Parent Engagement

Parent Engagement
In Africa, the palaver tree is a large tree in whose shade the community gathers
as partners with equal power to discuss issues, solve problems and heal itself.
When parents and communities are truly engaged, our schools can be the
palaver tree for NYC neighborhoods.
"For many years, there's
been a disdain for
parent involvement, a
disdain for PTAs, I
believe parents matter
and we want to get
them involved."
The Current Opportunity
• Family engagement is a top priority for Mayor de Blasio
and Chancellor Farina
• Chancellor has committed to more parent training
workshops, GED and ESL classes, and re-training Parent
• More time for parent engagement in new teachers contract:
• Teachers now have 40 minutes every week dedicated to
engaging parents
• Schools now have four parent-teacher conferences every year
instead of two (September, November, March and May)
Parent Engagement
• Family engagement is:
• A shared responsibility in which schools and other
community agencies and organizations are committed to
engaging families in meaningful ways and families are
committed to actively supporting their children’s
learning and development.
• Continuous across a child’s life- from cradle to career
• Carried out everywhere that children learn- at home, in
school, on the street, in the neighborhood
Source: National PTA, Karen Mapp
What does research say?
• Parent and community ties can have a long-term
effect on learning outcomes for children and on
whole school improvement when combined with
other essential supports such as:
a positive, student-centered learning culture
high-quality teaching
community engagement and partnerships
effective training and supports for staff
strong principals
(Source: Chicago Consortium on School Research)
• Early Childhood: Children whose parents read to them at
home recognize letters of the alphabet and write their
names sooner than those whose parents do not.
• Elementary: Children whose parents explain educational
tasks are more likely to participate in class, seek help from
the teacher when needed, and monitor their own work.
• Middle and High School: Adolescents whose parents
monitor their academic and social activities have lower
rates of delinquency and higher rates of social competence
and academic growth.
Black & Latino Students
• Low-income African American children whose
families participate actively in their elementary
school are more likely to complete high school
• Latino youth whose parents provide
encouragement and emphasize the value of
education as a way out of poverty have higher
graduation rates
Traditional? Or
Parents are participants and
helpers in the plans that the
principal and school staff develop
Parents are partners and leaders
in deciding on plans for the
Communication with parents is
passive and impersonal, mainly
through fliers and emails
Communication with parents is
active and personal including
face-to-face outreach, visiting
parents where they are in the
neighborhood, phone calls, etc.
School sees parents as a problem
to be solved
School sees parents as problemsolvers with challenges the school
Dual Capacity-Building
Framework for Family and
School Partnerships
• Developed by the US Department of Education
• School staff and parents both develop skills and
capacities to communicate and collaborate effectively
so they can better support children and schools
• School staff:
• Honor and recognize families’ wealth of knowledge
• Connect family engagement to student learning
• Create welcoming, inviting cultures
Parent Roles
from US DOE Framework
• Supporters of their children’s learning and
• Encouragers of an achievement identity, a
positive self image, and a “can do” spirit in their
• Monitors of their children’s time, behavior,
boundaries, and resources
• Models of lifelong learning and enthusiasm for
Parent Roles
from USDOE Framework
• Advocates/activists for improved learning
opportunities for their children and at their
• Decision-makers/choosers of educational options
for their children, the school, and their
• Collaborators with school staff and other
members of the community on issues of school
improvement and reform
Parent Engagement Models
and Programs
• Parent-Teacher Home Visits (California and nationwide)
• Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (Arizona and
• Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA): Parent
Mentor Program (Chicago, Illinois
• Abriendo Puertas (California)
• Achievement for All (UK)
• Title I School-Parent Compact Renewal (Connecticut)
NYC Parent Engagement
Models and Programs
• Parent-Teacher Home Visit Project
• Pilot program in 6 middle schools (MS 50, MS 57,
Highbridge Green School, IS 217, IS 68, MS 448)
• Parent-Teacher Home Visits to all incoming 6th
• Partnerships between schools and community
• Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (in planning)
• Highbridge Green School curriculum project
• District 17 parent leadership training
Next Steps
• We have an opportunity to transform our schools and
make NYC a national model for parent engagement
under this administration
• But parents must join together to make it happen
• Join with CEJ to fight for real parent engagement in
your school and citywide!
• Expand innovative models to your schools
• Make sure schools use their parent engagement time
• Build parent leadership citywide

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