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Planning to Improve: Step-by-Step Process

The following strategies have been proven to strengthen a school plan to enhance family and community engagement, to impact student success. Schools may choose one or two in each area.

Improve communication

  • Establish a welcoming environment for families
  • Improve and document mail, telephone, email contacts
  • Provide a hotline for homework or attendance
  • Create or have students create class or school newsletters which give tips for helping children learn at home

Improve families’ role in student learning

  • Send information home to guide family members, for example, on how to help with a research project or how to assist with spelling words
  • Plan homework that naturally lends itself to family engagement, such as a personal interview on a specific topic or discussing a writing assignment (be sure to give specific guidelines for each assignment)
  • Ask that a family member review the child’s work, when expectations have been clearly explained, so that they become familiar with the child’s skills
  • Provide opportunities for families to learn about study skills, new curriculum, or grading changes in brief workshops or interactive activities

Increase community resources to strengthen schools, families, and student learning

  • Recruit volunteers from service clubs or organizations using specific information about tasks needed and time required; show appreciation
  • Together with community partners, hold special family-focused events linked to school improvement goals, such as tech nights or health fairs
  • Provide local businesses or service organizations (or the newspaper) a statement from the superintendent regarding the importance of family members attending school conferences or thanking volunteers
  • Document community contacts in a central file, to facilitate updatd records, and to avoid multiple contacts from different staff