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Fight, Flight or Fun: Family & Community Involvement in Coordinated School Health Cindy Wakefield, MA Colorado Department of Education Judith Martinez, MURP National Center for School Engagement. Today’s Goals. Review best practices of 8 components of Coordinated School Health
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Fight, Flight or Fun: Family & Community Involvement in Coordinated School Health Cindy Wakefield, MA Colorado Department of Education Judith Martinez, MURP National Center for School Engagement
Today’s Goals • Review best practices of 8 components of Coordinated School Health • Explore the benefits and challenges of positive parent engagement and meaningful community involvement • Review best practices organized around Epstein's 6 Types of Parent Involvement • Create action plan for developing family & community resources and partnerships
Activity Briefly discuss what is happening in your local school community for each of the 8 component areas of the Coordinated School Health Model. Choose one example to share with the large group.
How Do You Define Family & Community Engagement? Parents take an active role in nurturing and educating their children, and are connected to the school and community in meaningful ways
Family & Community Engagement School staff and volunteers create a welcoming environment, actively engage family members, and partner with community members.
Family & Community Engagement Community members understand the primary goals of the school/district and work with school staff to plan and implement coordinated school health.
Epstein’s 6 Types of Parent Involvement • Parenting • Communication • Volunteering • Learning at Home • School Decision-Making and Advocacy • Collaborating with Community • Source: National Network of Partnership Schools - http://www.csos.jhu.edu/p2000/sixtypes.htm
Help families establish home environments to support children as students. Type 1 - PARENTING • Examples: • Parent education and classes : Love and Logic, Nurturing Parent, Los Padres/Los Madres, Classes on preparing nutritious meals • Partner with local community groups/health providers to offer parenting classes and supports • Parents are invited to join students for school meals
Consider the culture of the family or families involved How will strategies be received and implemented within the cultural context? Decide whether strategies will be based primarily on the needs of the program or the needs of the families Helpful Hints
Design effective forms of school-to-home and home-to school communications about school programs and children's progress. Type 2 - COMMUNICATION • Examples: • Newsletter tips – information to help families incorporate health and wellness into their daily lives • School website includes parents/family page • Back to school events and school socials • Calendars of Events and Activities • Student/Parent/Family Handbooks
Know the 30-3-30 Rule for Written Materials: 80% of the people will spend just 30 seconds reading what you send home; 19% will spend just 3 minutes; 1% will spend 30 minutes. Source: The Parent Institute Helpful Hints
Recruit and organize parent and community help and support. Examples: Welcome letter and weekly “coffees” with the principal to encourage communication and volunteering Organize a volunteer program (Volunteers in Thompson School Accentuating Learning - VITAL, Intergenerational volunteer programs, Interns from local higher education institutes, community service….) Type 3 - VOLUNTEERING
More Examples: Identify parent’s interest and skills and recruit them for those jobs (classroom helper, coach, event coordinator, safe school ambassador, after-school cooking class) Identify community volunteer jobs (mentors, classroom instruction on sexual assault prevention, suicide prevention, sun safety, HIV/STD/Teen Pregnancy Prevention, nutrition…) VOLUNTEERING
National volunteer surveys indicate that one of the main reasons people do not volunteer is that they were not asked directly. Set up a welcoming table and/or bulletin board at the front entrance. Make your school a place that people want to visit. Provide indoor and outdoor spaces/gathering areas. Helpful Hints
Provide concrete ideas to families about how to help their children and teens at home with academics and skill-building such as decision-making and planning. Examples: Host Family Fitness Programs and Classes at school and/or neighborhood parks/recreation centers Loan back-packs containing physical activity equipment to families to support their efforts to be physically active. Type 4 - LEARNING AT HOME
More Examples: Weekly reports summarize what students are learning in their health education classes. Materials are provided to parents that reinforce health and wellness messages. LEARNING AT HOME
Include an information sheet in the student handbook with school and community contacts and resources. Brainstorm with families to identify topics of highest interest for learning at home. Helpful Hints
Group Activity • Discuss 3 things school staff wish their community partners would do to plan and implement Coordinated School Health. • Discuss 3 things community members wish their school partners would do to plan and implement Coordinated School Health. • Please be prepared to share one “school wish” and one “community wish” per table.
Parents, community members, and school staff are fully engaged in making school decisions and share leadership. Examples: PTA/PTO Parents and Community Members serve on Governing committees and Advisory Councils (Required by No Child Left Behind, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), School Wellness Policy, Comprehensive Health Ed.) Type 5 - SCHOOL DECISION-MAKING & ADVOCACY
More Examples: Define roles and responsibilities of parent and community leaders, and school staff. Encourage participation (child care, stipends, transportation, meeting minutes, debrief sessions, consistent meeting times, training…) Independent advocacy groups to promote Coordinated School Health. SCHOOL DECISION-MAKING & ADVOCACY
Helpful Hints • When planning events and activities remember… FUN! FOOD FAMILY
Helpful Hints • Provide a variety of opportunities for schools, families, and communities to work together. • Base programs upon “mutual respect and interdependence of home, school, and community.” Source: The Impact of Parent/Family Involvement on Student Outcomes: An Annotated Bibliography Of Research from the Past, www.directionservice.org/cadre.
Resources and services from the community strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning and development. Examples: Promote health and wellness activities and events for the whole family (announcements on local cable programs; community information in school newsletters; post info. on Community Bulletin Boards and school websites) Connect school community to local health fairs and clinics(9 Health Fair, Intergenerational Learning Center’s Evening Clinic, Dental Van) Type 6 - COLLABORATING WITH THE COMMUNITY
More Examples: School & community members partner to provide mental health services (Arapahoe House and Judi’s House provide Mental Health Services for Denver-area students; San Luis Valley Mental Health offers school-based services) Community members address basic health needs of students and families (Free eye exam and glasses from Lenscrafters and Lions Clubs; Immunizations and dental clinics supported by Rotary COLLABORATING WITH THE COMMUNITY
More Examples: Develop or Update Community Resource Directory for parents and students Host health and wellness events for the whole family (Saint Anthony’s Hospitals and The Children’s Hospital support School-based Clinics and Student Health Fairs) COLLABORATING WITH THE COMMUNITY
More Examples: Provide free/reduced fee neighborhood recreation and promote physical activity for school families (Hyland Hills offers free swim classes, Adventure Golf hosts “Putts with a Purpose) School buildings are open for recreational activities (After-school programs, community basketball, cooking classes, library) COLLABORATING WITH THE COMMUNITY
6 Types Model are most effective when they … Build on strengths of the family and culture of the community Develop mutually-respectful relationships between students, families, school staff, and community members Clarify the roles of all parties involved – expectations are explicit Identify goals and define success Helpful Hints
Does Your School Say Welcome? First impressions matter! • What do people see when they visit your school? • Does the school entrance welcome visitors? • How are parents, students, and visitors welcomed in the front office? • If your school could talk, what is it saying to visitors, parents, students, and teachers when they approach?
Action Planning What to do? Who to lead? When to implement? How to evaluate?
Cindy Wakefield Colorado Department of Education Wakefield_c@cde.state.co.us www.cde.state.co.us Judy Martinez National Center for School Engagement firstname.lastname@example.org www.schoolengagement.org