Home School Collaboration

Home-school collaboration (HSC) in the RISE project goes well beyond home extension activities. We seek to bring children’s out-of-school contexts into classrooms by supporting non-hierarchical partnerships and reciprocal dialogue between parents and teachers. By facilitating respectful two-way relationships, our teachers come to understand and support families’ unique contributions to their children’s learning. In this view of family engagement, the home-to-school flow of informationis just as important as the school-to home flow of information.

To support learning with and from each other, the RISE approach involves three types of activities:

  • CULTIVATING a small group of 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;
  • JOINT PARENT-TEACHER ACTIVITIES focuses on STE concepts, classroom curriculum and children’s everyday lives;
  • PARENT-TEACHER DISCUSSION (PTD) GROUPS, which have a two-fold purpose:(1) for teachers to be able to access information about home/family routines and expertise; to feel connected to their students’ home lives and families’ funds of knowledge to support their teaching.(2) For families to realize they have something critical to contribute to the curriculum; to feel valued for their expertise and connected to their children’s learning despite any language, logistical, and cultural barriers that might prevent traditional “engagement” activities.

Home School Collaboration 4 Mantras

Three Ways Teachers Can Learn What Families Know and Do


Teachers can talk with and listen to their students

Question of the Day (QOTD)

Teachers can indirectly learn what families know and do

Community Book, Community Walk

Teachers can directly learn what families know and do

Joint Activity (e.g., soup-making), Parent-Teacher Discussion (e.g., community map)