Family Engagement…Or Else!

mom on cell phone with kidLast year in the state of North Carolina 580 students dropped out of high school due to a lack of engagement between school and household. We’ve always known that it is important to a child’s education for their parents to be involved, but now with the recent passing of the Family Engagement in Education Act, parents are required by federal law to care about their child’s education.

 

In a Live Citizen article, titled “Should parents be required by law to care about their child’s education?,” Betsy Landers, president of the National PTA, defended the legislation saying it doesn’t “make it a felony to neglect your child’s schoolwork.” She further qualified her statement claiming the bill to be a mere add-on to the No Child Left Behind Act. Live Citizen then summarized the purpose of the bill, stating “The mission of the bill is to allocate federal funds to schools and agencies so schools can dedicate resources specifically to family engagement. Local development agencies will be required to implement certain research-based practices and policies.”

Is there such a lack of parental involvement that legislation must be passed through Congress in order to motivate a change? This makes me wonder, “What kind of parents need to be required by law to be involved in their child’s lives?” Based upon the above statistic, thousands of parents across the nation need external motivation, so can the blame be solely attributed to parents? After all, there are two sides to every story, right?

What Should Schools be Responsible For?

To view this problem from a different angle, are schools doing their job to facilitate family engagement? No matter how eager and willing parents are, the success of interaction depends upon how important family involvement is to the schools. Are schools making engagement easily accessible?

For constructive advice Karen Stephens’ article, “Meaningful Family Engagement ,” paves the way for teachers and schools to make parental involvement easy and effective. Stephens aggressively states that merely asking for parent volunteers “infers families are only welcome to participate on special occasions or when it is beneficial financially.” Understanding that this is not the image schools are trying to portray, a list of suggestions on how to facilitate family interaction follow:

  • Establish a Family Engagement Philosophy
  • Create Environments to Entice Family Engagement
  • Select, Train, and Schedule Staff for Family Engagement

Stephens’ study breaks down each concept into basic steps that administration or teachers can put into place. The main focus is the child and creating a safe and effective learning atmosphere through the support of parents.To make it even easier to plan and execute this support, the article is concluded with strategic action steps, of which the first is “Communicate with families in multiple ways.” Using several mediums as a vector for communication keeps sharing easy and accessible to all.

Let’s repeat that…

Using several mediums as a vector for communication keeps sharing easy and accessible to all.

Sounds like they could use MemberHub! This is exactly why MemberHub was created. Let’s get started today!!!!

 

That being said :) …what are your thoughts on what level of responsibly should fall on the schools? LEAVE A COMMENT, we’d love to chat about this.