Examples of Schools That Involve Parents
The following schools have involved parents in many different ways:
- Westwood Elementary School in Santa Clara, California, is representative
of many schools that send a packet of information home to parents every
Wednesday. The packet contains students' progress reports, homework assignments,
and work samples.
- Horace Mann Elementary School in St. Paul, Minnesota, sends home brief
weekly reports every Friday. The reports note the completion of all assignments,
missing work, and teacher requests to speak with the parent about some
particular issue. The teacher also makes individualized comments about
each student's work during the week. Parents are asked to review the information
and return it on Monday.
- Daniel Webster School in Redwood City, California, has involved parents
in goal-setting and decision-making processes as part of the Accelerated
Schools Project developed by Henry Levin of Stanford University. The
school showed significant gains in student achievement compared to other
schools in the district during its fourth year of using the Accelerated
Schools philosophy. Webster students increased California Test of Basic
Skills math scores by 19 percentile points, and most classes increased
language scores by at least 10 points. Key elements of the school are an
accelerated curriculum using problem solving and thinking strategies; instructional
practices that promote active learning and tutoring; and an organizational
model that promotes broad participation of administrators, teachers, and
parents (Swap, 1993).
- Northrop High School in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, a school that serves both
inner-city and rural students, has organized an extensive parent-involvement
program. It is directed by a board that is broadly representative of the
student body. The school offers programs to educate parents, including
workshops and "On Your Turf" meetings, which are held in community
facilities where parents feel comfortable (Rioux & Berla, 1993).
- At Esko High School in Esko, Minnesota, parents helped students prepare
an application for a $25,000 interest-free loan to establish a school-based
enterprise--a new ice cream parlor. The students had decided on this business
after conducting an extensive community survey. The loan was granted by
the county economic development organization, and a major ice cream company
donated a franchise. Parents, students, and other community members worked
together to construct the ice cream parlor, which is called the "SCOOP."
It is now the source of renewed local pride.
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