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Practices that support school-family partnerships

Practices that support effective school-family partnerships

20 April, 2023

Respect, trust and family-school cooperation guarantee students' success in learning. "This is the time when we can have an impact on changing practices by involving the family in the child's education." says Karen Mapp.

Karen L. Mapp is a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of the master's program in educational policy and management.

When parents understand that their engagement in education is important, they become more willing to give their time and energy to support their children's learning. In this way, parents become part of the school community and work with teachers to provide a meaningful educational experience for their children.

If teachers do not take responsibility for supporting parents in helping their children with their learning problems, they may feel powerless and psychologically distant from school. They will be less engaged in their children's education and their school performance may decline (Żłobicki, 1998).

Four core beliefs in the school-family partnership

  1. All families want the best for their children.
  2. All families can support their children's learning.
  3. Families and school staff are equal partners.
  4. School staff, especially leaders, have a primary responsibility to cultivate and sustain school, family and community partnerships.

„Equitable learning pathways are achieved when families are involved."
Carnegie Corporation of New York

Practices supporting the school-family partnership

The PTA - National Parent Teacher Associations, America's longest-running child welfare association, has created 6 principles for family involvement in parenting.

1. Integration of all families into the school community.

It is important for the school to create opportunities for all parents and community members to participate in activities and be involved in making decisions about their children's education. This can be done by organising meetings, conferences, cultural or sporting events, but also by ensuring open communication between parents and teachers. In this way, all families can be integrated into the school community and children can benefit from the support and involvement of all members of the community in their education.

2. Effective communication - Families and teachers communicate regularly to discuss student progress.

Effective communication between children's families and teachers is a crucial aspect of providing quality education. It is important that parents are kept informed about their children's progress. Teachers also need to be aware of the family situation and the needs of pupils in order to be able to adjust the learning process and provide support when needed. Regular communication between the families of pupils and teachers is essential in order to be able to monitor children's progress, provide feedback and identify any problems or difficulties in good time.

💡 It is important to have very explicit channels that are accessible to all, but also consistent communication practices to ensure that information is passed from both directions.

3. Supporting children success

Parents and school staff work together to support students' healthy development and learning both at home and at school. They have regular opportunities to build their knowledge and skills to do this effectively.
To support student success, collaboration between parents and school staff is crucial. By attending regular meetings, workshops and lectures, parents and school staff strengthen the knowledge and skills needed to support students effectively, ensuring strong and consistent support for student development and learning.

4. Be a "voice" for every child

Families are empowered to advocate for all children to ensure they are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that support their success. Families can be involved in a variety of ways, such as talking with teachers or school counselors, attending parent meetings, or volunteering in the school. These actions help parents better understand the needs and problems of individual children, which enables them to fight for their children's rights. Through this approach, families can ensure that all children are treated fairly and have a chance to achieve success in school and in life.

5. Distribution of roles

Parents and school staff are equal partners in decisions that affect children and families and together they inform, influence and create policies, practices and programs. By working together, parents and school staff can bring unique perspectives and expertise that can help improve the quality of education. Together, these two groups can foster the development of a positive and safe learning environment that helps children reach their full potential. Finally, sharing roles between parents and school staff is an effective approach that can bring real and significant benefits to children's education and lives.

6. Working with the community

Families, teachers and school principals collaborate with community members to connect students, families and staff to expanded learning opportunities, community services and civic participation. By working with the community, students can gain unique experiences that help them develop in a well-rounded way and become active and responsible members of society.

Five practice changes the next generation could implement in the school-family partnership

At the How to BUILD relational-trust and DISMANTLE systems and expectations that divide schools and families (2020) conference, Jackie Blagsvedt and Jeanne Dickhausen, outlined 5 key changes that could be implemented in creating an effective partnership between parents and schools.

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How Kinderpedia supports family engagement in children's education

Technology is here to support learning. On one hand by facilitating access to quality education, relevant content and timely interactions between students and teachers, and, on the other, by simplifying communication and collaboration between schools, nurseries and families.

On Kinderpedia, parents find out in real time how their children’s day at school or nursery went: from attendance, grades, assignments, to mood, participation, or how much they ate and slept, in the case of younger students. When they are aware of their children’s projects and progress at school, parents can continue the educational process at home and support their children where they need it. Kinderpedia creates the environment for an effective partnership between school and family and places the student-teacher-parent collaboration right at the heart of learning.



The complete communication and management solution for schools and childcare centres.

Simplifies teachers' work and brings parents closer to their children's school progress.

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