Spotlights Featured Resources for Families and Schools

Parent Resources (Search Our Database) Back to School Tips for Parents Harold S. Koplewicz, MD "Model confidence, create structure, and get to know the new teacher." This post shares "six things parents need to know about starting school with vulnerable children," all of which could be helpful to any family returning to school during a pandemic. (also available in Spanish)
Empowering Our Families: What to Expect From an InterpreterNAETISL: National Accreditation of Educational Translators and Interpreters of Spoken Languages"Professional interpreters/translators in education support families with communication to ensure that families can protect their own rights and lift their own voices. The documents [on this webpage] (in 13 languages) describe the basic knowledge and skills that families should expect from professional interpreters/ translators in education, and a list of useful phrases that families can use during a meeting involving an interpreter."

School Resources (Search Our Database) Back to School Communications Toolkit Learning First Alliance This communications toolkit offers a video, tips, letter templates, talking points, blog prompts, sample social media language, and more to help members of the school community "explain the opportunities their schools offer so that individual children can reach their full potential."

Beginning of the Year Relationship Building: A Strategy Guide for Educators Flamboyan Foundation "This guide provides strategies and considerations for ways to build strong, authentic, and trusting relationships with students and families at the start of the school year." It includes suggestions for making welcome calls, using partnered communications, creating student and family questionnaires, and hosting community building meetings (in person or virtually) such as back to school nights. (also available in Spanish)

Equity, Relationships, and Learning: Opportunities for Family, School, and Community Engagement within the American Rescue Plan (pdf) National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) This guide can help local education agencies (LEAs) plan wisely to allocate ARP and ESSER funds to maximize family and community engagement to bolster student success.
School Community Journal Resources (Search Our Database) Using Risk to Conceptualize Rural Secondary School Parents’ Sense of Community Bonnie Stelmach Three categories of risk were revealed in this study: “social and personal risk that emerges from being familiar, known, or part of a ‘legacy family’; political risk was experienced through parents’ influence (or lack of influence) in school decisions, and the extent to which they could authentically express/live their perspectives; and moral/ethical risk related to the expectation and responsibility to engage with the community in good ways to prove one’s right to belong. This research adds to the scholarship on parent involvement generally by highlighting the parent–parent dynamic as possibly creating tensions and barriers for the home–school dynamic.”
Urban Parents at the Portal: Family Use of Web-Based Information on Ninth Grade Student Course Grades Martha Abele Mac Iver, Kellie Wills, Steven Sheldon, Emily Clark, and Douglas J. Mac Iver This study explores how increasing use of the parent portal could potentially help to reduce ninth grade failure. The findings suggest “that efforts to expand parent portal use may potentially contribute to reducing students’ course failure through increased monitoring and intervention efforts prior to the end of the semester.”
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