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Posts tagged ‘parent engagement’

Advocates Speak Up to Save Important Supports Provided by Community Schools

Waiting to testify at the Legislative Office Building on the importance of the CommPACT Collaborative are Fitore Kaci with her daughter Teuta, Heather Greene and her daughter Abigail, Grisell Myers, and Jocelyn Ault.

Community Schools bring together diverse services and resources to strengthen schools and improve outcomes for students. Community Schools in Connecticut have celebrated many important successes but these achievements are in jeopardy due to funding cuts in the governor’s proposed budget.

CEA joined together with teachers, parents, and community engagement experts to speak out recently at a legislative hearing against the governor’s proposed elimination of funding to the CommPACT Community Schools Collaborative. The CommPACT Community Schools Collaborative is dedicated to increasing community and parental involvement and capacity building for schools and districts, facilitating the inclusion of wrap-around services needed to strengthen student outcomes. Read more

Linking for Learning: Attend a Family Engagement Forum May 6

Cultivating and sustaining effective family engagement is some of the most important work educators do, and yet, with everything else on educators’ plates, sometimes the link home to families doesn’t get the attention it deserves. A forum on May 6 in East Hartford aims to change that by focusing on strategies and best practices for linking family engagement to student learning.

The forum will feature keynote speaker Karen Mapp, Ed.D., a senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the faculty director of the Education Policy and Management master’s program. Over the past 20 years, Mapp’s research and practice focus has been on the cultivation of partnerships among families, community members, and educators that support student achievement and school improvement. She is the author and coauthor of several articles and books about the role of families and community members in the work of student achievement and school improvement.

The forum will be held at the East Hartford Holiday Inn, 100 East River Drive, and consists of two different sessions.  Read more

Parent Teacher Forum November 12

Beyond the Bake SaleThere’s lots of research showing that parents’ involvement in their children’s education is key to school success, but are all parent and community engagement efforts equal? How do we know what types of programs are likely to succeed or fail?

Answers to these questions will the subject of a keynote address by Anne Henderson, co-author of “Beyond the Bake Sale,” at a community forum Tuesday, November, 12. The event will take place 4:30 –7:00 p.m. at the Sheraton in Rocky Hill and will include discussion sessions for participants from 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Sign up now to attend.

This forum, titled, Welcoming Schools: How to have effective two-way communications, is the first in a series of community forums sponsored by CEA, American Federation of Teachers Connecticut, Connecticut Parent Teacher Student Association, Connecticut State Department of Education/School-Family-Community Partnerships Department, Connecticut Federation of School Administrators, Connecticut National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Urban League of Greater Hartford.

When families, community members, teachers, principals, school leaders, and students partner together we can make good public schools even better.

CEA Tells Legislature Parental Engagement Key to Student Success

CEA President Sheila Cohen today told the legislature's Committee on Children

CEA President Sheila Cohen today told the legislature’s Committee on Children that a bill on parent engagement would address the struggle for time that parents often face.

Parents are working longer hours today than in past decades, making it even more difficult to maintain a healthy balance between work and family activities.

A balance between work and family creates more opportunities for parents to participate in their children’s educational experience, which improves student performance.

That’s why CEA asked the legislature’s Committee on Children to introduce HB 6501 An Act Creating Parental Engagement.  The bill would allow parents, guardians, or grandparents having custody of school-age children to take up to 20 hours of earned time for parental leave annually from their employment to attend qualified school-related activities involving their children.

CEA President Sheila Cohen told the Committee today that this bill would address the struggle for time that most parents face when work obligations conflict with the educational needs of their children.

“The participation of parents in all activities of the school community sends a strong message to children that school is important and part of the family culture,” said Cohen. “The more parents are involved in their children’s education, the higher the children’s academic achievement.”

Cohen pointed to numerous reports that show when schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children do better in school.

Studies show that children whose parents are involved in their education are more likely to:

  • Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs
  • Be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits
  • Attend school regularly
  • Have better social skills
  • Show improved behavior and adapt well to school
  • Graduate and go on to post-secondary education

Wendy Lecker, a Stamford parent with Parents Across America, supports the bill. In written testimony she said many parents can’t get the time off from work to fully engage in their children’s education.

“Greater parental involvement is key to ensuring children take full advantage of the benefits of public education,” said Lecker. “Promoting full participation by parents not only benefits the individual child, but helps to strengthen the entire family, school, and community.”

Increasing parents’ involvement in their children’s education is a key component of education reform efforts.

The Connecticut legislature considers volunteering in school to be so important that there are state statutes encouraging community members to take an active role in improving schools and becoming school volunteers, says Marne Usher, Vice President of Government Relations for the Connecticut Parent Teacher Student Association (CT PTSA).

The PTSA, the largest and oldest volunteer child advocacy association in the state with nearly 50,000 members statewide, supports the bill.

“Early childhood education programs that have demonstrated significant short- and long-term benefits for children all have intensive family involvement components,” said Usher. “Communicating with teachers and school administrators is also a crucial element of parental involvement.”

Twelve states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont, currently provide parental leave for school-related activities.

Watch video excerpts from the hearing below, or read CEA President Sheila Cohen’s testimony.