There is widespread recognition that increasing family engagement within schools and parent engagement in their child’s education benefits student achievement enormously, in addition to improving teacher morale and school-home communications. This course is designed to teach participants how to engage families in meaningful ways regardless of circumstance or parent population. This course is crucial for connecting with New York City’s diverse families, and is founded on the mindset that all parents ultimately want to partner with teachers in supporting their child’s education and overall success. The course supports the efforts of NYC DOE’s Division of Family and Community Engagement by building abilities to engage families throughout the city.
The course covers such topics as building strong relationships, establishing trust, employing effective communication systems, and planning and executing conferences effectively. Additionally, the course delves into issue that are key for working with all of New York's families, including strategies to engage parents whose child has experienced trauma, is involved in bullying or harassment, has a disability, or is an English language learner. Participants will learn how to have difficult or “crucial” conversations in order to appropriately address scenarios in which emotions are strong, opinions vary, and stakes are high. The Safety, Order and Rights® value set is presented as one framework for clarifying classroom expectations and school goals, and is generally a framework that everyone can buy into -- including parents.
This course will also walk participants through the steps of creating a plan for cultivating meaningful family engagement in their own practice. Participants will be prompted to compile best practices and key ideas throughout the modules, which will culminate in the synthesis of the Final Project, an action plan for implementing these important components in a comprehensive and intentional manner. The coursework and final plan asks participants to create protocols and goals for data collection, conferencing, and working with New York's widely diverse students. Application of an effective plan will result in increased student achievement, attendance, and satisfaction with their education.
Contrast parent involvement and family engagement, and recognize the positive effect that family engagement has on student outcomes such as school attendance, engagement, and achievement.
Investigate The Safety, Order, and Rights Value Set for respectful and safe school environments
Evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies to build trusting and productive parent-teacher relationships using effective communication techniques such as the RASA active listening protocol and culturally responsive pedagogy.
Analyze the 7-Step Conferencing Plan and other structures for effective parent-teacher conferencing and apply to practice.
Develop plan to utilize the 7 -Steps including setting goals, communicating effectively, and following up on the goals.
Define “Crucial Conversation” as important and emotional topics, and describe strategies for how to refocus such conversations on student achievement and success.
Understand how the diverse needs of New York City families requires educators to employ a variety of intentional strategies to connect with all students and families
Identify barriers to effective parent engagement such as home language, negative experiences schools and conflicting work schedules.
Generate ideas and evaluate ways to navigate parent relationships when the child has a learning need or has experienced trauma, bullying, harassment, or an infringement on their civil rights.
Define true engagement and contrast to contact or participation
Create strategies for deep and meaningful family engagement
Build a toolbox of organizers and protocols, such as contact and data logs, communication strategies, and SMART goals to structure parent contacts and conferences.