How Effective Family Engagement Makes a Difference
By Cindy Long
If it hadn’t been for parental involvement at Glendale Middle School, a large group of girls would be failing gym class for one simple reason – they couldn’t wear the uniform.
Nearly a quarter of the student population at Glendale is Muslim, and for religious reasons, Muslim girls are unable to wear short-sleeved t-shirts or shorts, the standard uniform at the Salt Lake City school. But thanks to Glendale’s Refugee Task Force – a group of families who fled their country because of political turmoil and settled in here – the girls are now able to participate in P.E.
The task force was formed last year, and they meet monthly with the staff at Glendale to discuss concerns and strategies for increasing their involvement in the school.
Glendale is a target site of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which works to transform low performing schools through a number of measures, including developing family and community partnerships. Research shows that parent, family, and community involvement in education correlates with higher academic performance and school improvement. When