Schools have a key role in fostering parent involvement. The level of parent involvement that Response to Intervention (RtI) and Corrective Action calls for requires a commitment to involve parents at a deeper level while facilitating parents’ understanding of key components of the RtI framework.
Westside Academy I & II was one of several MPS schools selected by the Department of Public Instruction to provide evidence of parent involvement within the RtI framework. All MPS schools selected by the Department of Public Intsruction provided the evidence needed as part of the requirement. A review of the information showed that schools are providing meaningful activities for parent involvement under the Response to Intervention framework.
Westside Academy I & II employs several high yield parent involvement strategies to involve parents and the community in key components under the Response to Intervention framework.
Below are some of the activities and strategies that the school actively uses:
Westside Academy I & II
Principal: Zanetta Walker
- PBIS Jeopardy (Parent & Student Activity)
- Literacy Night including an extension of learning at home activities for parents
- Active use of the School Governance Council to review SIP parent engagement activities, plan monthly Family Fun Nights, and make decisions about how MAP data will be provided to parents
- Partners with the CLC and business/community partners
- Incorporates make-it-take-it projects for parents around math & literacy
- Gets resources into the hands of parents like identifying free tutoring sites close to students’ home.
- Strategies readily visible for Westside Academy I & II:
- Direct engagement of parents
- Mobilizing community resources (for example, Ms. Walker incorporated a Breast Cancer Awareness workshop for parents before reviewing MAP data)
- High-yield parent involvement strategies actively used by Westside Academy I & II:
- Collaborating with the community: identifying and integrating resources and services from the community to strengthen and support schools, students, and their families (Joyce Epstein strategy).
- Learning at Home: providing information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with curricular-related decisions and activities.
- Decision-making: including parents in school decisions
“The goal is that educators, family members and community resources are on the team and at the table in supporting every student’s school success. The desired outcome is that teachers, families and community resources are sharing responsibility for education as equal partners – in every school (Henderson & Mapp, 2002).
Ms. Walker, principal of Westside Academy I & II, commented that she tries to give parents an opportunity to see their children shine. Parents tend to be more receptive to ask questions about their students’ performance. Ms. Walker believes in making parent involvement events fun for parents and rewarding parents with prizes that extend learning at home for students.
“When families, schools, and communities work collaboratively, the following outcomes have been documented: (1) higher student achievement, (2) improved student behavior and attendance, and (3) more positive school climates” (Henderson & Mapp, 2002).
Epstein, J. L. (2001). School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Henderson, A., & Mapp, K. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.