Updates On Two Parent Volunteer Stories

I’ve written a number of posts about parent volunteers, including school district rules for them. Sometime soon I’ll create a “Best” list of them.

For now, though, here are links to two stories that I’ve previously posted about:

Pinellas might ease school policy blocking felons from volunteering is from The Tampa Bay Times.

N.C. District Proposes New Volunteer Rules for Undocumented Parents is from Education Week.

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“How To Stay In Touch With Your Child’s Teacher (Without Overdoing It)”

How To Stay In Touch With Your Child’s Teacher (Without Overdoing It) is a fairly lengthy article that just appeared in The Hartfort Courant.

For a long article in a major newspaper, though, I have to say it is surprisingly short of substance. Nevertheless, it’s probably worth a quick look by those particularly interested in parent involvement issues.

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Upcoming Google Hangout: “Family and Community Engagement Practices that Raise Achievement”

Scholastic will be hosting what looks like a very useful Google Hangout on family engagement. Here’s how they describe it:

Wed, Oct 8, 5:00 PM – 5:40 PM
Hangouts On Air – Broadcast for free

Join us for a Scholastic Mini-PD session focused on “Family and Community Engagement Practices that Raise Achievement.”

Through this 40-minute, interactive panel discussion, you will:
1) Learn about the U.S. Department of Education’s new “Dual-Capacity Framework” for family and community engagement.
2) Hear from one of the country’s top researchers and experts on how schools can create family and community engagement programs that drive academic achievement.
3) Take away tangible advice and ideas to implement in your school and community this year.

About the panelists:

–Dr. Karen L. Mapp is the senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-author of the U.S. DOE Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Mapp’s research and practice focus has been on the cultivation of partnerships among families, community members, and educators that support student achievement and school improvement. Dr. Mapp has partnered with Scholastic FACE (Family and Community Engagement) to co-author Scholastic Literacy Events – a new research-based event kit that provides educators with strategies and practices to engage families in activities that maximize student reading and writing success.

–Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell is the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education.

–Karine Apollon is Vice President and General Manger of the Scholastic Classroom and Community Group where she oversees the company’s Family & Community Engagement (FACE) programs and partnerships.

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“Community Engagement: The Secret Ingredient”

Community Engagement: The Secret Ingredient is a good commentary from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform that provides a good critique of much that is done in the name of “community-based” place-based-initiatives in education.

Simply put, they tend to be foundation and professional-driven instead of led by community residents — including parents.

It’s a critique that I’ve often made of community schools, as well as other funder-initiated efforts.

I’m adding this post both to The Best Resources For Learning About Community Schools and to The Best Examples Of Parent Engagement Through Community Organizing.

You might also be interested in Private Foundations Have A Place (And Have To Be Kept In Their Place).

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“Florida PTA Urges State to Make Changes to School Accountability System”

Florida PTA Urges State to Make Changes to School Accountability System is the headline of an Ed Week post.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Florida PTA issued a press release this week asking lawmakers and state Department of Education officials for the following:

Proper field-testing and test development in areas that mirror Florida’s diverse demographics;
A suspension of school letter grades until performance data is more reliable;
Additional testing and more flexible student performance calculations for students with disabilities and English-language learners; and
Use of multiple years of a new exam as the baseline for generating school grades and teacher evaluations.

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“How Districts Can Lay the Groundwork for Lasting Family Engagement”

How Districts Can Lay the Groundwork for Lasting Family Engagement is a new report from SEDL, which generally puts out some decent resources.

Here’s how it describes its report:

Family engagement in a student’s education can lead to improved student academic achievement, attendance, and behavior. Yet many districts and schools still struggle to form strong partnerships with the families they serve. Having a supportive district-level infrastructure is key to the success and sustainability of family engagement initiatives. This issue of SEDL Insights outlines district supports that can lay the foundation for high-impact family engagement.

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Three New Resources On Parent-Teacher Conferences

I’m adding these new resources to The Best Resources On Parent/Teacher Conferences:

Why Students Should Take the Lead in Parent-Teacher Conferences is from MindShift.

Supporting Ongoing, Constructive, and Meaningful Conversations About Student’s Progress is from The Harvard Family Research Project.

Parent Night: Declaring Students’ Independence is from Middleweb (not exactly on conferences, but close enough).

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Georgia School Board Member Won’t Let A Bad Idea Die: No Grad Tickets For Parents If They Don’t Come To Open House

Earlier in the year, I posted a news report about a Georgia School Board member who wanted to ban parents from their children’s high school graduation.

It appears he has now refined his idea a bit further:

“I think a parent should earn the right to attend a graduation,” he said. “How do you earn that right? Come to the open house. Come to curriculum night. And any other third thing that we deem important. You do these three things, you get graduation tickets.”

His idea is already on The Worst Parent Engagement Ideas list….

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NYC School Threatens Parents With A Call To Child-Welfare Agency If They Pick-Up Their Kids Late

Charter school parents warned that late pick-ups could mean child-welfare report is the headline of an article in Chalkbeat: New York.

Here’s how the article begins:

A charter elementary school on the Lower East Side is telling families they will be reported to the city’s child-welfare agency if they make a habit of not picking up their child on time.

And this story is the newest additions to The Worst Parent Engagement Ideas.

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Parent Trigger Ready To Bring Chaos To Ohio Schools

Schools in Columbus, Ohio, are bracing for chaos as they become a pilot project for using the parent trigger. The former superintendent (don’t you love it when people make decisions and don’t hang around to deal with the consequences?) offered the city up to the state as a place to experiment. The state has chosen StudentsFirst as a “neutral party” to be responsible for informing parents — Unbelievable!

You can read more about it at these two articles:

Nearly 1 in 5 Columbus Schools Qualify for Overhauls Under Parent-Trigger Law is from Ed Week.

StudentsFirst says it won’t play politics with Columbus schools parent trigger
is from The Columbus Dispatch.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools.

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