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Effective Home-School-Community Relationships Chapter 4 Working with Parents Where can anyone find an opportunity to impact a child’s world as easily and as well as in a school or home, leading children to discover their own distinct way to grow and develop.

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Effective Home-School-Community Relationships

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Where can anyone find an opportunity to impact a child’s world as easily and as well as in a school or home, leading children to discover their own distinct way to grow and develop.

Know you what it is to be a child? …It is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in it own soul. Thompson, 1988, p. 300.


Why don’t schools involve parents?

school climate and parent attitudes
School Climate and Parent Attitudes
  • Are schools inviting places for parents?
  • The Parents Tool Box
parent responses to schools
Parent Responses to Schools
  • Parents who avoid schools like the plague
  • Parents who need encouragement to come to school
  • Parents who readily respond when invited to school
  • Parents who are comfortable and enjoy involvement in school
  • Parents who enjoy power and are overly active
pta study barriers



Parents do not have enough time

89 percent

Parents feel they have nothing to contribute

32 percent

Parents don't understand; don't know the system; they don't know how to be involved

32 percent

Lack of child care

28 percent

Parents feel intimidated

25 percent

Parents are not available during the time school functions are scheduled

18 percent

Language and cultural differences

15 percent

Lack of transportation

11 percent

Parents don't feel welcome at school

9 percent

Other barriers

21 percent

PTA Study: Barriers
breaking down barriers
Breaking Down Barriers
  • How to break the barriers.
what do you think
What do you think?

Williams (1992) found:

  • 86.8 % of teachers believed they needed parent-involvement training
  • 92.1 % of principals believed they needed parent-involvement training
what do you think9
What do you think?

Harris & Associates (1987) found:

  • 75 % of the teachers wanted parent involvement
  • 74 % of the parents said they wanted to be involved
teacher parent relationships
Teacher-Parent Relationships
  • MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: An Examination of School Leadership (2005)
    • 9 of 10 new teachers say it is “very important to work with parents when educating their children…
    • 1 of 4 teachers finds working with parents “very satisfying
    • 7 of 10 parents see their child’s teachers as “adversaries”
what do you think11
What do you think?
  • Who is responsible for initiating and fostering parent-teacher interaction
what do you think12
What do you think?

Epstein, 1986; and Epstein & Dauber 1991:

  • Found that teachers who were leaders in parent-involvement practices enabled ALL parents, regardless of parent’s educational levels to be involved.
  • Found that teachers who DID NOT involve parents had attitudes that stereotyped less-educated single parents and low socio-economic parents.
why parents should
Why Parents Should
  • When parents are involved in their children’s education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school—and the schools they go to are better. (Henderson and Berla)
  • The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from pre-school through high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background. (Henderson and Berla)
  • In 1994, the College Board found that reading achievement is more dependent on learning activities in the home than is math or science. Reading aloud to children is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child’s chance of reading success.
  • When children and parents talk regularly about school, children perform better academically. (Aston & McLanahan, 1991; Ho & Willms, 1996; Finn, 1993)
why parents should14
Why Parents Should
  • Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: actively organizing and monitoring a child’s time, helping with homework and discussing school matters. (Finn, 1998)
  • Parents who read to their children before they enter school give their children a boost toward reading success. Talking to children about books and stories read to them also supports reading achievement. (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. 1996. Developing Engaged Readers in School and Home Communities. Rahway, N.J.: Author.)
  • The earlier that parent involvement begins in a child’s educational process, the more powerful the effects. (Kathleen Cotton and Karen Reed Wikelund. "Parent Involvement in Education," Research You Can Use. NW Regional Educational Laboratory.)
  • Positive results of parental involvement in their children's schooling include improved achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children's schooling. (Institute for Responsive Education. The Home-School Connection: Selected Partnership Programs in Large Cities. Boston: Author.)
six types of school family
Six Types of School-Family

Parenting: Families must provide for the health and safety of children, and maintain a home environment that encourages learning and good behavior in school. Schools provide training and information to help families understand their children's development and how to support the changes they undergo.

six types of school family16
Six Types of School-Family

Communicating: Schools must reach out to families with information about school programs and student progress. This includes the traditional phone calls, report cards, and parent conferences, as well as new information on topics such as school choice and making the transition from elementary school to higher grades. Communication must be in forms that families find understandable and useful for example, schools can use translators to reach parents who don't speak English well and it must be two- way, with educators paying attention to the concerns and needs of families.

six types of school family17
Six Types of School-Family

Volunteering: Parents can make significant contributions to the environment and functions of a school. Schools can get the most out of this process by creating flexible schedules, so more parents can participate, and by working to match the talents and interests of parents to the needs of students, teachers, and administrators.

six types of school family18
Six Types of School-Family

Learning at Home: With the guidance and support of teachers, family members can supervise and assist their children at home with homework assignments and other school-related activities.

six types of school family19
Six Types of School-Family

Decision-making: Schools can give parents meaningful roles in the school decision-making process, and provide parents with training and information so they can make the most of those opportunities. This opportunity should be open to all segments of the community, not just people who have the most time and energy to spend on school affairs.

six types of school family20
Six Types of School-Family

Collaboration with the Community: Schools can help families gain access to support services offered by other agencies, such as healthcare, cultural events, tutoring services, and after-school child-care programs. They also can help families and community groups provide services to the community, such as recycling programs and food pantries.

possible roles for parents p 152
Possible Roles for Parents p.152
  • Parents as teachers of their own children
  • Parents as spectators
  • Parents as temporary volunteers
  • Parents as volunteer resources
  • Parents as employed resources
  • Parents as policy makers
teacher s role in pi
Teacher’s Role in PI
  • Facilitator
  • Teacher
  • Counselor
  • Communicator
  • Program director
  • Interpreter
  • Resource developer
administrators role
Administrators Role
  • School climate – atmosphere in school – reflects the principal’s leadership style
    • school spirit- enthusiasm, morale builder, autonomy, enabler, etc.
    • leadershipas program designer, if principal recognizes importance of PI, then …
    • parent-principal relationship- opens the doors for many different parent involvement activities
    • program coordinator- teachers may develop creative, innovative PI for their classroom, but much of this requires principal’s support
    • leadership role in developing site-based management, advisory councils, and decision-making committees
ways to enhance shc relations
Ways to Enhance SHC Relations
  • School atmosphere and acceptance of parents (Does anyone notice you when you enter the school?)
  • Open door policy (Come when you want to discuss a problem with your child)?
  • Parent Advisory Councils (Does school have a PAC and who serves on PAC)
  • Site-based management (Are parents involved)
  • Family Center (Is there a room for parents)
school activities resources
Back to school night

Alumni events

Sharing reading

Parent education groups

Parent networks

School-home activity packets

School programs & workshops for parents

District or school conferences

School projects


Learning centers

Telephone tutor

Resource room


Summer vacation activities

School Activities & Resources
parents as partners in education at home
Parents as Partners in Education at Home
  • Reading programs
  • Health programs
  • Civic projects
early contact
Early Contact
  • Letters in August to parents
  • Neighborhood visits
parents as resources
Parents as Resources
  • Book publishing
  • Career day
  • Talent sharing