This morning I had an amazing conversation with the principal of Roxborough Park School regarding some of the parent engagement work she is doing at her school. This is terrific work that needs to receive more exposure. All these ideas are things that we would love to do at our school.
Joanna has been working on these programs for four years. Here are some of the essential points from today.
1) Funding is important to hire teachers to work with the student groups that have been targeted for additional academic coaching and to pay for the meals that take place after each session.
2) The program is invitational – staff and admin make personal contact with the family to invite them to take part in the tutoring and the parent component of the program.
3) Community partners are important to act as facilitators for the sessions identified by the parents. Very important to coach facilitators that sessions are to be designed to create a dialogue rather than straight information sessions.
4) Essential point – parents choose the sessions they are interested in – they design their own learning program during their first session at the school. Topics have included, health and wellness, safety, stress management, how to finish high school, EQAO
, how to read with your child – to name just a few.
5) The sessions run twice a week for 15 weeks. Tutoring is from 3:00PM – 4:30PM and the parent session is from 3:30PM – 4:30 PM. All sessions conclude with a meal for the parents, students, facilitators and teachers.
6) Child care needs to be in place.
7) Your school is also running a special ELL initiative which sounds really interesting, it would be good to hear more about that.
This would be a terrific workshop idea at any educational conference. We all know that parent engagement is important, the ‘how to’ is not as well known.
Any ideas that you would add to this list?