Taking away social service report from parents who are not involved with their child’s school is one of the ideas on The Worst Parent Engagement Ideas list.
The Hechinger Report describes what happened with a similar experiment in Australia in their post, Skip school and lose welfare? The good and bad of Australia’s tough tactics on truancy.
Here are some excerpts:
To make sure all students stayed enrolled until they were 17, officials put strict penalties in place and a series of supports for truants, such as opportunities to work with social workers. Parents could also be fined up to $11,000. And, as a last resort, parents on welfare could lose their payments if their child was truant.
Attendance did improve in areas where the program was piloted, by about 5 percent. But a 2010 evaluation by the Australian Department of Education found that it decreased after an initial bump and low-income students still had lower attendance than their peers. Critics said that the increases weren’t enough to justify the cost of the program – about $3 million a year for the trial in 44 schools.
I’m going to add this infographic to The Best Infographics About Parent Involvement In Schools, but I hope a math teacher out there will tell me if it’s accurate or not….
Click image to see a larger versionMath Cheat Sheet via Math Game Time
The National Center for Families Learning has highlighted five organizations around the United States for their parent involvement efforts.
You can read a summary of the awardees, and learn a lot more about each of them here.
The National PTA has created a nice infographic titled “Tips For Teachers On Family Engagement.”
You can download the entire infographic here. Here’s a partial screenshot:
I’m adding it to The Best Infographics About Parent Involvement In Schools.
By now, you may have already heard about what happened in Salt Lake City this week — the parents of a number of students owed money on their children’s lunch account and, because of that, after those students were served lunch it was taken away and thrown in the garbage.
You can read about it in these articles:
Utah School Draws Ire For Taking Kids’ Lunches; Debt Cited is from NPR.
Utah school district apologizes for seizing kids’ lunches for unpaid bills is from NBC.
If parents don’t qualify for the free or reduced lunch program, of course schools should hold them responsible for paying. But, come on, this move does not make for a parent (or student) friendly environment. There are far more relational ways to work with parents on this issue.
It’s possible that the principal at this school might not have had many engagement parents. Now, there definitely will be, and I think they’ll be after his scalp (figuratively, of course).
I have been, and continue to be, skeptical of anything connected to NBC’s Education Nation — including their “Parent Toolkit” (see NBC “Education Nation” Unveils “Parent Toolkit” — Time To Be Skeptical).
However, they have just published a Spanish version of that Parent Toolkit and, given the dearth of good multilingual parent resources, I’m very reluctantly adding it to The Best Multilingual Resources For Parents.
Use it at your own risk, though….
Parents Can Teach Educators ‘Lessons About Learning and Life’ is part three in my Ed Week series on parent engagement.
Today’s post features contributions from Catherine Compton-Lilly, Dr. Sherrel Bergmann, Dr. Judith Brough and Maurice J. Elias.
From The National Center For Families Learning:
“Know a teacher that deserves an “A+” for engaging parents, children and educators in the learning process? Nominate them for the Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award and the chance to win $20,000 for their school or non-profit program. The National Center for Families Learning, together with long-standing partner Toyota, have partnered to recognize the nation’s best teachers in engaging families in education. Formal teaching credentials are not required.”
The deadline is January 17th.
You can find all the information here…..
Jeff is the 2013 National Teacher of the Year
Sandy Hook Promise Launches ‘Parent Together’ As Tragedy’s One Year Mark Approaches is the headline of an announcement from the Sandy Hook Promise organization about a new initiative.
Here’s an excerpt:
Sandy Hook Promise today announced the launch of Parent Together, a national grassroots campaign to educate and empower parents to prevent gun violence in their communities. Emphasizing mental wellness, healthy development, connection to community and gun safety, the campaign will bring parents together around their common love for all children to help prevent not just the next Sandy Hook tragedy, but also thousands of other acts of gun violence every year in every state…
Sandy Hook Promise will begin to roll out proven tools and programs for parents to implement or advocate for in their communities that focus on mental wellness, healthy development, community connectedness and gun safety. ; These tools and programs will be used by parents to help prevent gun violence within their homes, their schools, their communities and ultimately, our nation. ; Other national advocacy campaigns such as efforts to reduce driving drunk, promote recycling and reduce smoking created change across the nation by starting at a community level—Parent Together will do the same.
Here’s their short promotional video:
Good Teachers Embrace Their Students’ Cultural Background is a new article from The Atlantic.
Here’s an excerpt:
Culturally responsive teaching doesn’t mean lowering standards, Irvine says. Take dialect, for example. Teachers need to help students speak and write in Standard English, but they’ll be more successful in that effort if they begin by respecting the way a student and his family speak at home.
Creating a link between home and school can enrich all kinds of lessons. Teachers can ask their students to interview their communities and condense the information into a letter to the mayor. Parents can be invited into the classroom to talk about their work. Students can be asked to think critically about articles and texts, exploring them for signs of cultural bias.
I’m adding it to The Best Sources Of Parent Engagement Advice For Teachers.
Parents Push for More Nurses in N.C. Schools is an article in North Carolina Health News. Here’s how it begins:
“I know there’s a lot of important issues, but to us, this is one that’s top,” said Teri Saurer, founder of N. C. Parents Advocating for School Health.
The issue she’s referring to is more nurses in schools. Saurer, whose 6-year-old daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy at 9 months old and allergies to several types of nuts at 3 years old, believes nurses are needed to both provide routine care and tend to children in crisis situations.
And after moms such as Saurer spoke up, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools responded. When the 2013-14 county budget passed, funding was provided for 11 additional nurses and two more nurse supervisors in the system.
Of course, North Carolina schools have many more problems besides just needing more nurses….
The Institute for Educational Leadership is organizing a “Family & Community Engagement Exemplar Project.”
This is how they describe it:
The video vignette project amplification will work to build a depot of strategies facilitated by schools that highlight one or more components of Dr. Joyce Epstein’s 6 Types of Involvement. Remember innovation can mean low tech and/or high tech and we will be working to capture both types when considering video submissions. Video vignette submissions are to be no more than 8 minutes long. Further details on video format specifics will be shared once a submission is selected. We encourage schools to propose multiple videos vignettes.
You can submit your idea here.
NBC’s Education Nation was — except for some rare instances (a segment on the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project was one) — was a fiasco this year, with proponents of “school reform” often given the spotlight to chatter on unchallenged.
Unfortunately, they also decided to provide the world a “Parent Toolkit” filled with “academic growth charts” (including Pre-K). It looks slick, but I’m not predicting many parents are going to find it particularly useful. If you dig deep enough, they might find something helpful in the “additional resources” section.
I’m probably being unfair — it’s really not worse than other resources put out by different groups. It just seems like Education Nation has become a poisoned brand for so many educators, and I can’t put much confidence in anything they do…
Let me know if you think I’m being unfair.
I’ve posted a fair amount about Steve Constantino, a Superintendent and author, and his work on parent engagement.
You can now read an interview with him: From an Expert: How and Why to Build Family Engagement.
Here’s an excerpt:
“More often than not, schools create opportunities for family engagement based on their own perception of family needs. Engagement research is clear: families tend to disengage with those things in which they find no personal meaning and relevance. Back to School night, for example, may be a wonderful opportunity to engage families from the school’s perspective, but it is ultimately the family perspective of the level of relevance that will ultimately dictate their engagement.”