Family Involvement and Student Achievement - PDF

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					                                                           February 2009

                       Family Involvement and Student Achievement
                                        Gordon Miyamoto, Educational Specialist, Family Support
When parents and other caregivers                                                                  Board of Education Parent/
become involved in their children’s                                                                Family Involvement Policy
education in meaningful ways,                                                                      #2403 (see page 4) is
student achievement increases.                                                                     acknowledgement of the
Parent and family involvement                                                                      importance of meaningful and
contributes to students’:                                                                          effective parent and family
                                                                                                   involvement. The policy
☺ earning higher grades and test                                                                   encourages schools to fully
  scores,                                                                                          engage families as partners to
☺ enrolling in higher-level programs,                                                              provide students with the best
☺ earning credits and being                                                                        means of achieving academic
  promoted,                                                                                        success.
☺ adapting well to school and                                                              The policy recognizes that
  attending regularly,                 Children whose families are involved in their       although parents are diverse in
☺ having better social skills and       education at home and at school, do better in      culture, language, and needs,
  behavior,                                 school, and their schools get better.          they share the schools’
☺ graduating, and                                                                          commitment in seeing their
                                                                                           children succeed. In the policy,
☺ going on to higher education.               improve faster when teachers meet     the Department makes a commitment
Further, family involvement designed to       with families face-to-face, send      to establish programs and practices
improve student learning can have an even materials on ways to help their child     that enhance parent involvement and
greater effect on student achievement.        at home, and communicate              reflect the specific needs of students
                                              routinely about their child’s         and their families. The policy
Schools can help parents contribute to        progress.
their children’s achievements by:                                                   establishes support for the
                                              As one of six critical elements of    development, implementation, and
☺ helping parents know what their                                                   regular evaluation of comprehensive
                                              the Comprehensive Student Support
   children are learning and doing in                                               and coordinated parent involvement
                                              System (CSSS), Family
   class,                                                                           programs in each school.
                                              Involvement includes families as full
☺ promoting high standards and                participants in the educational
   expectations for student work,             process for their children. Families    “The partnership among members of
☺ helping parents assist their children at    can participate as contributors,        the school community in
   home,                                      planners, leaders, teachers,            implementing the Hawaii Board of
☺ promoting discussion with parents           learners, and colleagues to promote     Education Parent/Family Involvement
   about improving student progress, and      student learning. One of the goals of   Policy is critical to student success”
☺ helping families see good teaching.         the CSSS is to involve families and     — Pat Hamamoto,
                                              the community as integral partners      Superintendent of Schools
Promising research shows students’            in education.
reading and math scores (3-5th grades)
                                             Student Support Services Branch (SSSB)
                    Dr. Paul Ban, Director                             641 18th Ave. Room V201, Honolulu, HI 96816 (808) 735-6222
            Dr. Steve Shiraki, SSSB Administrator                                    for back issues of The CSSS School,
  Lois Matsuda, Educational Specialist, CSSS Implementation                         go to: <>
        Six Keys to Successful Parent/Family Involvement

            Communication                                 Volunteering                                Student Learning
  Communication is the foundation of solid    When parents volunteer, both families          Families play an integral role in assisting
  partnerships. When parents and              and schools reap benefits. In addition         student learning, including successful
  educators communicate effectively,          to contributing monetarily and in-kind         achievement of the Hawaii Content and
  positive relationships develop, problems    toward students’ school programs,              Performance Standards (HCPS). While
  are more easily                             families can contribute their talents,         most parents desire to help their
  solved,         and                         skills, expertise, experience and              children, they often are unsure of how to
  students make                               services toward their children’s               provide effective and appropriate
  greater progress.                           education. When parents are welcomed           instructional support. Schools can
  Schools need to                             and their support and assistance sought,       support parents by helping them connect
  be proactive about                          they can supplement schools’ offerings         to their children’s educational program.
  b u i l d i n g                             with resources that would otherwise not        Schools can keep parents informed of
  relationships with                          be available. Students benefit directly        children’s educational progress, content
  families as partners, rather than           as well, since assisting in school events      and curriculum. They can provide
  communicating only when required to         and activities communicates to a child         workshops, hand outs, student folders
  inform or when problems arise. Effective    that, “I care about what you do here.” In      and planners, and other resources
  communication between home and              addition, volunteers express greater           families can use to assist their children
  school should be regular, two-way,          confidence in their schools when they          in learning.
  meaningful, and student focused rather      have opportunities to participate regularly.
  than problem focused.                                                                          Standards-Based Showcase
                                                          Room Parents                                     Night
                   Edline                        Kaunakakai Elementary conducts                At Ha`aheo Elementary School, the
      Mililani High School uses an on-           a beginning of the year mandatory             Standards Showcase is an evening
      line communication tool called             meeting for all parents. The Parent           event for students to share with their
      Edline. This secure, web-based             Community Networking Center                   families various aspects of their work
      system allows teachers, students           Coordinator explains volunteering             towards attaining state standards. All
      and parents to communicate                 and room parenting procedures,                grades (K-6) participate; their
      important information such as              and surveys parents as to their               samples and evidence include student
      homework assignments, grades for           skills and interests. The parents are         progress portfolios, video clips to
      classes, school events, exam dates         then assigned to duties in their              support classroom projects/routines,
      and schedule changes. It is used           child’s classroom from tutoring to            and other products from curriculum
      to post parent newsletters, meal           phone tree responsibilities. Each             based activities.
      menus, registration materials and          parent is able to participate and
      forms. It allows parents to become         volunteer based upon their own
      partners and to get more involved          strengths, interest and competency.
      in their children’s education
      through access to more

Parent/Family Involvement and School Improvement                     plan. This ensures that parent/family involvement becomes an
Since parent/family involvement has been shown to have a             integral part of school improvement efforts.
positive impact on student outcomes, it follows that schools
can benefit by systemically including parent/family                             Parent Community Networking Centers
involvement initiatives into school improvement efforts.                        In order to facilitate meaningful and effective parent/
Utilizing the six components of effective parent/family                         family involvement at the school level, most schools
involvement, schools can develop activities to complement                       have Parent Community Networking Centers (PCNCs).
the strategic actions identified in their academic plans             These Centers, staffed by a PCNC Coordinator, focus on family
toward achieving school-wide goals.                                  support and work to engage parents to participate in their
Tools are available to assist school teams assess data               children’s education. Their mission is “to develop a sense of
regarding the effectiveness of their parent/family involvement       community and a caring, learning network to strengthen family,
efforts, and areas that can be strengthened. Teams then              neighborhood, school, and classroom for every student’s well-
develop activities to be included in the school academic             being and attainment of standards.” PCNCs develop supportive

Based on research done by the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS), these components constitute
essential elements that engage families with schools and contribute to the success of their children.

    Shared Decision-Making                                     Parenting                           Community Collaboration
Parents, apart from students, are the most     Parents provide what their children need to        In addition to families, the community
invested stakeholders in the educational       survive: food, clothing, shelter and safety.       can serve schools as an important ally
system, because the decisions made will        They provide nurturing, socialization,             and partner. When schools and the
directly affect their children’s lives.        boundaries and emotional support. The more         community work together, both are
Parents play the important role of             parents are able to provide this support, the      strengthened and accomplish more
advocates for their children. Effective        more children will be ready to respond             than either can alone. When schools
partnerships develop when schools              positively to the instruction given at school.     collaborate with the community,
welcome families to fully participate in the   Parents can support their children’s               families can access community
decision-making process, allowing them         education by making sure that their children       resources more easily, businesses
to voice concerns and be actively involved     arrive at school on time, rested, fed, and         connect education with the real world,
in setting educational and life goals for      ready to learn. They can make sure that            seniors contribute wisdom and
their children. Shared decision-making,        assignments are done, set high                     experiences and gain a sense of
such as that found on effective School         expectations for achievement, and nurture          purpose, and, ultimately, students
Community Councils, fosters parental           self-esteem. Schools can support positive          serve and learn
trust, public confidence, and mutual           parenting by respecting and affirming the          beyond their
support of parent and educator efforts in      strengths and skills needed by parents to          isolated school
helping children succeed. Involvement of       fulfill this role, and by providing resources to   involvement.
families is crucial on issues from             increase parents’ capacity to parent               Community
curriculum and course selection to             effectively.                                       partnerships
discipline policies and school reform                                                             can access
measures. In schools where families are                     Parent Academy                        resources to
involved, students have higher levels of        Kalani Parent Academy holds                       strengthen school programs, family
achievement and greater public support.         workshops at different schools in the             practices, and student learning.
                                                Kalani Complex to reach out and educate
    School Community Council                    parents. Collaboration and networking                  Community Volunteers
 At Kahuku High and Intermediate                offer the families a diverse range of              At Kapolei Middle School,
 School, parents, students, school              workshops to meet the needs of many                parents, lead by Master Sergeant
 personnel and members of the School            families. Topics focus on strengthening            Reynold T. Hioki, in partnership
 Community Council give input on a              the family, technology, academic, and              with Lieutenant Colonel Barry J.
 monthly basis to discuss topics and            student support. They start off the school         Surrell and his team at the Hawaii
 help make decisions for their school.          year with Family Dinner Night                      Air National Guard, brought
 Some of the important items on the             emphasizing the importance of regular              volunteers to help pack up a
 agenda have included Kahuku’s                  family dinners to prevent youth                    tremendous amount of library
 Attendance Policy, Bell Schedules,             substance abuse. Other topics include              books, materials and technology
 Accreditation, Academic and                    Drug Proofing Your Kids; 6th Grade/                equipment into boxes to help
 Financial Plans, and the new 24 Credit         Middle School Presentations, Mini Health           prepare the library for its re-
 Graduation Requirements                        & Safety Fair; Internet Safety; and a              carpeting project.
                                                technology workshop.

partnerships among the home, school and community. They are                 to reluctance arising from cultural and/or language
school-based centers for families, volunteers, and community to             differences between families and schools to a lack of
identify their strengths, collaborate, make decisions, and create           understanding on the part of families of how best to help
partnerships as a part of the CSSS.                                         their children. Schools can go a long way in supporting
                                                                            parents and families to support their children’s educational
The Bottom Line                                                             efforts. In implementing the Hawaii Board of Education
Parent/family involvement is essential to the education of                  Parent/Family Involvement Policy, the Department
children. Parents are vital to identifying and addressing the               expresses its commitment to partnering with families for the
unique educational strengths, challenges and needs of their                 successful education of all children. Children succeed when
children. It is important that schools engage families in                   schools, families and communities work together.
meaningful and effective ways if they are to contribute fully to the
achievement of their children. Hawaii’s families face a variety of          For more information, visit the HDOE Family Support
challenges. These may range from severe economic pressures                  Services website at

                                                                                     Parenting a child with special needs

                     Board of Education                                              can be a puzzling journey. SPIN helps
                                                                                     families put together the pieces of the
                                                                                     puzzle, so they can have a clearer
                     State of Hawai`i, Department of Education
                                                                                     vision of where they are heading.

                     PARENT/FAMILY INVOLVEMENT
                     POLICY #2403                                                        April 25, 2009

The Board of Education recognizes that a child’s education is a
                                                                       23 Annual SPIN Conference:

responsibility shared by the school and the family during the               In SPIN We Trust
entire period the child spends in school. To support the goal of the
Department of Education (Department) to educate all students           The Special Parent Information Network (SPIN)
effectively, schools and parents must work as knowledgeable            is a parents-to-parents organization in Hawaii that
                                                                       provides information, support, and referral to
Although parents are diverse in culture, language, and needs,          families of children and young adults with
they share the schools’ commitment in the educational success          disabilities and the professionals who serve them.
of their children. The Department and its schools, in collaboration
with parents, shall establish programs and practices that enhance      The 2009 SPIN Conference, In SPIN We Trust,
parent involvement and reflect the specific needs of students and      is a conference for families of children with
their families.
                                                                       disabilities and professionals. The conference will
To this end, the Board of Education supports the Department in         include workshops in areas such as infant mental
the development, implementation, and regular evaluation of parent      health, estate planning, mediation/conflict
involvement programs in each school. The implementation will           resolution, social skills, benefits planning, and
involve parents at all grade levels in a variety of roles, including
input in decision-making processes and practices. The parent           building relationships with families. Take this once-
involvement program will be comprehensive and coordinated in           a-year opportunity to expand your knowledge and
nature. It will include, but not be limited to, the following          network with other parents and professionals.
components of successful parent involvement programs:
                                                                       The conference is sponsored by SPIN in
• Communication between home and school is regular, two-way,
                                                                       partnership with the Center on Disability Studies;
  and meaningful.
                                                                       Community Children’s Council Office; DOE;
• Responsible parenting is promoted and supported.                     Disability & Communication Access Board and
                                                                       Early Intervention Section, Department of Health;
• Parents play an integral role in assisting student learning,         Hawaii Families As Allies; Hilopa`a Family to
  including successful achievement of the Hawaii Content and
  Performance Standards.                                               Family Health Information Center; Learning
                                                                       Disabilities Association of Hawaii/Hawaii Parent
• Parents are welcome in the school, and their support and             Training & Information Center.
  assistance are sought.

• Parents are partners in the decisions that affect children and                The conference will be held
  families.                                                                            April 25, 2009
• Community resources are made available to strengthen school                   at the UH Campus Center,
  programs, family practices, and student learning.                                    Honolulu, HI.
The Department shall implement administrative guidelines that          For More Information
support professional development opportunities for staff members       Call: On Oahu, 586-8126
to enhance understanding of effective parent involvement                     For neighbor islands, dial your island
strategies. The Department recognizes the importance of                      number; then dial extension 6-8126
administrative leadership in setting expectations and creating a
climate conducive to parental participation.                                 Kauai                      274-3141
                                                                             Hawaii                     974-4000
Engaging parents is essential to improved student achievement                Maui                       984-2400
and to realize the Vision of a Public School Graduate.                       Lanai/Molokai 1-800-468-4644
Approved: 05/03/01                                                     E-mail:
Revised: 09/18/03                                                      Website: