Suggested Strategies for Developing Parent-School Partnerships

by 高莫娜 Mona
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Jane D Hull, Governor of Arizona (1997 to 2003) once said that “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” 

 Parents involvement in school brings in positive impact and a closer home-school relationship.   Following are some of the suggestions through which we can actively involve our parents:

Parenting:

  1. Provide hourly Courses for Parents

 Some parents said that they usually join parenting seminars so they don’t get much help now. Our school can hire some educational consultant who can provide some focused parenting advice or a short term course. School can negotiate for a better price.

  1. Focus Groups

 Amodeao & Amodeao (2004), found that focus group is an effective assessment tool and is an appropriate method way to generate in-depth information. Parents can freely share what they expect from school and how we can help them. 

  1. Cultural activities

Parents were no much happy about cultural diversity. School should plan to design collaborative program (Barbour et al., 2011).

We can follow up the advice of one parent by holding yearly multi-cultural day.

Communicating

Some parents said that the selected methods are not enough so we can:

* survey parents, families and community members to determine their needs and priorities;   

  (Amodeao & Amodeao, 2004).

* review the newsletter for relevance, ease of language and scope to provide feedback;

* Adapt communication to match parents’ levels (Strategies for supporting and involving   

   families. Kaufman, 2001).

* For parent-teacher’s meeting, some parents stated that there was insufficient time. In this   

  situation we have to recognize parents’ feelings (Berger, 2004). We can assign some more time   

  for those parents who hardly show up due to their busy schedule.

* School can also think to set in place alternative methods of parent-teacher interviews when 

  personal circumstances prevent parents from attending a face-to-face meeting, including 

  options for telephone and email contact;

Volunteering

As parents mentioned about their busy schedule:

* School can find out parent and family time availability for participation in schools events,   

  workshops, etc.

* assess the volunteer needs of schools and list the many ways parents and families can 

  participate and interact with school and the school community;

* invite family and community members to become involved as guest teachers, guest speakers  

  about their jobs/career opportunities,  and so on; (Parents as important resources. Hornby &   

  Lafaele, 2010).

* implement flexible schedules for volunteers, assemblies and events, so that all are able to  

   participate;

* make sure parental involvement in children’s learning is a recognized topic of staff meetings.

Learning at home

As some parents are not happy with the homework load, school can:

* try the Active Listening technique. (Berger, 2004).

* Involve parents in school work. (TIPS, Epstein et al., 2002).

* explore options for family involvement in the classroom;

* Create interactive homework.

Conclusion

Indeed, other studies have shown that lower-income and minority parents often have the same level of involvement in education — even though it may not necessarily be reflected at PTA meetings or school fundraisers. As noted by Epstein and Sanders (2000), “Teachers, parents, and students have little understanding of each other’s interests in children and schools. Most teachers do not know the goals that parents have for their children, how parents help them learn, or how parents would like to be involved. Most parents do not know much about the educational programs in their children’s school or what teachers require of them.” Effective parent involvement comes when a true partnership exists between schools and families. Creating that partnership is what works for student achievement. 

 

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