Title

Innovative Ways to Involve and Empower Spanish Speaking Parents

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Family & Community

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

The presentation shares successful strategies to not only involve Spanish speaking parents, but to empower them to take an active role in their child's education. These strategies, implemented in two different schools, contributed to one school's increase in state reading scores (45-89%) and math (48-77%) over an 8 year period- designating it a Title I Distinguished School for several years. The other school moved from Title I Alert School status to a High Progress Reward School.

Brief Program Description

Non-English speaking parents participate in monthly instructional workshops, standards-based classroom focus walks, college visits, data talks, a cluster-wide parent conference, and student-led parent/teacher conferences. They keep track of their own participation with our incentive based Parent Challenge. Templates, samples, and lessons learned will be shared for all activities.

Summary

Monthly instructional sessions- Principal led session regarding a specific instructional practice (reading workshop, guided math, co-taught classroom) followed by a student-led classroom focus walk to observe the specific topic. Parents provide observation feedback on a checklist. We've found this to be most effective in teaching parents about our instructional program. Additional instructional workshops include activities to support students at home. Student data talks- Parents of "at-risk" students review specific student data and a "to-do" list of how to help their child be more successful. College visits- Part of our college expectation includes parent informational sessions, participation in a college fair, and an actual visit to a university to meet with the admissions office. Cluster Parent Conference-All parents of the high school and feeder schools attend a real conference with choice sessions to meet their specific instructional and social/emotional needs. Student-led parent conferences- Parents and students attend a teacher conference together. Facilitated by the teacher, the student presents their data notebook, goals, and academic progress to their parents. Parent Challenge-parents are provided a "frequent visitor" Wildcat card for which they receive a stamp for each instructional meeting or volunteer opportunity. When the card is full of stamps, they receive a personalized parent pass, a registration day fast pass, and an invitation to our Parent Challenge Dinner Celebration.

Evidence

In addition to the increased student acheivement we have noted, there is an abundance of research supporting all of our strategies. A few are listed... -Research Spotlight on Parental Involvement in Education- NEA Review of the Research on Best Practices in Education -National Coalition for Parental Involvement in Education -Parent Engagement Program-Georgia Department of Education -Parent and Family Engagement - U.S. Department of Education

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Melanie Pearch is principal of Woodward Elementary School, a Title I school serving predominnatly English Language learners in Dekalb County, Georiga. She has served as principal of two different schools in this international cluster since 2002. She is a former high school Spanish teacher.

Demetria Haddock is part of the Woodward adminstrative team. She has been at Woodward for four years. Her previous administrative experience is in Title I schools. She has also served as a Literacy Coach, Title I reading teacher, and Early Intervention teacher.

Venessa Truitt joined the Woodward adminstrative team last year. Her experience is in counseling and served as the head counselor at our feeder middle school before coming to Woodward.

Keyword Descriptors

parent involvement, empowerment, English Language learners

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Innovative Ways to Involve and Empower Spanish Speaking Parents

Harborside Center East and West

Non-English speaking parents participate in monthly instructional workshops, standards-based classroom focus walks, college visits, data talks, a cluster-wide parent conference, and student-led parent/teacher conferences. They keep track of their own participation with our incentive based Parent Challenge. Templates, samples, and lessons learned will be shared for all activities.