Equip Families to Connect Attendance and Educational Success Inspiring Examples
Abriendo Puertas / Opening Doors is the nation’s first evidence-based program developed by and for Latino families with children ages 0-5-years-old. It has been adopted by diverse communities across the country. Family input informs the Abriendo Puertas / Opening Doors curriculum, which uses the popular education approach to engage parents in lessons that reflect their culture and the diverse realities of families. The 10 interactive sessions draw from real-life experiences, incorporate data about local schools and communities, and focus on supporting parents in building strong foundations for their children in reading, math, technology, health and more. Attention to attendance is integrated throughout the curriculum. The program offers facts about attendance as part of their Loteria game and guides families through an experiential activity illustrating the adverse impacts of missing school. A family pledge card includes attendance messaging and attendance commitments by parents (scroll down our Families and Family Organizations page to find the family pledge card). Abriendo Puertas' Are You Ready? A Family’s Guide to Starting Kindergarten is an essential parent handbook to help you prepare your child for a successful launch into the kindergarten adventure. (Also available in Spanish.)
Parent Teacher Home Visits (PTHV) offers training and support to staff and schools hoping to adopt a relational home visit approach. The program starts with conducting home visits in the summer or fall to establish rapport early on before any issues arise. Educators and family members both share their experiences, their hopes and dreams for the child, and their expectations of each other. After the first visit, the family and teachers continue to build upon their connection. Specific issues, like chronic absence, may be addressed in follow up communications, including a second visit. At this point, teachers and parents can develop a shared understanding of why chronic absence is an important issue, how missing school might be holding the child back, and what the causes are behind the absences. Working together, the adults can develop a plan to improve the student’s attendance. Find out more about how teachers can use the PTHV model to improve attendance. PTHV works in over 700 communities in 25 states. An evaluation found that students whose families were visited by a teacher as part of the PTHV model were 21 percent less likely to be chronically absent.