With younger students, a huge part of their academic success can be reliant on how involved their family is in their education. Schools are aware of this, of course, but it's not always easy to get families involved. They're busy people with full schedules - they don't always have time to participate in every school-sponsored function. But if you're looking to increase family engagement at your school, here are a few things you might want to try:
3. Take School Information on the Road
Find out the churches or community centers where groups of families congregate. See if that location can host a meet-and-greet with admin and parent leaders. Meet families where they are rather than expecting them to always come to the school. For many of our families, the school environment can be a scary place. Help them get to know the players in the school, and the school site itself might become more comfortable in the future.
4. Utilize Your Local Businesses
Ask to set up and maintain a bulletin board in local markets, bakeries, and restaurants. Advertise an upcoming event or celebrate a student's accomplishments.
5. Find Out What Your Families Need
Conduct a needs assessment (available in different languages) during registration. Set up a station of computers manned by student or parent leaders to help family members set up email accounts if they don't already have them. Have them fill out a quick survey asking how they would like to best be reached throughout the school year and what concerns them the most. Have these topics become the themes for Coffee with the Principal get-togethers.
6. Reach Out to Families Just to Build a Relationship
So many times we reach out to families because of discipline issues, but a little proactive positivity can go a long way in building trust and comfort between a parent and school.— Heather Wolpert-Gawron via Edutopia
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