, teachers, and parents. Then everyone collaborates to make decisions based on the best interests of the kids. I like the no-fault principal. There is no blaming, just working toward a solution to fix the problem or avoid it in the future. Sometimes we spend more time blaming than being productive and solving the problem. The assigned reading, Creating the School Climate and Structure to Support Parental and Family Involvement, we were given information regarding goals and actions to help build a positive school climate that will welcome parents. If we use these recommendations, we could have a positive impact on our level of parental support. This reading could be beneficial in training our teachers to work with parents.
Compose three or more measurable goals for the school-community partnership.
*Increase the number of parents who attend the meetings.
*Increase the amount of information shared with the parents.
*Increase the comfort level between parents, teachers and staff with the hopes of gaining more parental support or involvement.
How will the school-community partnership increase student achievement?
Research has shown that students are more successful when their parents are involved. If we can draw in more parents to inform them and get them on the same page as the teachers, the student achievement rate should increase.
Identify the school-community partnership’s stakeholders.
What are the steps to approval and implementation of the partnership? What are possible sources of funding?
I am going to have to talk with administration and explain my plan and reasoning. I feel that they will be onboard, as they understand the need for parental support. We are a Title I district, so there could possibly be some funds that could be used from our Title I money.
What resources are required for the partnership?
*school facilities
*teachers and staff
How will you market your school-community partnership idea?
I will market my idea through a faculty meeting presentation. I will use data gathered from grade level parent meetings, PTO programs/meetings, and Open House. We have sign-in sheets at all these meetings. I can show how many parents attended each meeting, and therefore prove that more parents attend the latter two types of meetings.
How will you evaluate your partnership’s outcomes?
I will evaluate the participation level by sign-in sheets, but I also would like to do a survey and see how the teachers and parents feel about the meetings. Do they feel they are beneficial? Have they had more positive interactions with the parents? Are the kids performing better in the classroom?

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