Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

Lisa Heimer- PEN Outreach Parent Liaison- Cody Region

Lisa Heimer- PEN Outreach Parent Liaison- Cody Region

As an Outreach Parent Liaison in Wyoming I work with schools to enhance their parent involvement.  Parental Involvement has always been a part of Title I, however currently NCLB has a specific statutory definition for it.  In fact there is a 55 page document covering all the specifics of the law!  The Parental Involvement: Title I, Part A Non-Regulatory Guidance can be found online at the Department of Education website (ed.gov).  It covers the requirements of the law including Parent Involvement Policies and Title I School-Parent Compacts.

 

While it may seem complicated, I think that Title I planning can be the vehicle to start getting parents fully engaged in schools.  Title I planning teams should have parents on them.  Schools should be asking parents about their needs.  They should be asking how the school can help them support their children’s education.  Title I funding includes a set aside amount that large school districts must spend on parent involvement activities.  Parents should be involved when school districts decide how to use these funds.  Schools can use their Title I teachers or interventionists to work collaboratively with their parents on ways to improve the academic achievement of the students.  They have the local control to pick and choose programs that work for their school and their families.  The best schools are finding interesting ways to include parents in school improvement efforts and accreditation teams.  Schools just starting out can form a team and collaboratively write their compact together.  Parental involvement isn’t just coming to open house and conferences.  Parental involvement takes many different forms and shapes.  Each and every school with a Title I program has the challenge, and the gifts, of helping parents help their kids.

Believe it or not the requirements of the law are based on the research and best practice.  Having parents involved definitely improves student achievement.  So let’s do what works!  It may look different in every school but that’s okay.  Getting parents involved at the planning stages will help ensure that the programs each school provides are tailored to the needs of their families.

-Lisa

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Comments on: "What Does Parent Engagment Look Like in Title 1 Planning?" (8)

  1. Blanca Moye said:

    I have been in jackson for almost 10 years, but I remember when my kids went to school, I recieved a huge packet of papers Title 1, and I didn’t speak English in that time so I went to ask my cousin about what the document was and she explained it and translated to me. I was there every meeting, project or conference, but the language barrier was hard to jump.
    I realize that I was lucky to have somebody who could explain things to me but in the state of Wyoming there are still a lot of families who don’t know what the papers say and they need support and maybe its available but they probably don’t know about it.

  2. Crissy said:

    I have to agree but what i see as being sad about the whole component is that we have to have a law that states there should be parent involvement in the schools. I hope that someday the staff of the schools aren’t going to have to be told to encourage the parent involvement because of the title 1 laws and they will do it of their own free will.

  3. Kelly Rogers said:

    As you pointed out, parents should be consulted as to how best address the needs of parents helping the children with homework; I would also encourage the discussion on how the individual student learns best, some of their needs, specific circumstances, etc. This will encourage a broader dialog between school and families. Especially in targeted Title 1 schools, it will help the teachers teach better and the families to have more targeted assistance. In school-wide Title 1, this discussion can and should take place as well.

  4. Michele said:

    Good job Lisa. I think to the schools need to target our parents who have the children with disabilities because I think the parents sometimes themselves don’t think that this also includes them!!!!

  5. Marcy said:

    Very thoughtfully written, Lisa. Schools have come a long way toward being more welcoming to parents. It is a partnership that requires nurturing on both sides for the overall end result being success for all students.

  6. Nice post Lisa, and to agree with you and echo your statements; I thought Ms. Mapp had some outstanding ideas for parent engagement. For a long time, us parents thought it was unseemly to waltz into the school and presume to take up a professional’s time, or interupt the children. Certainly we don’t want to do that now either, however, we are learning that they would like our input, and that we are more than cab drivers. Who knew?! 😉 LOL!

    • Anita,
      I have to admit that I literally pictured you “waltzing into the school” and I thought, WOW. A really great school would get that mom to teach after school dance lessons….Ha! But seriously, a wonderful thing that schools can do is survey their parents for their talents or assests and then use them to support the school based on their skills. An example in my area from last year was a collaboration between a school, PTO, and a mother who is an artist. They decided to offer art classes at the school on early release Fridays. The school bought the supplies and gave her the space to use. Other parents shared the responsibilty for bring snacks, etc. The mom volunteered her time to teach in her area of expertise, and students who might have been home in front of the tv had something wonderful to do!

  7. Tammy said:

    Nice Lisa. You really identified great means of how the schools can involve parents.

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