If we are to lead our students to their academic potential, we need a partnership with parents and “home.” Research shows that school accounts for one-third of a student’s academic achievement, but as leaders in our field, we should feel compelled to find effective ways to build partnerships that work towards academic success.
Please take a look back this week at the previous columns that shared the critical background pieces to this effort. Today, with the foundation set, we’re ready to share resources to support your work in partnering with parents.
- Georgia Department of Education Parent Engagement Division You can find a treasure trove of resources available at the GADOE Parent Engagement Program’s website that is located here: http://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Federal-Programs/Partnerships/Pages/Parent-Engagement-Program.aspx
- Project Appleseed is a national organization devoted to public school improvement, focusing on developing effective school/home relationships. There are tons of resources here, including a calendar of activities that you can use to support your efforts. You can find them here: http://www.projectappleseed.org
- National PTA The National PTA has a focus on parental engagement and a website to support your work. Here’s the link: http://www.pta.org/programs/FamilyEngagement.cfm?navItemNumber=562
So, with all of those resources, what do we do next? Here’s $0.02 worth of advice. These strategies and resources have great potential to help you move forward if the ground is fertile for sowing these seeds. If you have prepared your faculty to move forward and fundamentally change the way you look at and work with parents, then you’re ready to dig into these sites. IF you haven’t, it doesn’t matter how good or how free the resources are.
As the leader, before you begin any initiative or movement at your school, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Have I clearly communicated “WHY?” this effort is needed? Does my faculty and staff understand it clearly?
- Is the timing right? Is the need clear and the moment advantageous? Is my faculty preoccupied with something else? Is there a more advantageous time to launch this initiative?
- Have I planned for ongoing progress? If I’ve only planned the initial phase without the follow up, does this have a chance of working?
The work with parents might be the critical piece that can build upon the efforts you’ve already made as a school towards student performance. It’s important that you get the implementation right. Pave the runway before taking off.