schools engaging families & communities

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The PowerPoint from a presentation on engaging families and the local community at The University of Newcastle's Teachers' Visit Day . "Research shows that strong partnerships between schools, parents, businesses and the local community organisations can make a significant difference to educational and social outcomes for students. Community engagement is a two way process that involves more active participation than simply inviting parents to the school. Drawing on the work of the Family Action Centre and the experience of participants, this interactive workshop will explore practical strategies for engaging families and the local community in your school. We will investigate some of the challenges and potential benefits of active community engagement, ways of identifying and mobilising family and community resources, as well as examples of successful community partnerships and potential funding sources." I've also written a blog post on making parents welcome at school available from http://sustainingcommunity.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/welcoming-parents-in-schools/.

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  • 1. Engaging families and the local community Graeme Stuart

2. Introductions Name School and role Why you are here 3. Why engage families? 4. Outcomes for students Improved school readiness Higher retention and graduation rates Enhanced cognitive development and academic achievement Higher motivation and greater ability to self-regulate behaviour Better social and relationship skills. (Jennings & Bosch, 2011) 5. Increasing emphasis in policy Australian governments commit to working with all school sectors to ensure that schools engage young Australians, parents, carers, families, other education and training providers, business and the broader community to support students progress through schooling, and to provide them with rich learning, personal development and citizenship opportunities. (Ministerial Council on Education, 2008) 6. Building strong communities Schools play an important role in Providing resources Providing leadership (e.g., Connected Communities) Bringing communities together Building social capital 7. What is family engagement? Family engagement is a shared responsibility of families, schools, and communities for student learning and achievement; it is continuous from birth to young adulthood; and it occurs across multiple settings where children learn (Weiss, Lopez & Rosenberg, 2010, p.3) 8. Key Dimensions of family-school partnerships 1. Communicating 2. Connecting learning at home & at school 3. Building community and identity 4. Recognising the role of the family 5. Consultative decision-making 6. Collaborating beyond the school 7. Participating. (DEEWR, 2008) 9. Family engagement Systemic: purposefully designed as a core component of educational goals such as school readiness and student achievement Integrated: embedded into structures and processes designed to meet these goals Sustainable: adequate resources to ensure meaningful and effective strategies that have the power to impact student learning and achievement (Weiss, Lopez & Rosenberg, 2010, p.3) 10. Checklist to see if your schools engagement with parents and the community is in good shape http://www.familyschool.org.au/pdf/TalkTools_checklist.pdf 11. Vertical community engagement 12. Horizontal community engagement 13. (Conn, 2011) 14. World Caf 15. World caf etiquette Focus on what matters Contribute your thinking Listen with an open mind Link and connect ideas Listen together for insights and ideas Write, doodle and draw Have fun! (For more on World Caf see http://bit.ly/MXT82c ) 16. World Caf Share some stories of successful parent or community engagement What helped make them a success? How were challenges address? 17. Read more For more see my blog post Making parents feel welcome in schools http://sustainingcommunity.wordpress.com /2013/04/05/welcoming-parents-in- schools/ 18. Some useful resources Schools First Awards www.schoolsfirst.edu.au/ Partners for learning www.partners4learning.edu.au/ Family-School & Community Partnerships Bureau www.familyschool.org.au/ Strengthening family and community engagement in student learning resource (DEEWR, 2011) 19. Come study with us!! Graduate Certificate or Masters in Educational Studies Specialisation in engaging families and communities Specialisation in educating boys Master of Family Studies http://www.gradschool.com.au/ 20. Conn, E. (2011). Community engagement in the social eco-system dance. Birmingham: Third Sector Research Centre. Available from http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=K8%2BrbdUTghQ%3D&tabid=827. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (2008). Family-School Partnerships Framework: A guide for schools and families. Canberra: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Available from http://www.familyschool.org.au/pdf/framework.pdf. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (2011). Strengthening family and community engagement in student learning resource. Available from http://www.partners4learning.edu.au Jennings, K., & Bosch, C. (2011). Parent engagement in children's education. Western Creek, ACT: Family-School & Community Partnerships Bureau. Available from http://www.familyschool.org.au/pdf/parent-engagement-in-childrens-education.pdf. Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training & Youth Affairs (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Melbourne: Curriculum Corporation. Available from http://www.mceecdya.edu.au Weiss, H., Lopez, M. E., & Rosenberg, H. (2010). Beyond random acts: Family, school and community engagement as an integral part of education reform: National Policy Forum for Family, School and Community Engagement. Available from http://www.nyspirc.org/info/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Beyond-Random-Acts- HFRP.pdf. 21. Graeme Stuart Family Action Centre Ph: 4921 7241 Graeme.stuart@newcastle.edu.au Family Action Centre webpage www.newcastle.edu.au/research-centre/fac/ Personal blog http://sustainingcommunity.wordpress.com/

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