Family Engagement and Participation
Parent involvement is the exchange of information (communication), purposeful interaction, and meaningful participation between parents and schools to support student learning and achievement (CA CC, 2008).
Research shows that graduation rates, report card grades, and test scores are all indicators of student achievement. And student achievement is closely related to the level of parent involvement. Activities that directly engage parents with their individual students are more frequently associated with student achievement.
This is the reason why all schools have to provide a space for parent involvement and participation, and at the federal level they have developed a tool for leaders in school districts and county offices of education to use as they work with schools, families, and communities to plan, implement, and evaluate family engagement practices that directly impact improved student achievement. It’s called The Family Engagement Framework.
The Framework has placed a renewed emphasis on families and educators working together as partners.
The principles of the framework describe expectations, or standards, for schools to engage family members in supporting their children’s education. National educational policies emphasize the importance of establishing programs to involve families, and practices to empower and engage families in the educational process. We need to promote equal representation in committees and organization activities.
At Downtown Value School we are moving toward comprehensive family engagement programs that create open communication and strong collaboration among schools, families, teachers, and headquarters to increase student achievement. A common understanding of the guiding principles, goals, and strategies for family engagement will support effective communication and collaboration.
We are offering Parent Center trainings for families to learn about school culture, expectations, and how to support students by promoting parent education. We also have workshops (individual and series) that link families with community programs and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). The purpose of these workshops is to identify services that promote the wellbeing of the family, provide security and mental wellness to all family members, and create an environment that promotes learning.
We invite all of you to be part of this movement. We need your ideas, your enthusiasm, your expertise. We want our learning community to be a learning family, The Downtown Value Family. What we need as a community your children need as individuals, and this work is made better through your participation. Help us confirm what scientific research says is true: parent participation = student school success.
If there is no parent participation, what might we expect? Now, more than ever, our students need us. Help support your family by becoming part of our learning family.
With warm regards,
Isabel Patterson, M.A. Human Development
The Parent Center Coordinator
Downtown Value School
*Portions of this statement are borrowed from: The Family Engagement Framework.