Wednesday, December 12, 2014
Assessment, evaluation, and reporting is changing. These changes require that we thoughtfully build plans to support the learning of our teachers, administrators, Trustees, and senior leaders. A mindful plan also includes involving parents in the conversation. Bridging home to school and school to home is an important pursuit.
In our work with school systems, we are often asked to meet with parents. For us, this work can occur after we have had the opportunity to better understand the context in which students learn and educators teach, including reading board reports, viewing information on the district website, working with teachers and division support staff, and meeting with school leadership teams.
As we plan for these meetings with parents, we reflect on the large number of sessions that we have facilitated over the years. We strive to be respectful of the experience, intelligence, and commitment that each parent brings to the conversation. And at the same time, we wish to acknowledge the expertise and ‘craft’ knowledge that educators hold as they work in support of student learning.
For us, there are five essential points around which we build the conversation with parents. Each one pulls parents and community members from their past experience as a student in school to the reality of pedagogy and politics today.
Consider reading Anne – Making “It” Make Sense for Parents and Sandra’s recent blog postings, “Making “It” Make Sense for Parents,” to find out what these five ideas are. And if you would like to learn about other ways to think about engaging parents in the conversations around assessment, evaluation, and reporting, consider reading Chapter 10 “Involving Parents and Community” in Transforming Schools and Systems Using Assessment: A Practical Guide. This is only one chapter in a book of twelve that considers ways to lead system change, particularly in the area of assessment, evaluation, and learning. Let the lessons learned by others and shared within these pages support your preparation and implementation.
We would like to extend our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season to you and your family and friends. We look forward to working with you in the New Year.
And, as a holiday gift, we’d like to offer you one of Anne Davies’ beautiful paintings.
All our best,
Sandra, Anne, and Brenda