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April 18, 2013
Tips for Administrators, Teachers, and Families: How to Share Data Effectively
Harvard Family Research Project
These tip sheets provide key strategies for parents and educators to walk into conferences informed and prepared, in order to ensure the most successful outcomes for students.
This teaching case highlights an elementary school’s efforts to communicate data about student progress to parents and help them understand the language of state standards.
Effective family engagement strategies include providing families with accessible, understandable, and actionable data on their child’s progress. When educators share student data with families—including traditional measurements of student progress such as test scores and course grades, as well as less traditional information such as a student’s preparedness and problem solving ability—families are able to gain a comprehensive understanding of their child’s strengths, interests, and challenges, and identify action steps to help advance the child’s learning.
This set of tip sheets helps administrators, teachers, and families determine the best ways to share student data in meaningful ways, on a regular basis, to strengthen family–school partnerships and promote student learning. The tip sheets include examples of data-sharing practices that illustrate how administrators, teachers, and families can adopt a data-driven approach to supporting student learning. Designed to be used either individually or as a set, the tip sheets allow educators and families to approach conversations about student data with shared expectations about what each of them is prepared to discuss. This understanding helps increase their ability to work together to improve children’s educational outcomes.
While the tips can be used to guide the formal conversations that take place during parent–teacher conferences, they are especially designed to help promote less formal, ongoing communication about student progress among teachers, families, and students throughout the year. They complement the Parent–Teacher Conference Tip Sheets, which help principals, teachers, and parents walk into conferences informed and prepared. Specifically, these tip sheets help:
We want your feedback! Were the tips useful? Did following the tips help strengthen your family–school communication around data sharing? We’ll be crowdsourcing your feedback and using it to help improve our resources and tools, so please share your ideas with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Data Sharing Tips Feedback.
This resource is part of the April 2013 FINE Newsletter. The FINE Newsletter shares the newest and best family involvement research and resources from Harvard Family Research Project and other field leaders. To access the archive of past issues, please visit www.hfrp.org/FINENewsletter.