“Meet the Teacher” on steroids. Treating this like an event instead of a requirement helps build excitement about the coming year. Besides students visiting the classrooms, families will also hear from the principal regarding expectations, policy changes, and the annual plan. Families will be invited to join communication/social network.
Through timely e-mails Strong Fathers will provide monthly resources and tools to help you in your work with families.
Each month Network members will receive:
Parent Handout (English/Spanish) Monthly topical parent handouts to print or post online in black and white and color.
Monthly Parenting Calendars (English/Spanish) Monthly activity and discussion calendars to print or post online.
Web Resources and Member Forum We love to share and help professionals learn from each other!
Three or four different events during the school year for parents to attend a morning to hear a short presentation by the principal and be able to ask questions as a group and after each event.
- Coffee and short time to visit - Short (pre-prepared presentation-6 slides or less) - Dismiss parents that may need to head to work - SHORT Question and Answer Session -SET TIME for Meeting End
Topics for Principal Coffee - Making the School-Family Partnership Work for Students - Homework and Classwork that Works for Students - How Families Can Help Students Succeed - Preparing for Summer Learning
An event providing information about internet safety and digital citizenship to parents Each teacher wouldshow parents apps as preferred options that would aid more in learning than many of the games that kids play.
Summer is still a time for learning and family fun. Strong Fathers-Strong Families put a list of 100 free or affordable activities to do with kids at home during the summer. All activities are focused on family engagement and many of them are based on academic endeavors. Schools can use these in a calendar form, in daily social media, or as a list to provide their families. Examples include - Play hide-and-seek in the house and in the yard at nigh - Make mazes/puzzles for each other to solve - Spin the dial on the radio and dance around with your kids to whatever song comes on. - Turn off the TV one night a week (see what happens!) - Watch an old movie with your children (fix popcorn) Try a silent comedy.
After testing and so much academic work during the year, the end of the year programs provide other engagement opportunities. Field Days, field trips, award ceremonies, and special projects provide schools with another opportunity to engage families in these traditional programs. By working with families throughout the year, you can now engage them as volunteers and participants. The end of the year also gives you a chance to honor families. Instead of honoring just one or two parents, honor engaged parents from each class or grade level. Honor volunteer hours, special efforts, and anything that you want to encourage in all parents. (I.E. signed the folder sheet every day or every week. read X books for the year to their child)
During Late November and December schools and families are already busy with music programs, fundraisers, community service projects, and holiday parties. Schools do not need to plan additional family engagement activities. Schools can use prior engagement efforts to bring families in for these events as volunteers for projects or honored guests at programs. Schools should use these events to treat families as honored guests. Build in social time before or after programs to engage families informally. It builds rapport and even though staff and families are busy, it is time well spent that will enhance relationships throughout the rest of the year.