Thursday, March 9, 2017

Successful Academic Acculturation: Helping Parents and Student Thrive Academically

What are the best Academic Acculturative processes and strategies? For the positive assimilation,  adaptation, and integration of students and families into a highly effective academic environment. 

Why Examine and Seek the Best Academic Acculturation Structures and Strategies: In Short, Improving and Accelerating Academic Competency and Student Success! Parent involvement in their child's education is of critical importance to all students, especially low SES Students and Special Education Students. 

  • Create a culture of gratitude, grace and caring! Thank parents, students and staff with positive praise and uplifting notes daily. Ask parents to write a positive note about their child to share with their teacher. 
  • Celebrate progress and success, cheer on students and parents when students meet a new academic benchmark or demonstrate positive academic attitudes. Parents and students do not always feel included or successful in our new high stakes testing environment. Seeing their child in a positive light and successful academically feeds into a success loop. 
  • Create an open door policy, invite parents to visit your school and classroom at a level you are comfortable with. 
  • Parents must understand they are a very important part of the team, and without them, their child will not make the biggest gains. Acquiring academic skills is at times stressful for parents and students. Creating a team attitude helps alleviate the stress. 
  • Creating a positive dialogue with families, students, staff and community leaders. 1. Look for connections by sharing what you/they value, and seek connections, 2, clarify the "why" to parents and students, what, why, where, and how can barriers and hindrance create difficulties,   e.g. "why are writing assignments not being finished," 3. voice concerns in clear ways that are never about laying blame, and 4. ask for suggestions and offer suggestions that are not accusatory. 
  • Create a community of leaders, Academic Acculturation Liaisons, and family ambassadors that help with new parent orientation. 
  • Create a clear and ongoing set of communication tools to help parents understand academic requirements, expectations, rules and norms of positive mental and emotional attitudes of success. Creating an Academic success newsletter is an easy and powerful tool that should be regularly distributed to parents and families communicating. Communicating regularly, weekly is preferred on a designated day, where all home school communications is a good way to help parents stay informed. 
  • Creating a win-win environment of mutual understanding and respect. Remind parents and students constantly that that help, cooperation, involvement is needed and required. 
  • Organize a Family Welcome Center with school and community information, refreshments, volunteer opportunities, and a genuine interest in suggestions. Make families always and welcomed, valued, and respected at school. 
  • Create a special education parent liaison that helps with IEPs and has a clear understanding of your schools SST, 504 and IEP process. 
  • Organized a family outreach program that matches families, parents and students with needed community resources and services. Strong families and students build a strong school community. 

Definition of Academic Acculturation: sociological and educational modification of an individual, group, or people by adapting to or borrowing positive mental and emotional mindsets, work ethics, positive academic attitudes, effective traits from a highly effective academic culture, the acculturation of parents and struggling students to collegial academic life; also : a merging of cultures as a result of prolonged contact.

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