When I was growing up, my parents and grandparents had high expectations for me in school. They made sure I had everything I needed to succeed—clothes on my back, good food in my lunch box, and all the school supplies I needed.
They never sent me to school with any emotional burdens that prevented my focus. And when I came home, they always made sure I found time to attend to my homework.
Like all families, they were my allies and wanted success in my school outcomes.
As I reflect on all the support they gave, there were also things they simply didn’t know or weren’t aware of and I think that’s the case for many families.
That’s why, as we ease into the summer, I wanted to share a few things that will help families better understand their impact on learning. I hope these tips help you strategize and execute your family and community engagement planning this year.
Attendance Is Key
This is a best practice that is often overlooked when we connect with families. Most of us have systems in place to look at chronic absenteeism, but families don’t always understand how absenteeism in general, even a single day, can impact staying in a flow of learning and understanding content.
The closer we are matching learning to children’s zones of proximal development, the more impactful missing a day of school can be. Are you repetitively communicating this with your families? Do you have the resources to help support this type of family and community engagement?
I highly recommend checking out this paper from Attendance Works to learn more about solutions to chronic absenteeism. And if you’re looking for further resources, we offer Scholastic Literacy Events Kits and a Read and Rise program that can help with family engagement best practices and parent service programs.