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Digital Inclusion & Equity

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Project Appleseed Engages Family & Parental Involvement in Public Schools

Download our family engagement slideshow: Strong Families, Strong Schools

Family, school, and community engagement in education should be an essential strategy in building a pathway to college-­‐ and career-­‐readiness in today’s competitive global society. Research repeatedly correlates family engagement with student achievement, yet this strategy is rarely activated as an integral part of school reform efforts. Now is the time to transform family engagement strategies so that they are intentionally aligned with student learning and achievement. (Weiss et al, 2010)

A 10% increase in parental participation (a form of social capital) would increase academic achievement far more than a 10% increase in school spending. This is not an argument against school budget increases, but an argument for paying attention to social capital (Putnam, Sanders 2001). Research repeatedly correlates family engagement with student achievement, yet this strategy is rarely activated as an integral part of school reform efforts (Weiss et al, 2010).  Our program can increase family engagement by considering these steps.

Texting increases parental involvement and improves student performance

We sent automated text-message alerts to parents about their child's missed assignments, grades and class absences. The intervention reduces course failures by 39% and increases class attendance by 17%.

After a three year study of 14 schools engaging in teacher home visits for students, researchers at the California State University at Sacramento (CSUS) found evidence that home visits could increase student performance, jumpstart parent involvement, reduce discipline problems and increase overall positive attitudes toward school. If done correctly, a home visit program can give teachers, parents and students a better opportunity for connection, communication and collaboration.

Even the best teachers are sometimes faced with volatile, overwhelming, or overbearing parents – it simply comes with the job. But while dealing with irate or angry parents can’t be avoided, instructors can learn helpful strategies for communicating and cooperating with difficult parents and ultimately, improve the learning experience for the student in question.

During their elementary years, children develop attitudes about learning that can last for the rest of their lives. Those who are challenged, stimulated, supported and encouraged often become motivated learners while other children, who may have had less support, can lack internal motivation. However, all young children still have the ability to develop an enthusiasm for learning with the help of their teachers, peers, parents and mentors.

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