Families should be partners in a child’s education. I have been thinking a great deal about this recently when attending our parent nights. A paper from Johns Hopkins University cites Six Types of Involvement: Keys To Successful Partnerships(Epstein, et. al. 2009. School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action, Third Edition) backs this up. Family nights could include BBQ, curriculum nights, family movie night, sports night, school carnivals, literacy night, and themed nights. Too often, schools host family nights with the intent of raising money. The primary goal of a family night should be building relationships.
“When parents, teachers, students, and others view one another as partners in education, a caring community forms around students and begins its work (Epstein, 2011, p. 91).
ERO asks these key questions in there challenge to schools.
- How well does the school gather and use information about the needs, wishes and aspirations of parents, whānau and the wider community?
- How effectively does the school inform parents about their children and communicate information about the school?
- How well does the school engage parents and whānau in the life of the school?
- How well does the school engage with and make use of community resources, agencies and other educational institutions?
What are you doing in your schools that is Gold?