We know that close family ties is an essential ingredient that characterizes schools that improve significantly compared to schools that stagnate or decline. (source: Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago by Bryk, Sebring, Allensworth, Luppescu, & Easton, 2010). Schools are able to keep those close ties with families through engagement methods such as open houses, parent-teacher conferences and letters sent home with students. But with summer vacation on the horizon, how can schools keep families engaged throughout the summer?
1. Providing Awareness
Schools can engage families throughout the summer by providing awareness on issues students might be facing. During the school year, families have a lens into their student’s life via school newsletters that outline what their child will learn as well as progress reports and report cards that show what grades they’re earning. During the summer, parents lose this.
One way to make up for this lack of knowledge is to make families aware of the social-emotional issues their child may be experiencing. Although academic learning may pause during the summer, a child’s social and emotional learning will persist. Making families aware of what their child might be experiencing socially and emotionally gives them a replacement “lens” for the summer.
2. Offering Resources
We know that the positive outcomes of a SEL curriculum can be amplified when it extends into the home. Although good intentioned families may be aware of the issues their child is dealing with, they may not know where to start or how to help when it comes to SEL. It is up to school district leaders and teachers to create that connection between home and school.
At BASE, we offer parent and guardian modules that mirror the content students learn. Through these modules, we hope to keep families informed on the content their child has learned and to provide families insight into their child’s life for a stronger connection. Our platform is easy to access and navigate, as families can quickly sign in and view available parent/guardian modules. With a wide variety of topics such as managing anger, self-esteem, bullying and cyberbullying, families will be able to review content that is relevant to their child.
3. Conversation Structures
Having discussions with children about difficult subjects can make even the most confident adult squirm. You can take the weight of figuring out exactly what to say and how to say it off families’ shoulders by supplying pre-written conversation structures. Although there’s never a clear-cut process for having tough conversations, families can use these as guides to facilitate hard-to-navigate discussions with their kids.
The parent/guardian BASE modules give families the language they need in order to relate to and better understand their children’s perspectives. We also provide parents and guardians with simple questions and responses they may get from their child about a given topic. We also walk them through what they can do with those responses.
Want to learn more about how BASE can increase family engagement over the summer? Book a demo and we’ll show you how we’ll help you meet your goals.