He'e Coalition

School Engagement

School EngagementPriority 4: Promote Family Engagement as one of the key Components of School Leadership

Leadership in the area of parental engagement is not situated in particular institutional roles, but rather is a characteristic of individuals at all levels of the system. The educational system in Hawaii can improve its effectiveness at identifying and rewarding parental engagement leadership, or in scaling up successful models for promoting parental engagement.

Strategy 1: Develop School Assessment Models That Measure Parental Engagement

Purpose: We tend to focus on what we measure. Yet, despite the current emphasis on the assessment of students and schools, there is little assessment of the effectiveness of efforts to engage parents and caregivers in their school community. Public perception of schools is often based on anecdotal reports, test scores, and the ratings of Honolulu Magazine, none of which is a good measure of school culture or parental engagement. Based on these measures, perception often lags behind the reality at the school by several years.

The intended outcome of this action plan would be to develop a survey for accurately assessing the effectiveness of schools at welcoming and encouraging family engagement. The plan would also call for promoting the family engagement assessment model among educators and the public. Broad adoption of a family engagement assessment model would benefit school leadership in this area by (1) identifying promising practices, (2) allowing for meaningful comparison of different approaches to family engagement, and (3) increasing public attention to and understanding of the issue of family engagement

Strategy 2: Create a program to identify, publicize and reward promising practices in the area of parental engagement

Purpose: Too often the doors of our classrooms remain shut and accomplishments in our school communities never echo beyond their walls. Public perception of schools is shaped by the mainstream media, which tends to highlight the negative. This applies to parental engagement, as well as other aspects of the educational system.

The intended outcome of this action plan would be to develop a system to highlight positive activities in the area of family engagement so that (1) school leaders benefit from learning about the promising and innovative practices of others and (2) parents and communities have a blueprint for an effective approach to family engagement. Individual practitioners who are making a difference would be recognized as Family Engagement Stars. Ideally, recognition would be in the form of a stipend to support either (1) professional development in the area of Family Engagement, or (2) an in-service at another school or mentoring with another teacher with the goal of sharing promising practices. An annual event would be held to honor the Family Engagement Stars from the previous year.

School Engagement Meeting Notes