Our schools are active busy places, not only for the students and staff, but for our families as well As you walk through our hallways, work in classrooms or attend Parent-Teacher, the dedication, energy and involvement of the families in their children’s’ education is obvious. Gazing at the parent board of "opportunities" family members are invited to join in the home-school-community partnership. Families are encouraged to share their talents, help in classrooms, serve on special interest committees, learn to read in their first language, or speak a second language, become elected representatives on a school advisory council, fundraise with the school parent organization or bake, call, cut and paste at home. In the multipurpose room the Parent-Teacher-Association is planning the school’s cultural events, a school advisory committee reviews the current budget, parents are cutting paper letters for the bulletin board, the school beautification committee and library committee brainstorms ideas while that evening adult education classes in English as a second language are buzzing. Additionally, at home, children are being read to and homework is being reviewed, children are being fed, bathed, hugged and tucked into bed.
A cornerstone of effective schooling is family involvement. While there may be differing opinions of what needs to be done to improve public education, most can agree that families who are actively involved in their child’s education will improve student achievement. When families are involved at the school site, their children go farther in school and they go to better schools. This involvement can take many different forms.
Family participation in the schools is most effective when it is comprehensive, supportive, long lasting and well planned. The benefits of this involvement are not limited to the elementary level, but provide lasting effects through high school. Children from low-income and culturally and racially diverse families have the most to gain when our schools involve families. This home school community partnership is built upon overlapping roles and responsibilities. Schools provide opportunities for families to participate at all grade levels in a variety of roles: co-communicators, co-supporters, co-learners, co-teachers, and as co-advisors, advocates and decision-makers.
By promoting two way communication about school programs and student progress; helping parents develop parenting skills to foster conditions at home which emphasize continued education and learning; providing families with strategies and techniques for assisting their children with learning activities at home that support and extend the school’s instructional program, involving parent in instructional a support roles at the school; and preparing parents to actively participate in school decision-making and leadership this coordinated school-wide effort extend beyond that of improving student achievement. It nurtures civic responsibility and participation in the community at large. Schools are supported by research and the state board of Education to develop strong comprehensive family involvement This includes providing professional development for teachers and administrators to develop this home-school-community partnership.
At Isla Vista Elementary School we each contribute a part to the greater whole, like a great sailing vessel, some of us are the main planks, the oars, the life preservers, the rudder or the wind that fills the sails. We seek to help each individual find their niche. Collectively, families, teachers, support staff and the community embark together on a great journey into the future and our children’s’ education. We look forward to sailing together!