Byron's Babbles

Transformative Family Engagement

Posted in Uncategorized by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on November 17, 2014

IMG_0555.JPG On day two of the 2014 National Quality Education Conference I had the pleasure of hearing Tracy Hill speak on the Power of Family Engagement. I was excited about this because I got to be with her this past August at Harvard for the Family Engagement Program. Ms. Hill is the Executive Director of Family and Community Involvement for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. You can check out all of my tweets I made during the session using the hashtag #ASQEd.

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Here are some major points from her presentation:

– School is the only safe place that students have
– The same issues that plague students of poverty in urban districts are the same problems that plague suburban and rural students.
-Many of the issues we deal with in public education have nothing to do with the students. The issues are about the adults. This is wrong.
-Every staff member in a school needs to serve as a family liaison
-When you become a leader in a new school district you must become culturally aware of those families you serve
-Never use the term “Those people” when referring to your families
-We must change the culture from one where parents are seen as problems to one where families are seen as partners
-Create a culture where parents are welcome
-No parents sets out to be a bad parent. We must find ways to support them
-All parents have the capacity to support student learning
-Parents and school staff should be equal partners in the education of children
-The primary responsibility for building partnerships between home and school rests mainly with school leaders and staff
-Parents top reason for leaving the district is that they or their students were treated poorly
– Parents are important partners in the education of their students
-Building strong relationships with parents is key to having them engage with schools to advance student achievement and reform failing schools
-Family engagement must involve partnering with community partners and agencies to strengthen schools
-We must engage families and neighborhoods in school reform
-We must invest in children and provide more wrap around resources to our schools and families.
-Family engagement must be woven into the very fabric of our schools

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Much of Tracy’s work is based on the book Beyond the Bakesale

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