Three urban schools made their Title I school-family compacts a powerful tool for student achievement.
Wouldn't it be great if the administrators and teachers at a school—particularly a school with many at-risk students—could sit down with parents and exchange ideas about what part each might play in supporting students' learning? Imagine if parents could hear directly from teachers what teachers believe their kids most need to learn, how teachers plan to structure that learning, and precisely what parents can do at home to reinforce it. What if teachers could hear each caregiver's view on what most helps his or her particular child? And what if this meaningful interaction could happen through an existing protocol, one that most schools now perceive as a burdensome requirement?
As staff members in Connecticut's Department of Education and as consultants on school-family collaboration, we've worked with several elementary schools that initiated such meaningful conversations by transforming school-family compacts, which all Title I Schools are required to create, from boilerplate language into vehicles for collaboration. Creating the compact became a catalyst for authentic school-parent cooperation.
A Missed Opportunity—Seized in Connecticut