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Beyond The Parent Involvement to 21st Century Parent Engagement

Posted By: Mary Johnson on June 21, 2011
Many scholars is suck still in 19th and 20th century in still of parent models. As, parent organizer and advocate parents in urban school have move beyond parent involvement to parent engagement. Parent involvement is for compliance issues, as parent engagement have parents moving into action modes such as advocate for their chikldrens and doing bottom up accountablity from schools structures. Parent Involvement is term use by scholar and PTA. We need the scholars to listen up and undestand that PTA model of involvement with not promote social reform in urban schools, one model don't fix's ALL. The term parent involvement can be limited to adminstrator or teacher speaking to a parent or sending home a note. If parents are going to play a major roles the parent must be engage and inspire not just sit in an center a make cut out for teachers or fundraising . I never knew any of these kinds of involvement help to improve drop out rate, attendance or bridge student acheives. Parents to get beyond the bake sales but have knowledge and skill in following area:
To teach parents the skills needed to guide their children through
K-16 grades to college.To help parents to learn communication and navigate school structure as parent advocate for their children. Deepen parents understanding of parent Involvement for 21st Century. 100 % parents Preparation on advocacy and school structure. Connect school site and district work to student achievement.

Parent-U-Turn 21st Century Framework Model
Stage I- Access to Information and Data Collection
Parent U Turn provides parent leaders with opportunity to analyze and reflect on how the issues of school restructuring, social justice and multiculturalism will affect their school communities. Parents need to have access to timely and accurate information in order to best support their children’s academic success. This includes:
• Parents using, analyzing, and collecting data about their schools
• Parents understanding data and using data that drives reforms
• Parents becoming empowered to investigate and document conditions
in their schools by becoming researchers in their own communities.
• Parent access to information about the resources, and rights to support
their children.
Stages II- Parents in Decision-Making Roles
Parent U Turn members work to increase parent involvement in decision making especially those who have been traditionally disconnected from the schools. Parents provide leadership in schools by being at the table with teachers and administrators in multiple ways. For example, they actively set policies and are involved in key decisions along with school leaders. They ensure the schools have adequate resources to carry out their missions and obligations. In addition, parents provide training and evaluation of school structures. Finally, decision making must incorporate input from families and the community. Parents in decision making roles should include:
• Local Advisory Committees with genuine parent participation
• Effective advocacy and education as a direct result of understanding how systems are structured (e.g. how decisions and power are distributed between schools, staff, parents and students)
• Providing parents with knowledge, skills, and opportunities to actively engage them in all levels of the decision-making process per NCLB.
• Representation of parents on the school decision-making teams
Stages III-Parents as Student Advocates
Parent U Turn works to establish a corps of parent and community leaders that can participate in educational reform efforts through access to skill building resources. Parents need to know how to navigate and negotiate the school system. We need to support the creation of an environment where parents have access to information and support systems to be effective advocates by monitoring and directing the education of our children.This includes:
• Parents need to know what children need, how to access resources and how to implement a plan of action.
• Parents need to understand a power map detailing the functions and structures of the system.
• Parents need to understand and be able to communicate in an educational setting, using terms spoken by educational professionals.
Parents as advocates. Parents will learn:
• About course requirements and the curriculum used in the classroom.
• Ways to support their children—“It’s important that parents discuss with teachers how to engage their child and use the child’s strengths to build strength in the child’s weakest academic area.
• How to write complaints and hold people accountable.
• Ways to successfully advocate for their children, particularly those in Special Education and English Learners.
Stages IV-Parents as Leaders at Home and in the School-Community
Parents participate actively in the communities where they lived and work.
Parents need opportunities to build leadership and advocacy skills to enhance studentparent-community partnerships. Schools will serve the family and community needs for health and social service and provide resources and information for accessing those services.
• Parents will learn intergenerational and cross-cultural communication strategies, with a special emphasis for immigrant families.
• Parents will learn “21st century parenting skills” such as how to develop boundaries, parent-child communication, identify risk factors (e.g. drugs and gang involvement.)
• Parents will understand the college requirement and financial aid process.
• Leadership training will be offered that will include meeting facilitation, public speaking, conflict resolution and cross cultural training
• Communications training for parents will be more effective in navigating their children through K-12 to college.
• Parents receive on-going support and technical assistance to equip them for effective participation.
Stages V- Effective Two –Way Communication
Parent- U- Turn provide information about college access to parents and students Communication in multicultural and multilingual communities must be translated in languages that parents speak in their home.
Communication between home and school must not only be a regular, two-way occurrence, it also has to be relevant and meaningful. These
multicultural and multilingual ways of communicating with parents must include, but not be limited to, the computerized machines, newsletters, personal contact, letters/flyers, and the school marquee. Parent Liaison roles in multicultural school must also help bridge open communication between school and home and help create effective home /school relationships. This includes the cultural awareness to ably work with parents of diverse cultural, linguistic, and economic backgrounds and experiences. In many urban and multicultural communities, the Parent Liaison role is the key to fostering relationships with parents and open
communication between schools and communities.
Stages VI-District Level Support
Parent U Turns educate parents by modeling student centered learning, authentic assessment and the inquiry process. Structures must be provided to build parent capacity that is well-defined and where meaningful participation such as dialogue, empowerment and action are critical components of educational reform. This mid-level structure will be fully funded and led by parent councils that will:
• Provide parents with training and capacity building opportunities to effectively engage in school reform at the local and district level.
• Provide parents with information and resources to meet the needs of the whole child.
• Enable parents to support students and schools programs.
StagesVII- Friendly Schools Atmosphere
This is the major reason parents give for not participating or volunteering at local schools. Schools will post welcome signs throughout the school in many languages including English. The staff of each school will provide mandatory customer service every year for the entire school. Parents
will be asked to fill out a survey on services render. A friendly school atmosphere was also left out of Epstein’s six keys that were adopted by the
State of California. The number one complaint in urban schools from parents is that the school staff is rude and unfriendly.

Mary Johnson, President
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 Beyond The Parent Involvement to 21st Century Parent Engagement by Mary Johnson on June 21, 2011
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