Roles and Responsibilities

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1 Family Engagement Liaison/Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities The Pre K-3 Initiative focuses on six elements to promote early school success. One critical component is family engagement. The Year 1 Fall Institute focused on family engagement through an excellent presentation by Karen Mapp, author of Beyond the Bake Sale. She shared the importance of family engagement, strategies that work, and the critical aspect of parent tiered leadership. Some significant research and strategies include the following components. 1. Research shows that engaged families results in higher student achievement, positive attitudes and increased graduation rates. 2. Involved parents are the best marketers of your school. 3. Partnership with parents promotes leadership and support. 4. Parents are the first teachers and can support learning at home. 5. Home visits create relationships and respectful interaction with parents as partners. 6. Family Centers play a critical role in building parent leadership, promoting parent education, and supporting family involvement. 7. It is important to build family friendly schools. 8. Link parent involvement to learning. 9. Include parents as advocates. 10. Shared leadership builds great parent bonds. 11. Provide formal training for tiered parent leadership. 12. Create Parent Family Engagement policies to guide involvement. 13. Administer parent surveys to learn from the parents their dreams, needs and desires for learning. 14. Implement a welcome questionnaire to become familiar with new parents and outreach to them. 15. Establish formal parent volunteer opportunities. 16. Establish a formal family liaison or coordinator to ensure parent services and supports systems are in place. 12

2 Family Liaison/Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities Family Centers provide opportunities for parent education, support services, leadership, and building relationships in the school community. Family Liaisons play a critically important role in promoting parent involvement. Areas of focus include: 1. Building Relationships 2. Linking parents to learning 3. Affirming inclusive, diverse families 4. Building reciprocity/two Way Communication 5. Sharing decision making 6. Providing Family Support Building Relationships 1. Ensure a welcoming school environment 2. Offer school tours by bilingual speakers 3. Provide home visits 4. Develop personal connections between teachers and parents 5. Provide a designated space on campus for families to gather 6. Demonstrate appreciation for all levels of family involvement 7. Create inclusive and interactive school meetings Linking Parents to Learning 1. Provide families with weekly student work to review. 2. Ensure a school contact system between school and home and home and school. 3. Involve parents in homework support to support literacy and leanring. 4. Encourage parents to continue development of their own language. 5. Connect parent activities to learning. 6. Provide parent education opportunities to support learning. Affirming Inclusive Diverse Families 1. Learn and promote family customs, culture, and language 2. Utilize classroom resources that represent families 3. Provide translations at meetings and events 4. Ensure site volunteers represent the diversity of the school community 5. Provide translation for written communication 6. Provide information to families for ESL classes 7. Promote involvement by fathers. 13

3 Building Reciprocity/Two Way Communication 1. Parents and teachers work on joint goals for learning. 2. Families visit school to learn about learning during classtime. 3. Student/teacher/parent conferences are held to exchange information 4. Ensure transition meetings are held between Pre K and K. 5. Provide parent workshops based on input from a needs assessment 6. Create opportunities for joint family/teacher problem solving Share Decision Making 1. Provide tiered leadership training 2. Involve families in leadership roles for Site Council, ELAC, PTA 3. Schedule meetings when parents are able to attend. 4. Ensure a family engagement policy is in place. 5. Share curriculum development and textbook adoption with families 6. Implement an annual parent survey 7. Create family to family mentoring Providing Family Support 1. Provide clear process for accessing community services 2. Provide current information about community resources 3. Provide support in the event of a family crisis 4. Connect families with shared interests such as ESL, finances, health services 5. Encourage shared family resources such as carpooling and on-site child care 6. Support job training and tutoring opportunities for families through community resources and local business 7. Create a school services schedule to access on-site social services. Family Liaisons/Coordinators ensure the Family Center includes: 1. Family leadership opportunities 2. Family social services access 3. Family education opportunities 4. Family communication in English and Spanish (school to home) 5. Family use of technology support 6. Family wellness support 7. Orientation for new families 8. Volunteer opportunities 9. Family literacy workshops 10. School Readiness Information 14

4 11. School events calendar and inclusion 12. Family homework support 13. Family field trip opportunity 14. Family welcoming climate 15. After school offerings 15

5 Sample Board Policy on Family Engagement by Parent Services Project Introduction BP (a) FAMILY ENGAGEMENT Vision/Purpose The Board of Education believes that parents are the first and the most important teachers in the lives of children and that all parents have hopes and goals for their children. The Board defines the term parent as any caregiver or guarding who is primarily responsible for the care of a child. Research and experience tells us that when parents are actively engaged, children, families, and schools all benefit. The Board believes that all parents have resources, experiences and skills to contribute to members of the school community including teachers, students and other parents. The board believes engagement is evolving and unique to each family. Family engagement is a responsibility of this entire community and all families, parents, teachers, and administrators are capable of leading, taking action and promoting student success. Successful family engagement is meaningful, relevant, and worthwhile to all families and is an intentional part of the school district system. Policy/Expectations 1. Student Success a. Schools and the district shall provide opportunities for parents to engage in effective, supportive ways in the educational needs of their children, including, but not limited to, receiving information on the importance of attendance, workshops on supporting academic success, participating in school events, and collaborating with other parents, school staff, and teachers. b. Schools and families shall be supported to create agreements between the student, parent, and teacher that outline roles and responsibilities for student success. Parents shall be supported and encouraged to help their children at home and to get involved at school. c. Schools shall have a clear process for involving families when behavioral issues cause disruption in the classroom, to assure a positive learning environment for all students. (cf. Board Policy Bullying) 16

6 2. Welcoming Environment a. Schools will be welcoming, supportive and encouraging of family involvement and take into consideration varying opportunities for engagement based on student and grade level. b. Schools will be accessible to the languages and abilities of all families as required by law. (cf. Language Access Policy) c. Families will be encouraged to create a welcoming environment in their homes and communities where students have opportunities to learn. d. Families experience in the district will be encouraged to connect with and support new families. Schools will provide opportunities to build family-tofamily connections. 3. Shared Responsibility a. Parents, teachers and staff have the capacity to lead, mentor, and support each other and their communities. b. Parents may take a role in educating, mentoring, and encouraging fellow parents in leadership and advocacy roles. c. Parents will have opportunities to take leadership as decision-makers at school and district levels and be trained and supported in those leadership roles. 4. Communication a. Communication shall be clear, direct, frank, and considerate. Clear systems of communication shall be established between home and school. b. Schools shall demonstrate cultural competency in their communication with families, meeting the diverse needs, styles and interests of the students and families in the district. c. The languages, education and experience of all families shall be considered when asking for academic support at home. The needs and capacities of English Language Learners shall be considered and taken into account by the district and schools. d. Communication shall be clear and consistent from grade to grade and school to school so families may continue to be engaged as their children advance grade levels. (Policy conceived and developed by Family Engagement Task Force Members through Parent Services Project in ) 17

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