Parents as Partners Episode #7 May 5, 2008

Program Slide show
Dr. Debbie Pushor, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan talks about her vision of parent engagement. Her doctoral work A Storied Photo Album of Parents’ Positioning and the Landscape of Schools came about from her personal experience when her own children entered the education system. Her major research project funded by the Dr. Stirling McDowell Foundation for Research into Teaching, which explored, with a team of co-researchers at Princess Alexandra Community School in Saskatoon, how schools can move from practices of parent involvement to practices of parent engagement and leadership.

Lorna Costantini, moderator from, Matt Montagne, Teacher at the University School of Milwaukee, Rhoda Cipparone, interior designer from Niagara Falls, Ontario and Cindy Zautcke, resident parent on Parents as Partners joined in the discussion.You can follow along in the show with Debbie's slide show

Chat Log

 20:54:32  matt montagne ->  hey everyone...thanks for joining in...we'll get going here in 5 minutes

 20:54:43  matt montagne ->  we have a GR8 guest tonight!!

 20:55:58  penny ->  good evening everyone!

 20:56:03  matt montagne ->  Hi Penny

 20:56:10  matt montagne ->  Thanks for joining in tonight!

 20:56:23  shaun fletcher ->  G'Evening

 20:56:51  penny ->  oh have to recconect -- I'm streaming through my house speakers

 20:58:08  shaun fletcher ->  just lost stream, was it only me?

 20:58:30  matt montagne ->  Hey Shaun

 20:58:32  matt montagne ->  hold up 20:59:12  matt montagne ->  thanks shaun

 20:59:18  matt montagne ->  working on it

 20:59:36  Penny ->  should I have sound yet?

 20:59:54  matt montagne ->  coming back in 1 minute

 20:59:57  matt montagne ->  sorry about that

 21:00:17  shaun fletcher ->  hey matt

 21:01:14  matt montagne ->  we're ready to roll

 21:01:22  matt montagne ->  the stream should be playing just fine

 21:01:38  Lorraine ->  I don't have audio

 21:01:53  Penny ->  me either

 21:02:05  shaun fletcher ->  i got it

 21:02:48  shaun fletcher ->  @lorraine and penny do you have audio yet? 21:06:35  shaun fletcher ->  Click on the real player or media player icon on the right ChannelA if you don't have audio.:D

 21:06:40  Penny ->  Can anyone help I have no audio?

 21:07:10  cindyseibel ->  hi debbie! Finally got online

 21:07:22  cindyseibel ->  nightmare in Edmonton hotel

 21:08:28  matt montagne -> Parent study group wiki on the topic of web2.0

 21:08:46  matt montagne -> Parents as Partners website...

 21:09:25  Penny ->  Are our mikes muted or do I have to mute it 21:09:31  Penny ->  my dog is barking

 21:10:15  shaun fletcher ->  only the ones on skype call have mics on 21:10:28  Penny ->  Thanks didn't want to be disruptive

 21:10:33  matt montagne ->  Hi Pinky...welcome to Parents as Partners... 21:10:41  matt montagne ->  thanks for joining us everyone!!

 21:10:46  Pinky ->  [b]thank you

 21:11:56  matt montagne ->  Dr. Debbie Pushor is our guest tonight on the call...

 21:12:11  matt montagne ->  Hi Cindy S!

 21:12:50  Penny ->  with a child in grade 2 I'm just starting to realize the "colonial" structure

 21:13:06  Penny ->  almost pushed me right off parent council

 21:13:31  matt montagne ->  this is going to be a good talk!!

 21:15:11  matt montagne ->

 21:15:40  matt montagne ->  go ahead and follow along with Debbie's slide show

 21:15:58  Penny ->  way to go Matt!!

 21:16:20  matt montagne ->  sometimes when you click the link you get booted out of the chat, but come back if this happens!!

 21:16:37  Penny ->  is it the ourschool link matt?

 21:16:44  rhoda ->  i was booted out

 21:17:27  matt montagne ->  @penny yeah, I wonder how effective a 5 minute PT conference is...

 21:18:18  matt montagne ->  Hi LaurieP...welcome to PAP!

 21:18:56  matt montagne -> This is the slide show link...Debbie is referring to this as she talks

 21:19:17  Penny ->  this resonates alot

 21:19:21  matt montagne ->  We're on the 5th or 6th deals with "Engagement"2

008-05-05 21:20:36  matt montagne ->  Welcome bjm238...thanks for joining us tonight

 21:20:49  matt montagne ->

 21:21:12  matt montagne ->  this is a link to a slide show that Dr. Debbie Pushor is referencing...

 21:21:21  matt montagne ->  we're on the slide 8 or 9 or so

 21:25:51  cindyseibel ->  can I get the slides link again please?

 21:25:58  matt montagne ->  hold up cindy

 21:26:06  matt montagne ->

 21:26:46  matt montagne ->  I know the hyper links have a tendency to boot us out of this room...

 21:27:10  Penny ->  we aren't coming to parent council bcs we have no voice there

 21:27:12  matt montagne ->  Hey James....thanks for dropping in...

 21:27:45  James.Sigler ->  hi matt

 21:27:48  cindyseibel ->  isn't it context specific to each school? what works that is?

 21:27:51  Penny ->  Thanks Debbie -- that was great!!!!

 21:29:02  shaun fletcher ->  Playing devil's advocate. A parent's input caused Al Upton's blog to close Parental engagment is ideal if it fits with the ideals of the teachers and the school too.

 21:29:26  matt montagne ->  Our guest tonight is Dr. Debbie Pushor, who is talking about a whole new way of "engaging" parents in the educational process...

 21:29:38  Penny ->  @Shaun -- that worried me too -- there are always pot stirrers

 21:30:04  cindyseibel ->  in middle school, we were told not to come to parent-teacher night if our children were doing well....

 21:30:24  Penny ->  me too -- been told not to come bcs my daughter does well

 21:31:11  matt montagne ->  @shaun ... good point...I'm really trying to never pander to the extremes...

 21:32:07  Penny ->  Just started a parent ning (outside school) -- in one week 1/3 of K-6 joined but can only get 6 parents to parent council -- why??

-05-05 21:32:49  cindyseibel ->  I've yet to find a teacher/administrator who has had any formal training in parent engagement - or involvement

 21:32:55  matt montagne ->  @Penny...interesting, interesting question...I have some thoughts on that 21:33:40  cindyseibel ->  @Penny - have we thought about asking them why? survey on the wiki perhaps?

 21:33:42  Penny ->  and 1/2 that joined are NOT tech inclined 21:34:06  Penny ->  @cindy may drop a google form into it to see

 21:34:13  matt montagne ->  @Penny...I think physically being at school can be an intimidating experience for some parents...

 21:34:20  cindyseibel ->  I really think we need to invest in our teachers/admin to develop them 21:34:35  matt montagne ->  A digital community can help them connect without feeling self conscious and worried2

008-05-05 21:34:51  cindyseibel ->  cindy zautcke that is

 21:34:53  Penny ->  @Matt -- very much so -- I come from a "home town" -- most of the people went to school at this school so there is some left over baggage

 21:35:30  Penny ->  The principal taught most of the parents

 21:35:49  James.Sigler ->  Are private schools better at involving parents than public schools?

 21:37:01  czautcke ->  I dont' mean to embarass Matt!

 21:37:24  matt montagne ->  @James... that is a really, really good question...there might be some systems issues that are inherently different between the two

 21:37:36  cindyseibel ->  @debbie - just reading Lewis and Forman - again it is about context in the surrounding community and how relationships are built between the school and community

 21:37:50  matt montagne ->  @czautcke...not embarrased at all!

 21:38:08  cindyseibel ->  @James - perhaps not better, but different. prviate parents often come with different motivation

 21:38:15  Penny ->  @czautcke -- that's all I wish for -- a context to ask good supper questions

 21:39:16  matt montagne ->  there is tremendous value in working transparently...

 21:39:36  matt montagne ->  working transparently has positive effects on many levels

 21:39:40  James.Sigler ->  My kids attend a private school. The parents are much more active and communication from the school is much more frequent.

 21:39:52  cindyseibel ->  we're hoping to have that conversation at the district level and then school level - what is our "working definition" of parent engagement as a starting point

 21:40:02  Penny ->  @james -- socioeconmic reasons?

 21:40:19  cindyseibel ->  I think some schools/districts don't know what they believe yet, so what Debbie's talking about has a measurable benchmark

 21:40:37  matt montagne ->  @Penny... I don't thin the differences are socio...I think the differentces are systematic

 21:40:44  Penny ->  to signs at school -- stranger fear -- edmonton had "pedophiles' in the bathroom -- caused a big lockdown everywhere

 21:41:15  cindyseibel ->  I think socioeco has a role - but not in whether they are better parents

 21:41:25  James.Sigler ->  I think socioeconomic status has a lot to do the climate, achievement, and parent involvement in my kid's private school

2008--05-05 21:41:32  cindyseibel ->  It's about how schools and parents relate one to the other

 21:41:41  Penny ->  no not better parents -- maybe more confident parents with other professionals

 21:41:48  czautcke ->  I think that all schools--public, private, charter--can build relationships. There are many reasons is might be harder in a public school, but nothing written in stone about public schools, and certainly not about the parents that prevent schools from building authentic relationships.

 21:41:58  matt montagne ->  But James, think of all the systems diffferences between public and private...

 21:41:59  cindyseibel ->  @Penny - that's the point! teachers and parents more professional equals

 21:42:38  cindyseibel ->  @Matt, I don't think its so much about the system differences

 21:43:01  James.Sigler ->  @Matt I agree comparing public schools to private is like comparing apples to oranges.

 21:43:36  matt montagne ->  when I'm talking systems differences, I'm talking about some really simple things like....

 21:43:45  James.Sigler ->  Nevertheless, I think there are some things we can learn from private schools

 21:43:53  Penny ->  Just to frame my comments -- I'm rural -- town of 1,000 -- no access to private -- everyone knows everyone

 21:44:25  matt montagne ->  small class sizes, regular parent ed events, school uniforms, teachers who are required to sit down and eat lunch with a table of 10 children each day, etc...

 21:44:39  matt montagne ->  these systems differences are small, but make a big impact...

 21:44:51  James.Sigler ->  @Matt I agree completely

 21:44:51  matt montagne ->  hello ch...thanks for joining us

 21:45:10  shaun fletcher ->  thanks for the conversation. good night

 21:45:18  matt montagne ->  we're talking here with Dr. Debbie Pushor about parent engagement and schools

 21:45:21  matt montagne ->  nite shaun

 21:45:25  matt montagne ->  thankx for joinging

 21:45:26  Penny ->  @matt -- huge impact -- my school in the conditions I described is so different than a city public school -- we are probably more like a private

 21:45:37  matt montagne ->  hope to see you on earthbridges

 21:46:15  James.Sigler ->  My kids attend a private school but I teach in a public school. Is that ironic, or just a unique perspective?

 21:46:35  matt montagne ->  @james... a little bit of both!!!

 21:46:45  matt montagne ->  I teach at a private school as you might gather...

 21:47:09  matt montagne ->  but I'm a big believer in public education as well...

 21:47:37  James.Sigler ->  @Matt I'm with you there :)

 21:48:21  matt montagne ->

 21:49:10  matt montagne ->  @james... private schools aren't perfect, but I think they do some things very well...these things should be replicated in public schools (I know this is easier said than done)

 21:49:45  czautcke ->  I think the key difference is "Is the school mission driven?" There are systemic factors in why some public schools aren't mission-driven (i.e. not every teacher at the school on board with the school's education program because they were assigned there). But when a public school IS mission-driven and people organize the school's work around the mission, they start trying to make decisions like the ones private schools make.

 21:50:59  matt montagne ->  @czautcke... well said...

 21:53:23  Penny ->  It will have to be changed at grass roots not at the adminstration

 21:54:06  Penny ->  it's like marketing you have to create the demand for this

 21:54:12  cindyseibel ->  @lorna - is that not what Ontario Minister has done? created a movement grounded in policy?

 21:55:14  cindyseibel ->  good point - how do we get the right people to listen? I think it needs to start with school leaders

 21:55:45  Penny ->  Look at the ad Campaign that Canadian optometrists have done -- create the impression that it is essential that they tap into this service/idea

 21:56:37  rhoda ->  i've noticed that as well penny...brilliant marketing isn't it?

 21:56:56  cindyseibel ->  we are what we measure.... so perhaps it's even district leaders that need to set the benchmark

 21:58:13  Penny ->  rhoda -- they spoke to us as pharmacists and we were awed -- they really did a great job -- what would happen if schools did public service announcements with that impact 21:59:41  rhoda ->  could be very powerful

 22:00:53  James.Sigler ->  @cindy how do districts measure parent involvement?

 22:01:43  James.Sigler ->  Parent 2.0?

 22:01:57  James.Sigler ->  :)

 22:01:58  penny ->

 22:02:08  penny ->  this is an example of creating a demand

 22:02:18  penny ->  and it worked

 22:02:32  James.Sigler ->  @penny I couldn't get the link to work

 22:02:39  cindyseibel ->  @james - thinking about how we define parent involvement, and then turning that definition into measurable components - such as Debbie has commented (signs, meeting structures, parent/student/teacher meetings, etc)

 22:02:52  penny ->  sorry can't get it to cut and paste

 22:03:21  cindyseibel ->  if a district doesn't talk about its beliefs, it won't know them when it sees them

 22:03:32  penny ->  try and then look at public service announcements

 22:03:50  James.Sigler ->  That link worked

 22:03:59  matt montagne ->  thanks everyone...

 22:04:04  cindyseibel ->  thanks so much debbie - will be emailing you about meeting on the 16 after TLt

 22:04:13  matt montagne ->  we appreciate you stopping by 2nite!

 22:04:25  rhoda ->  thanks matt

 22:05:08  penny ->  thanks everyone!! what a great hour!!

 22:05:09  James.Sigler ->  @cindy So alignment between program, publicity, and measurement?

 22:05:30  James.Sigler ->  Good show!

 22:05:39  cindyseibel ->  @james yes that's part of it

 22:06:15  James.Sigler ->  Thanks, I'm learning a lot about parent involvement from this show :)

 22:06:38  cindyseibel ->  also

 22:06:48  matt montagne ->  thanks for posting that Cincy

 22:06:58  matt montagne ->  oops...I meant Cindy! 22:07:12  James.Sigler ->  I'll check it out, Thanks

 22:07:18  James.Sigler ->  Goodnight

 22:07:23  matt montagne ->  nite all

 22:07:27  Lorna ->  good night everyone

 22:07:28  czautcke ->  Thanks everyone!

 22:07:28  cindyseibel ->  'night all - I ended up in the Starbucks next to my hotel. noisy but worked
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