Log In

Reset Password

How Schools Can Engage, Support Parents As Partners



Text Size

How Schools Can Engage, Support Parents As Partners

FARMINGTON — The Connecticut State Department of Education, in partnership with the Connecticut Parent Information and Resource Center (CT PIRC), will present a statewide meeting for school, parent, and community leaders that will focus on an enhanced role of parents in public education on Saturday, March 26, from 8:30 am to 2 pm, at the Hartford Marriott Farmington, 15 Farm Springs Road, Farmington.

The meeting, which will also include a special session for members of newly formed “school governance councils,” is part of a statewide initiative designed to engage and support parents as partners in education.

“We must redefine parents’ and guardians’ roles and find new ways to assure that they are involved fully in supporting the instructional program and their children’s success,” said acting state Education Commissioner George Coleman. “Spaghetti dinners and fundraisers work to involve parents in their children’s school, but we have to go further to inform families about their children’s learning and how to support it.”

The meeting is one of several initiatives that the department is engaged in to elevate parents’ roles and responsibilities as part of a statewide campaign to involve and support parents, and to make schools a more welcome place for volunteers and partners. Other activities include:

*Support for and training of School Governance Council members. (Under new state law, School Governance Councils are being created in schools that are struggling to improve student achievement; approximately 200 councils are in the process of being formed this year);

*Training for school personnel to make schools a more welcoming environment for parents;

*Training for school-based “action teams” for partnerships to create schoolwide plans for parent and community involvement;

*Development of a Parent/Teacher Conference “Tool Kit” to assist parents and teachers in getting the most of these meetings and to develop long-term activities that support their students;

*Development of a website for parents to connect them with web-based and other resources that assist them in supporting their child’s learning program;

The event will also include activities, including collaboration with parents’ groups and advocates.

The conference will bring about 250 parents and educators together to focus on how schools can make systemic changes to involve parents and how parents can engage in positive, supportive partnerships with educators.

“Research shows that schools with strong connections to their families and communities are four times more likely to improve in reading and ten times more likely to improve in math than schools without these crucial links.”

This is among the findings of a new report called “Organizing Schools for Improvement.” Dr Penny Bender Sebring, one of the authors and the founding director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago, will be a keynote speaker at the conference.

The forum will also feature Dr James Comer, the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, whose renowned School Development Program puts family and community engagement at the heart of school reform.

“More and more, researchers are emphasizing that this could be the most important mobilization for American education in this century: parents, teachers, administrators, and community leaders all working intensively together to ensure the success of all children,” said Commissioner Coleman.

Visit ctserc.org/engagementforum to register online.

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply