Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
A Note From Mrs. Tierney
The Importance of the School-Family Connection
Conference time is such a busy, although rewarding time for educators. What I appreciate most about conferences is the opportunity to make that connection between students and their parents or guardians. Conferences attendance is highly encouraged, and I am proud to report that our family participation was very high once again, at 98.1% involvement. Thank you and congratulations!!!
It is a known fact, that our teachers’ work tirelessly to communicate each child’s progress to families during conferences, however more importantly we strive, as an educational organization, to maintain ongoing communication efforts between home and school on a more regular basis. Our expectations are very high at Denver Elementary in terms of regular and ongoing communication. Educational researchers, Henderson and Mapp (2002), prove a statistically significant relationship between family involvement and benefits for students, one of which is improved academic achievement. Walberg and paik (2004), found that “learning is enhanced when schools encourage parents to stimulate their child’s intellectual achievement, such examples include having conversations with their child about school happenings, monitoring television viewing, and providing opportunities for their child to learn life skills.”
If ongoing communication is so important, how exactly does Denver encourage high levels of communication at our elementary school? Here are a few of our most significant examples:
· -3rd through 5th grade students are all expected to bring home and return their assignment notebook each evening.
· Newsletters to families are expected to arrive home each week, one time a month from the office, one time from the related arts staff (art, music, physical education, and media), and a minimum of twice per month from the classroom teacher of your child.
· Regular communication regarding a child that is struggling academically or behaviorally is expected.
· Open communication, meaning that parents are guardians are encouraged to stop in; contact a teacher by phone before or after school and/or by email is highly encouraged.
· Back to school night, Family Fun Night, The Art Show, Music Concerts, and of course Parent-Teacher Conferences are extremely important opportunities to make connections between school and home.
· Kids of Character Office Referrals recognize students that are showing outstanding character on a regular basis, going above and beyond what is expected.
· Office referrals regarding a child not following our character expectations require contact from the principal to families.
· Mrs. Tierney has a blog that you can follow for regular updates regarding our students and school: http://principaltierney.blogspot.com/
· Our District-wide newsletter is printed in The Denver Forum once monthly which communicates happenings district-wide, which includes a portion dedicated to elementary.
· All teachers have a Website, Blog, or Wikispace dedicated to ongoing communication efforts.
As you can verify, based on the examples provided, the school-family connection is a very high priority for us, and if there is a time in which you feel that communication is lacking, please let us know. We welcome any opportunities to continue to grow as we continuously strive for high levels of student achievement.
Henderson, A.T., & Mapp, K.L. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement. Austin, TX: National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools.
Walberg, H.J., & Paik, S.J. (2004). Effective general practices. In G. Cawelti (Ed.), Handbook of research on improving student achievement (3rd ed., pp.25-28). Arlington, VA: Educational Research Service.
Mrs. Kim Tierney
Denver Elementary Principal