The Iowa Parent Information Resource Center (Iowa PIRC) has developed REACH Out to Parents for Student Success: A Toolkit for Educators. This tool was designed to assist school leaders in creating a culture that welcomes, honors, and connects with families in ways that result in a joint effort to design strategies and actions for the classroom at school and at home to help each child maximize his/her learning. To do that, educators and parents must come to the table together and learn from each other. The results of that work will not look like what either group has thought of as “parent involvement” in the past. Nor will it look like what the school district down the highway is doing. Each community must look at the needs of their own children, families, and schools to determine the best approach to take to support their children and youth as learners both at school and at home. REACH Out to Parents for Student Success: A Toolkit for Educators is a tool to help you do just that!
At a basic level, the toolkit can provide you with tools to assist your thinking and actions in increasing parent and family engagement to increase student achievement. It can also assist district and building leadership in forming, developing, and facilitating an action team to make decisions and implement family engagement as one strategy to increase student achievement in the district or building.
The kit is organized into 6 key steps that are necessary in developing and implementing any initiative intended to impact the quality of student learning.
Planning to Plan – tools to create an effect team for family engagement.
Needs Assessment – tools to learn more about current practices in the building/district.
Expectations and Research-Based Practices – tools to address actions that are research based.
Planning – tools to document the goals, activities, and program evaluation for family engagement.
Sustainability – talking points for communicating with parents and the community.
Program Evaluation – basic tools to review the impact.
Let’s get started with tools that can be helpful in welcoming, honoring, and connecting with parents, families, and the community in order to impact student learning.