Support your child's learning at home As a parent, you are your child's first and most important teacher.
Creating a Plan Imagine that a new immigrant family has moved into the neighborhood your school serves. What services does your school and district offer that would make this family feel welcome?
What programs do you have that will challenge their children? What aspects are you still working on to make your district more appealing for this family? Numerous school leaders around the country are serving districts with new English language learner ELL populations and are, as Buffalo principal Kevin Eberle puts it, "flying the plane while building it.
As a school leader, you are in a unique position to make ELL success a priority; to create a culture of respect for ELLs and their families; to allocate resources — even if limited — on behalf of ELLs; to mobilize and empower your staff to become teacher leaders; to encourage the staff to keep trying creative approaches until they find what works; and to lead the community in creating a school-wide action plan for engaging ELL families.
And once you do find what works, you will feel as though you have won the lottery. Engaged ELL parents bring a level of dedication and wisdom regarding their children to the school community that will take your breath away.
The most important thing is to start with an open mind and to keep reminding yourself to think outside the box. Here are some big ideas to get you started. A list of specific strategies related to each idea is available in the accompanying document, Engaging ELL Families: Questions for Reflection and Strategy Checklist.
A note on "parent engagement" In their book Building Parent Engagement in Schools, Larry Ferlazzo and Lorie Hammond explore a distinction between parent engagement and parent involvement.
Parent involvement, as they define it, is a top-down model: School staff and public institutions might feel they know what the problems are and how to fix them, and determine the criteria to use in evaluating success.
More parent energy drives the efforts" 6. Many of the strategies listed below complement this model and offer ways in which parents can take the lead in school-wide activities. Learn about your ELL population Learning about ELL students and families provides an important foundation on which to build everything else you do at the school.
This kind of background may even help avoid serious discipline situations, as described by Dr. Cynthia Lundgren in the " Understanding Student Background " clip of her video interview for administrators.
The school district may also have some resources in place, and local community organizations may be able provide essential background information as well as a network of interpreters. You may want to include some of these questions in the home language survey or a very basic questionnaire that the parents fill out with the help of an interpreter.
Remember that your ELL population is not homogenous. Even families from the same country may have vastly different educational and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Integrate cultural traditions of your ELL families throughout the school community Becoming familiar with and including the cultural tradition of your ELL families within the larger school community not only enhances your ability to create a welcoming and respectful school environment — it has practical considerations as well: Staff may be uncomfortable discussing these topics at first, and may even resent the changes happening around them, but having an open dialogue about the " cultural shifts " that are taking place as Dr.
Lundgren describes them will make it easier for everyone to help create a more positive and accepting environment. Create a welcoming environment for families A welcoming school environment can make a tremendous difference for all families and especially for ELL families. At Options at Lincoln School, in Olympia, WA, for example, the entire school is there to greet you in the front hallway — the school has posted photos of all of its the families in the school entryway Houk, 9.
Other things you might try include: Creating a special area for families to gather such as an extra classroom or lounge Encouraging teachers to create a welcoming classroom environment Another way to think of this is by keeping your ELLs visible. Entering a friendly, vibrant atmosphere lets families know that the school is an integral part of the community and that they and more importantly, their children are valued members of that community Houk, This can be especially important for immigrant families who may be intimidated by the formal school environment and the English language needed to understand it.
Make a personal connection with families Getting to know ELL families helps build an important relationship based on trust, which in turn can pave the way to student success.
Helping families with vulnerabilities. All families are different and unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Help for families needs to be tailored to individual family circumstances and it needs to be developed in partnership with parents. A Parents Guide to Improving Sleep in Children with Autism. This informational. booklet. is designed. to provide parents with strategies to improve sleep in. LETTER TO THE MAYOR June Dear Mayor Bloomberg: We are pleased to present the final report of the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender .
This approach is most effective when the communication is personal and face-to-face Mori, 40, Alford In Guatemala we all knew the teachers and the teachers knew the parents We do not know anyone here nor does anyone know us we would have liked to tell Mrs.
Gibbons how much we value education" Amaya, In this case, the parent finally did meet Mrs. Gibbons and a good relationship developed over time — but imagine the additional benefit for Lupe had the meeting taken place earlier in the year!
One can also imagine that Mrs. A better life 5.
Do you see those languages as a barrier or an asset? Do you see native language literacy and instruction as a crutch or a tool?The Families in Need of Services (FINS) Assistance Program provides funding for informal FINS offices in 42 judicial districts, including the addition of Morgan City Court, located in the 16th judicial district.
FINS officers statewide processed almost 7, referrals and continue to provide program and case management strategies that help to increase alternatives to formal processing. Part III: Parent Participation Look for ways that ELL parents can help with children's schoolwork.
ELL parents may feel intimidated by or inadequate to help with homework or other schoolwork, especially if they have limited educational or English skills (Zarate, 9). Early Education for All is a campaign to make voluntary, high-quality early education and care available to all Massachusetts children and to ensure they are all proficient readers by the time they enter fourth grade.
An initiative of Strategies for Children. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the Department of Health & Human Services. We promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, individuals and communities with leadership and resources for compassionate, effective delivery of human services.
LETTER TO THE MAYOR June Dear Mayor Bloomberg: We are pleased to present the final report of the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender . Helping families with vulnerabilities. All families are different and unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Help for families needs to be tailored to individual family circumstances and it needs to be developed in partnership with parents.