Promote Partnership – Building trusting and authentic partnerships with families is a deliberate, purposeful process. Take the lead.
Welcoming Environment – Create an environment that is inviting and welcoming for every family. Consider the various cultures in your student population. How are those and other cultures represented in the school environment?
Reach Out – Be proactive in your communication to families and reach out to those who are not actively involved. Set a goal to have a personal connection with every family.
Be Accommodating – When possible, accommodate families various schedules, translation needs or other barriers that may limit involvement.
Technology – Technology can be used to alleviate barriers to involvement. Allow families to use Skype or Face Time in lieu of a face to face conference or reading time in the classroom. Remind 101 can be used to help families support learning at home. It allows you to send text or email message reminders.
Research found that most of the barriers to family involvement are found in the school practices. Some barriers to consider are:
- Misperceptions about our families
- Cultural/language differences
- Comfort level of families/isolation
- Family resources
- Fear of retaliation
- School culture/norms
- Input from families not valued
- Staff resistance/efficacy regarding change