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Parent Involvement for Student Success

Workshop Description:

Families know their children. They have been their first teacher and know their child’s strengths and needs. Research has shown us that when families are part of their child’s education, there is greater academic success, decreased social and behavioral concerns, and children are more likely to graduate and go onto college. It is important that educators work intentionally to build positive relationships between home and school and engage parents as partners in their child’s education as well as school planning and decision making.  The course will be organized around two areas of exploration: Relationships with Parents and School Structures and Processes that encourage parent involvement. Participants will engage in discussion, informed by research and known effective practice, about situations they are encountering in their classrooms, programs, and schools.  Students will practice using assessment tools designed to determine the scope and nature of parent involvement in schools as well as examine policies related to parent involvement. They will conduct an assessment of their school, classroom or department during the course and develop a strategy for parent engagement.  Students will use a collaborative peer review process designed for both improvement of the plans and deeper understanding of the challenges, opportunities and practices of engaging parents fully in their child’s education.

About the Instructor:

Fran Weinbaum is an independent consultant and life coach who works with public and private schools, organizations and agencies.  Fran is currently coordinating a Parent Involvement Resource Center project through the Lamoille Family Center, is the planning consultant for the Youth in Transition regional plan in Central Vermont, and offers management training and life coaching at National Life of Vermont.  Fran taught a similar course, Building Relationships for Student Success, through LNSU’s Safe Schools, Healthy Students grant in 2006-2007.  She has also The Vermont Consortium for Successful High School Completion, worked with the High Schools on the Move Study Group, and coordinated the Lamoille Valley People in Partnership.  Fran holds a Vermont Guidance Counselor K-12 certification and degrees from the University of New Hampshire (BS) and Michigan State University (MA).