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Over the years educators have realized the importance of involving parents, caregivers, and community members in the education of children to aid in their academic success (Manning & Bucher, 2012). Having strong parental support is vital in the cognitive development of children along with all other aspects of their educational development. This Community Involvement Plan is designed to strengthen the relationships and communications with the parent and community to improve the education experiences of our middle school students. In this plan we will address the possible obstacles related to culture diversity and language, ongoing communication, effective parental involvement strategies, a parent- teacher conference plan along with informational topics for parental education.
Obstacles related to the culture and language between parents the school could affect the manner in which they interact. Manning & Bucher (2012) noted that parents of culturally and economically diverse students typically have high expectations concerning their child’s academic success but many not be as involved as the traditional or middle class parents due to lack of understanding, access, financial resources, or other cultural factors ( Mila, 2016).
Galatians 1:1 states, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, it’s our responsibility as an educational institution, community and as a parent to educate our students’ as “God has created each child special” (Brummelen, 2009).
In this plan we will address possible obstacles that may arise by educating ourselves on the following topics to be more effective in educating our students, their parents or caregivers and other community members.
Students may avoid eye contact or look down to as a form of respect based on their culture. They may also feel assisting other students is more important than paying attention to the teacher during instruction or rather than finishing a class assignment. As an educator it’s important to understand the differences amongst families from differing cultural backgrounds (Manning & Bucher, 2012).
Creating plans that includes differentiation will help motivate students from diverse backgrounds and cultures in acquiring their academic achievements. It will also help in building confidence when given a task they complete successfully.
Students bring their culture from home to school, leading some families to not have an understanding on middle school expectations. Creating a school environment that is welcoming, respectful and responsive to the community can help develop a more respectful means of communication between the two (Mila, 2016). In Mathew 18:5 Jesus speaks that whomever welcomes a child welcomes Jesus himself. Welcoming all community members and students regardless of cultural differences or economic background is a reflection of walking with God within our disciplines (Brummelen, 2009).
As a means to communicate with parents/caregivers and other community members concerning ongoing activities, upcoming projects, special events, school/classroom expectations teachers will send out messages through the school Remind application. Remind allows parent to stay abreast of the things going on around the school as well as in the classroom. This program can be utilized via cell phone application or online giving a prompt means of communication with the school.
Engaging parents in the learning of their children may aid in enhancing a student’s academic achievements. Whether home or school having a strong parental presence and involvement in their child’s educational learning create a more conducive learning environment and more positive impact on student success (Thompson, Gillis, Fairman & Mason, 2014). Strategies include:
Parent- teacher conference is one of the most common methods used to increase parental involvement. During the formal meetings parents and teachers exchange information dealing with the students’ academic process, classroom /school behavior along with ways parents can be involved in helping their child be academically successful. Parents will be given an agenda prior to all conferences to know the points of discussions and students are strongly encourage to attend conference with parent/family. Our goal is to build a strong foundation for positive student-parent- teacher relationships (Manning & Bucher, 2012).
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