Dust Off Your Old School-Parent Compact

Linking Family Engagement to Your School Improvement Plan

Schools are working hard to increase student achievement – but without parents on board, schools are much less likely to see learning improve. We want to do better! Forging family-school partnerships focused on student success will move us ahead quickly. This can start right now, at your school, through the process we describe here.

This video-based workshop will show you how to engage families, teachers and students in designing a School-Parent blueprint for action tied to your School Improvement Plan.  Each step in the easy 10-step process includes planning forms, templates and sample documents to help you create your own School-Parent Compact.

Watch the Welcome Video

Background and Research With Anne T. Henderson

Note: This workshop addresses Title I requirements but is relevant to any school that wants to link family engagement efforts to the goals of the School Improvement Plan.

Setting the Stage
Step 1

Motivate and Get Buy-In From Staff

At a staff meeting with teachers and members of the school leadership team, explain compacts and how they contribute to student success.

Step 2

Designate a Leader to Build a Team

Pick the best person for your school: principal, assistant principal, literacy and math coaches, teacher leader, home-school coordinator, or other person with leadership skills.

Linking to Learning
Step 3

Align Compact Goals with the School Improvement Plan

Review and analyze school-wide data and the goals of the School Improvement Plan to determine specific areas that the compact should focus on for the year.

Step 4

Grade Level Input

At data team meetings, grade level teachers will develop grade level goals (no more than three key) and specific home learning strategies which will engage families in home learning to support the goals of the school.

Step 5

Outreach to Families: It’s All About the Conversations

  • Share the goals developed by the grade level teachers to parents / guardians. (this can be done in workshops, orientation events, informal get-togethers, home school organization, newsletters, emails, parent nights, report card nights)
  • Hold two-way conversations between and among teachers and families at the different grade levels about how they can work together to accomplish the goals. What strategies should they use and how can they support each other to do them?
  • Develop home learning strategies families can use on a regular basis.
Step 6

Don’t Forget the Students

After the teachers and parents decide how they will collaborate to increase student achievement, ask the students what they can do to be successful, and how they want their teachers and parents / guardians to support them.

Rolling Out
Step 7

Pull it All Together

  • Create an attractive family-friendly document.
  • Design a “roll out plan” for introducing the compact to families.
Step 8

Align All Resources

  • Determine your professional development needs based upon your compact goals.
  • Allocate funds to support school and home learning with speakers, supplies, materials.
Step 9

Market the Compact

  • Seize the opportunity at every event to keep the goals of the school in the forefront.
  • At conference time, discuss the goals / strategies with parents. Offer suggestions to modify the strategies if necessary.
  • Create a living document which captures all stakeholder input.
Step 10

Review, Revise and Celebrate Progress Each Year

  • Pull your compact team together toward the end of the year to review progress. What were your big successes? What could have been better?
  • Draw up a plan for the process next school year based on your review.
  • Ask students to show off what they’ve learned and how they took responsibility.
  • Announce your successes at end-of-the year events and congratulate everyone involved!