Family Engagement in Culturally Diverse Communities: Building

Report
Family Engagement in Culturally
Diverse Communities:
Building (Structurally Sound) Bridges
Maureen Manning, M.Ed, CAGS
Director of Beyond School Time & Family Engagement
Who is at the table?
Wareham, Massachusetts:
The Gateway to Cape Cod
 Poverty level in Wareham is above the state average
 The entire district is free lunch
 Over the past several years, Wareham Public Schools
has seen a dramatic increase in English Language
Learners
 Wareham has a higher population of Special Needs
students than the state average
 Wareham is a key area in the state for homeless families
to be relocated
WHY ENGAGE FAMILY &
COMMUNITY?
 Higher grades and test scores
 More classes passed
 Better attendance
 Better social skills and improved behavior at home And
at school
 Easier adaptation to school
 Increased likelihood of high school graduation and
attendance at post-secondary education
Henderson, & Mapp,2002 via National School Board &
Harvard University Survey
INVOLVEMENT vs.ENGAGEMENT
The Engagement Continuum
Moving from “random acts of family
involvement” to meaningful and ongoing
family engagement.
Activity: List family and/or community
engagement activities in your
school/district/site. Where do they fall on
the continuum?
In accordance with the National Family and
Community Engagement Working Group’s standards,
all engagement efforts should be:
 Systemic,
-meaning they are designed as a core component of
educational goals;
 Integrated,
-meaning they are embedded into the structures and
processes designed to meet those goals;
 Sustained,
-meaning they are operated with adequate resources
and partnerships.
KEY ELEMENTS IN COMMUNITIES WITH
SUCCESSFUL FAMILY & COMMUNITY
ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS
 Administrative beliefs and support in the importance of FCE
~ yet many districts do not have any funding allocated for
this
 Supportive Community Partnerships
 Teacher proficiency in FCE Strategies~ yet according to a
recent METLIFE National Teacher Survey~ Teachers find
family engagement to be their biggest challenge.
There is a growing need to provide concrete examples of
teacher beliefs about and practices for engaging families that
will contribute to their primary goal: helping students succeed.
3 Step Classroom Rubric
 Beliefs and Mindsets
 Relationships and Communication Systems
 Core Instructional Program
BELIEFS AND MINDSETS
 Teachers’ perceptions about families shape their family
engagement efforts
 The first set of objectives in the rubric focuses on the
beliefs that teachers have about families and what the
role of the teacher should be in facilitating family
engagement.
 Specifically, the teacher should value and respect
families and see them as assets in supporting student
learning
 See engaging families as part of the teacher’s core role
and responsibility
 Be culturally knowledgeable and sensitive
Relationships and Communication
Systems
In order to engage parents in learning, teachers need trusting, mutually
respectful relationships with families that are reinforced by consistent, twoway communication systems. To build these relationships, the teacher
should:

Treat families in respectful and culturally sensitive ways and welcome
their engagement in the classroom

Establish a meaningful, differentiated home school communication
system

Be able to reach all families and be reached by all families in a timely
way

Communicate with all families in a way that is accessible and easy to
understand

Problem solve with families in positive ways

Learn from and about families to improve learning in the classroom
Core Instructional Program
Research about the impact of various family engagement strategies shows that the
ways in which families demonstrate the importance of education to their children is
the largest predictor of student achievement. These practices, called academic
socialization, encompass parents having high expectations for their child,
discussing aspirations for the future with their child, fostering their child’s
accountability Research about the impact of various family engagement for
learning, and talking about the value of education.
 Working collaboratively with families to set goals and
foster high expectations for student achievement
 Showing families what children are learning and
demystifying grade level standards and assessments
 Using data to show families how their children are doing
 Helping families support learning at home.
GET IN THAT BALL PIT!
TAKE A SEAT, MAKE A FRIEND
httpswww.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&
v=HfHV4-N2LxQ ://<iframe width="640" height="360"
src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HfHV4N2LxQ?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0"
allowfullscreen></iframe>
WAREHAM FAMILY & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
CENTERS:
Feeding Body, Mind and Spirit!
FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

FREE FAMILY FIELD TRIPS
- Freedom Trail, Boston
- Franklin Park Zoo
- Battleship Cove
- “Annie”
- JFK Museum
- Plymouth Hall Museum/Plymouth Rock
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

LITERACY NIGHTS/SCIENCE NIGHTS

OUTREACH
- Food Pantries, Church Suppers, WIC, Turning Pointe/Baby Pointe Resource
centers, Salvation Army, homeless shelters, Laundromats, Libraries

PLAYGROUPS
- Music & Movement, STEM, Teddy Bear Storytime

NON-TRADITIONAL CAREGIVERS GROUPS
- Grandparents Raising Grandkids, Single fathers, Foster Families
•
COMMUNITY CAFES
COMMUNITY CAFES
 Parent Cafés are a series of structured small group
gatherings that focus on conversations or activities
that bring parents together to discuss issues or to
enjoy hobbies that are important to them. The goal
is to directly engage parents in building
relationships in the school and community in order
to promote and support healthy outcomes for all
families.
5 Protective Factors of Strengthening
Families
 Parental Resilience
 Social Connections
 Concrete Supports in Times of Need
 Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
 Social and Emotional Competence of Children
TYPES OF COMMUNITY CAFES
 Academic (A) ~
Helping your Child with Math Homework in Grade 4,
Community Book Club, Topics in Special Education
 Enrichment (E) ~
Memory Keepers Scrapbooking, Knitting, Floral
Arrangement, Healthy Crockpot Cooking
 Financial Literacy (FL) ~
Saving for the Holidays
Couponing, Balancing the Family Budget,
 Social/Emotional (SE)~
Parenting the Difficult Child, Parenting Toolbox,
Parenting by the Seat of your (Comfortable) Pants
 College Prep/Career Planning (CP) ~ Interviewing
Writing, FAFSA Support
Skills, Resume

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