Full, Equal and Equitable Partnerships with Families

Chart 4: What Does High Impact Family Engagement Look Like in Middle and High Schools?

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Higher Impact on student learning/success

Moderate Impact

Lower Impact

1. Transition program – events at feeder schools, tours of new school, 4-week HS prep summer course – welcomes families:

  • Convey college/career prep focus - your student will graduate in 4 years with college acceptance letter in hand
  • Relate academic programs to careers
  • Prepare students for high school work
  • Help families construct their role in supporting their students’ success

Fall Family Academy to orient incoming families to expectations of students, such as attendance requirements and credits needed for graduation.

At freshman orientation, parents can pick up their students’ class schedules and bus passes, and tour the school.

2. Workshops for families:

  • Courses needed to graduate and go to college/post- secondary education
  • What high-level academic work looks like at each grade level
  • Where to get needed help for students
  • Tests, applications and timelines required for college

Staff conduct trainings for families to help them understand how to navigate the requirements of high school.

Information sheets about school programs and college resources available in the school office.

3. Advisory System:

Each student has an adult advisor who develops close relationships with families to co-design students’ academic program, set up regular communications, and serve as main contact.

Parent liaisons check in with parents about use of homework help and other resources for students.

Parents receive “early-bird” notices from school when their students fall behind.

4. Monitoring progress:

  • Coursework sequence and college track requirements are clear and explicit
  • Advisors keep parents current on student progress, with focus on students at risk
  • Parents invited to exhibits of student work, where students present and critique their work
  • Parents are reminded to check classroom websites for information on projects and student work
  • Student-led conferences review portfolio of student work, supports needed to do their best work and stay on track

Parent liaisons help parents use district’s student performance tracking system. Teachers keep a record of students’ “positive traits” to share in “good news” calls.

School contacts families when students are having a problem with academics or behavior.

5. College and career planning begins early, a graduation plan is done by end of 9th grade:

  • Parents invited to post-secondary education fairs
  • Staff recruit parents to visit colleges
  • Workshops for parents on PSAT, SAT, and ACT exams; offer help completing college applications and applying for financial aid
  • Parents given guiding questions for discussing Student Success Plans with their student to reflect on successes, areas for growth and new goals
  • Special assistance for undocumented families

College/Technical Program fair every fall, with focus on 11th and 12th graders. Parent liaisons and community partners reach out to invite families and remind them to review the Student Success Plan for their child.

Parents can make appointments to confer with guidance counselors, and receive a handout with information about how to review the Student Success Plan.

6. Parent organization and leadership represent all families in the school.

  • Parent leaders sit on college pathways and school leadership teams
  • Parent organization does focus groups with families to surface issues and report back to school leadership

Homework help and mentoring program to ensure families know about and can access academic help for their student.

AmeriCorps volunteers distribute flyers throughout the community to remind parents about events and parent-teacher conferences.