How is it defined?
There are multiple ways schools can keep parents informed and involved in their child’s education, such as newsletters, report cards, and parent-teacher interviews. Regardless of the nature and format, all communication exchanges between teachers and parents provide opportunities to form partnerships that support student learning (Graham-Clay, 2005).
The Learning Bar’s Parent Survey is based on a framework developed by Joyce Epstein designed to foster positive relations between school and community (Epstein et al., 2002). The survey covers parents’ perceptions of their children’s experiences at home and school, as well as the extent to which parents feel the school supports learning and positive behaviour and promotes a safe and inclusive environment.
Why is it important?
- Family-school relations and parental involvement support student achievement (Hill & Tyson, 2009).
- Teachers can employ a variety of effective communication strategies that both inform and allow for interaction with parents, such as phone calls and parent-teacher conferences (Graham-Clay, 2005).
- Parent-teacher conferences present opportunities for home-school discussion about a child’s progress (Minke & Anderson, 2003).
- Readability, clarity, and structural considerations, such as page length and use of white space, can influence the effectiveness of written communication between schools and parents (Nagro, 2015).
- Parents perceive standards-based report cards, which provide separate grades on a variety of learning goals per class, to be clearer, easier to understand, and more informative than traditional report cards with single overall grade (Swan, Guskey, & Jung, 2014).
How do we measure it?
In Tell Them From Me, parents respond on a five-point scale which is scored as follows: 0 (Strongly Disagree), 1 (Disagree), 2 (Neither Agree nor Disagree), 3 (Agree), and 4 (Strongly Agree). The data are scaled on a 10-point scale and the results are reported as ‘the average score for parents are informed’.
Epstein, J. L., Sanders, M. G., Simon, B. S., Salinas, K. C., Jansorn, N. R., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2002). School, family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Graham-Clay, S. (2005). Communicating with parents: Strategies for teachers. School Community Journal, 16(1), 117-129.
Hill, N. E., & Tyson, D. F. (2009). Parental involvement in middle school: A meta-analytic assessment of the strategies that promote achievement. Developmental Psychology, 45(3), 740-763.
Minke, K. M., & Anderson, K. J. (2003). Restructuring routine parent-teacher conferences: The family-school conference model. The Elementary School Journal, 104(1), 49-69.
Nagro, S. A. (2015). Prose checklist: Strategies for improving school-to-home written communication. Teaching Exceptional Children, 47(5), 256-263.
Swan, G. M., Guskey, T. R., & Jung, L. A. (2014). Parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of standards based and traditional report cards. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 26(3), 289-299.