Collaborating with Families

Actions: Areas for Growth

Identify one of the Four A’s (Approach, Attitudes, Atmosphere, & Actions) as an area of personal growth.

Explore the strategies below to help you plan 2-3 steps you could take to support your growth in that area.

Strategies for Engaging Families

Karen Mapp, Harvard Graduate School of Education, has conducted research with a focus on partnerships among families, community members, and educators that support student achievement and school improvement. Mapp has identified that when schools conduct home visits, students show a 20% decline in absences, and those children are also more likely to read at or above grade level than their peers without home visits. Specific actions to consider:

  • Follow district protocols
  • Ask parents if they are ok with a home visit or if they might prefer to meet somewhere in the community
  • Respect family’s culture and religious practices
  • Don’t go empty-handed (bring resource, coffee, activities for younger kids, etc.)
  • Talk with colleagues who are successful and comfortable with home visits for suggestions or tips

Specific actions to consider:

  • Ensure parents know how to access and interpret their student's academic information via a Parent Portal
  • Provide or connect family with necessary school supplies at home
  • Create a parent resource space in school and online
  • Be clear and honest regarding student’s academic progress, being sure to layer in positive feedback

Specific actions to consider:

  • Start early and positive
  • Provide translation or use service like Talking Points app
  • Determine parent’s preferred form of communication and hours of availability
  • Consistently share positive messages, progress, and student accomplishments

Specific actions to consider:

  • Respond in a timely manner
  • Practice reflective listening (listen for meaning)
  • Validate parent and their concern
  • Answer truthfully and it’s ok if you don’t know. Tell them you will need to check and follow-up when you say you will follow-up.
  • Link parent to resources, as needed