By Jessica Vician
Parent engagement is critical to student success. You know it, we know it, and the research supports it. But in today’s education space, there are so many requirements, reports, needs, and wants that it seems impossible to add another thing to the list, regardless of how beneficial it may be.
So let’s make it easy. From the research to the budget to the implementation, here’s why you need to prioritize parent engagement in your 2016-2017 budget.
I love that the entire month of November is dedicated to parent engagement. It brings awareness to the critical role of parents in our homes. Every day should be Parent Engagement Day, because each day a child is learning and growing. Parents need to be present and aware of what’s happening and nurture positive development.
But what does this engagement look like? Many times parents focus on what’s happening in the classroom and rely on the school to take care of the child’s needs. Parent Engagement Month reminds us that it’s not just about academic needs.
Effective communication between home and school is critical to student achievement. But while educators send communication to parents in the forms of emails and letters in backpacks, parents may struggle with several issues, from feeling like they’re being talked at instead of engaging in a helpful conversation to having difficulty interpreting the message.
When we speak to parents at workshops, they frequently cite that educators talk in “edu-speak,” a language full of industry terms that people outside of the education field don’t understand. It’s difficult for the parents to translate this language into actions they can take with their children to help them succeed in school. They want to be engaged but need the right resources to know how to help their children.
With these factors working against effective communication, it’s no wonder that Title I schools struggle to close the achievement gap or maximize student success. As a fully bilingual parent engagement program, we have been successful in breaking down these communication barriers between educators and parents during our YOU Program workshops. Based on our experiences, here are some communication techniques that can benefit your school’s parents. Continue reading