It is common knowledge that there is a direct correlation between families supporting students and students’ consequent educational success – and it has been fortified by numerous studies. However, according to a recent report by John Hopkins University, particular practices can be less effective than others in terms of contributing to academic achievement. For example, very little research has been dedicated to finding out whether family participation initiated by teachers actually results in students’ improvement – though, as a practice involving family, it is considered to be beneficial. Meanwhile, believing certain claims and continuing to adapt certain behaviors, even if their relevancy has not been indicated, might lead to opposite outcomes in terms of helping students be more successful at school.
The solution to that has been proposed by John Hopkins University. The Family Engagement Partnership (FEP) is a capacity-building initiative aimed at promoting student success by changing the way teachers and families work together. First of all, home visits are to lay the groundwork for honest communication between teachers and their students’ families throughout the school year. After that, “academic partnering exchange” is to give parents an understanding of their child’s performance in school in relation to grade-level standards and the student’s peers. Communication is to take place all year long to strengthen the relationship.
In order for the school to become an FEP one, it must undergo a selection process, which pursues two goals. First, it allows school employees to learn about the program and contemplate how a teacher-centered family engagement intervention will meet the needs of their schools. Second, it permits assigned professionals to evaluate the school’s willingness to manage change efforts, as well as involve families in proposed ways. After selection, FEP teachers participate in more than 15 hours of family engagement training and receive comments around their practices. Data, funding, and software tools and systems for quality measurement are provided as well.
By changing the current approach to family engagement practices, we will close the gap between students’ parents and teachers, which will inevitably contribute to students’ academic success. Having access to real-time data on students’ achievements and an opportunity to discuss it directly with school professionals will result in parents seeing their kid’s attitude towards studying and applying measures to fix it if needed. Once the proposal is approved, a plan for implementing the program into our school is to be thoroughly discussed with the school board.