Home-School Connections (HSC) in the RISE project “flips the script” on our traditional notions of family engagement, by seeing to bring children’s out-of-school contexts into classrooms. By building respectful two-way relationships between teachers and families, teachers come to understand and support families’ unique contributions to their children’s learning. This, in the RISE approach to family engagement, the home-to-school flow of information is just as important as the school-to-home flow of information.
To support learning with and from each other, the RISE approach:
- ENGAGES PARENT LEADERS and COMMUNITY EXPERTS who serve as guides for understanding family and community life, as well as how best to connect with other parents;
- SUPPORTS joint activities for the purpose of bringing teachers and parents together as equal partners. These activities focus on connecting STE concepts, classroom curriculum and children’s everyday lives;
- BRIDGES AND CONNECTS these two primary adult helpers in Parent-Teacher Discussions (PTD), which have a two-fold purpose: (1) for teachers to learn about and feel connected to their students’ home lives and families’ funds of knowledge, and (2) for families to feel respected for their expertise and efforts, connected to their children’s learning and that their linguistic and cultural differences are valued.