Types of parent involvement schools can foster

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Type 1: Parenting

Help all families establish home environments to support children as students.

Sample Practices:

Suggestions for home conditions that support learning at each grade level.

Workshops, video-tapes, computerized phone messages on parenting and child rearing at each age and grade level.

Parent education and other courses or training for parents (e.g., GED, college credit, family literacy).

Family support programs to assist families with health, nutrition and other services.

Home visits at transition points to pre-school, elementary, middle and high school. Neighborhood meetings to help families understand schools and to help schools understand families.

Type 2: Communicating

Design effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications about school programs and children’s progress.

Sample Practices:

Conferences with every parent at least once a year, with follow-ups as needed.

Language translators to assist families as needed.

Weekly or monthly folders of student work sent home for review and comments.

Parent/student pickup of report card, with conferences on improving grades.

Regular schedule of useful notices, memos, phone calls, newsletters and other communications.

Clear information on choosing schools or courses, programs and activities within schools.

Clear information on all school policies, programs, reforms and transitions.

Type 3: Volunteering

Recruit and organize parent help and support.

Sample Practices:

School and classroom volunteer program to help teachers, administrators, students and other parents.

Parent room or family center for volunteer work, meetings, resources for families.

Annual postcard survey to identify all available talents, times and locations of volunteers.

Class parent, telephone tree, or other structures to provide all families with needed information.

Parent patrols or other activities to aid safety and operation of school programs.

Type 4: Learning at Home

Provide information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with homework and other curriculum-related activities, decisions and planning.

Sample Practices:

Information for families on skills required for students in all subjects at each grade.

Information on home-work policies and how to monitor and discuss schoolwork at home.

Information on how to assist students to improve skills on various class and school assessments.

Regular schedule of homework that requires students to discuss and interact with families on what they are learning in class.

Calendars with activities for parents and students at home.

Family math, science and reading activities at school.

Summer learning packets or activities.

Family participation in setting student goals each year and in planning for college or work.

Type 5: Decision Making

Include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives.

Sample Practices:

Active PTA/PTO or other parent organizations, advisory councils or committees (e.g., curriculum, safety, personnel) for parent leadership and participation.

Independent advocacy groups to lobby and work for school reform and improvements.

District-level councils and committees for family and community involvement.

Information on school or local elections for school representatives.

Networks to link all families with parent representatives.

Type 6: Collaborating with Community

Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices and student learning and development.

Sample Practices:

Information for students and families on community health, cultural, recreational, social support and other programs or services.

Information on community activities that link to learning skills and talents, including summer programs for students.

Service integration through partnerships involving school, civic, counseling, cultural, health, recreation and other agencies and organizations and businesses.

Service to the community by students, families and schools (e.g., recycling, art, music, drama and other activities for seniors or others).

Participation of alumni in school programs for students.

Developed by Joyce Epstein, director of the Center of School, Family and Community Partnerships, Johns Hopkins University. Reprinted with permission. Additional information on these activities and how to become part of the National Network of Partnership-2000 Schools can be obtaining by:

Calling Karen Salinas at (410) 516-8818.

Sending email through the network’s web site, www.csos.jhu.edu/p2000.

Writing the network at Johns Hopkins University, Center on School, Family and Community Partnerships/CRESPAR, 3003 N. Charles St., Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21218.