Create a plan to connect with every family! There’s no doubt that family engagement makes a world of difference for teachers and students—but connecting with parents of various ethnic, socioeconomic, or cultural backgrounds can be challenging for educators. Calvalyn Day’s groundbreaking book offers clear instructions for building strong relationships, beginning effective dialogues, strategizing, and monitoring progress. Through the author’s perspective as a parent, counselor, and advisor to families at risk, readers will discover  • A step-by-step approach to family engagement developed for K-12 educators, including teachers, counselors, administrators and others  • Complete how-to’s for creating and carrying out a family engagement plan based on the author’s Vision, Plan, Action model  • Tools including a Parent Meeting Agenda, a Parent Empathy Map, an Educator Needs Assessment, and more Whether you work at a small rural school, in a large urban district, or anywhere in between, this invaluable book offers wisdom—and smart strategies—that will transform the experience for your students and their families, and lead to sustainable success. “Authentically Engaging Families is a wonderful guide for all those interested in engaging parents in the educational process in a variety of essential and creative ways.” Nina Orellana, MTSS Coordinator Palm Bay Academy Charter School “This book presents a much-needed illustration of why educators MUST improve family engagement and how educators can put these evidence-based approaches into practice.” Denise Michelle Voelker, Coordinator of Education and Training Programs University of Florida

Introduction

Introduction

Growing up, I’m not sure that my parents came to my school more than twice a year. Once for the parent teacher conference or open house and once for the one time per year that I was either sick or injured and needed to go home. If you ask my mother, to this day, she will say that she NEVER helped me with my homework. She couldn’t tell you the difference between the PTO, the PTA, or a UFO for that matter.

My parents worked hard. They both spent 40+ hours at work each week, volunteered regularly within the community and at our church, and were known around the neighborhood to be a good place to get a hot meal and a kind or inspiring ...

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