Sunday, March 1, 2015

Parent engagement becoming a priority for schools

From page A4 | March 02, 2014 |

Changes, changes.

The state of California is in the midst of overhauling public school finance as a result of Gov. Jerry Brown’s local control funding formula, which gives school districts greater latitude in setting priorities for how state funding for education will be used.

One of the requirements of the funding formula is that school districts create a Local Control Accountability Plan, which the county office of education will reference when evaluating whether a school district is using state funding effectively.

One of the eight mandatory  elements of a school district’s accountability plan is “parent engagement,” and districts are required to state how they will approach parent engagement in their first such plan, which is due June 30.

The California State PTA envisions parent engagement in these terms: “Well-informed parents make a vital difference. With new academic standards, (statewide standardized online) tests, and the new funding and local accountability systems, it’s crucial that parents engage, not only to support their own children’s education, but to help guide decision-making at their schools,” according to a PTA assessment guide that went out to local PTAs this month.

“Authentic engagement is much more than a one-time check-box on a form. It’s about building a culture at every school where parents and family members feel welcomed, respected and appreciated — a culture where information is freely shared, and input is sought and genuinely considered.”

School districts up and down California are preparing and implementing parent engagement plans as a result. In Davis, a large meeting was held Feb. 4 at North Davis Elementary School, featuring speakers from throughout the school district who shared information about programs that are working at their sites.

“The purpose of our Parent Engagement Night was to increase student achievement by sharing best parent engagement practices from across the district so individual sites can benefit from the work of other school communities in the district,” said Associate Superintendent Clark Bryant.

“Benefits to parent engagement include increased student achievement, school safety and a school culture that supports parents and their children,” he added. This includes “supporting families as they engage in their child’s education.”

Bryant gave a presentation about the new online standardized tests that Davis students will take after spring break; they replace the old paper-and-pencil STAR tests. This year, California students will take a practice test and students and schools will not be rated on the results.

Other speakers included Janet Boulware on the topic of “Engaging Latino Families”; retired teacher Martha Beetley on “Dialogic Reading Project for Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten”; Juliana Ramirez, Liza Lopez and Sarah Fonte on “Home Visits Make a Difference”; Carol Stewart on “Parents and Project-Based Learning”; Diana Zaragoza, Kristine Weir and Sue Darst on “Math Nights and the Common Core”; school climate coordinator Kate Snow on “Connecting Conversation — Creating Inclusive Communities”; and Bill Storm on “School Loop.”

Handouts from the Feb. 4 meeting, as well as other information about the parent engagement efforts in the Davis school district, are available online at

According to Maggie Steele, the California State PTA’s vice president for family engagement, “school districts should be sure to embed parent engagement throughout their entire (developing) Local Control Accountability Plans. There are no shortcuts to raising student achievement or to building successful parent engagement. Each takes an investment of time and resources and ongoing commitment by school districts, educators, parents and community partners working together.”

National PTA President Otha Thornton points out that “decades of research shows that when families and schools work together, student achievement increases, schools improve and communities grow stronger.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.





Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Child abduction case in jury’s hands

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

City offers wetlands tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

MU Games closing in late March

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Still no parole in toddler case

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Young patients bond with special stuffies

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Radio talk show moves to Mondays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Assault awareness campaign kicks off

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9



Milt Priggee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

Rowing: PE as well as life skills

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Police complaint procedures drafted

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Clarifying energy update letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Weekly claw pickup necessary

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

City may get charged up over energy choices

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

Design innovation centers for the 21st century

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

A new perspective on life

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7



Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

By Evan Ream | From Page: B10







Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery





Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8