Getting to a 98 percent passing rate

Guest post by DOE Director of Faith and Community Outreach Joyce Hobson

You always hear a lot about how parents should be involved with their children’s education, but how do you measure the effectiveness of involvement?

Tired of sitting in formal, tense parent-teacher conferences, Ms. Donna Harla of Landmark Middle School in Duval County has figured out one way.

Through the Parent Collaboration Program she created, teachers designate 30 minutes every Friday for parents to stop by the classroom. The initiative avoids lengthy scheduling processes between parents, teachers and administrators and increases parents’ access to their child’s education, which allows relationships to build.

Since the initiation of the program in 2008, she has seen a 98 percent passing rate amongst her students.

This is just one of the many efforts going on around the state to increase the communication between parents and teachers. It is the little things – knowing what is going on at the schools, talking about homework policies and lesson plans, meeting other students and teachers in the school, becoming a familiar face – that break down communication barriers.

Does your student’s school have any parental involvement programs? Do you volunteer in your child’s class or attend events? How do you show your support for your student? Please feel free to share!

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74 thoughts on “Getting to a 98 percent passing rate

  1. This was a great way to get parents in just to touch base. Since meeting with the parents future interactions are less stressful and less dense. It really puts us all on the same playing field.

  2. As a parent and teacher, I consider this a wonderful opportunity to build the relationship between the two especially when you have returning parents each week. The Parent Collaboration also reduces the students likelihood of thinking they are “getting away with something” when the lines of communication are always open.

    • Hi Erica,

      You bring out an important point “returning parents”. What is a key you use to bring them back? Thanks for building relationships with our community! You are appreciated!

      • I believe these parents like the flexibility of not having to schedule an appointment. They know that Fridays are always available. These parents want to stay on top of things and make sure their student has everything they need to be successful.

  3. My son struggles with completing his schoolwork and often needs an extra push. Through parent teacher colaberation I have been able to proactively Directory him through more contact with his teachers. His grades are you better and he is learning more.. I have also been able to hold him accountable.

  4. In reference to my experience with Parent Collaboration as a gifted, advanced and standard teacher, I found the meetings to be very beneficial. The Parent Collaboration meetings ensured the parents that teachers are there throughout the year with specified dates and times (open door policy). It is an excellent opportunity for all parties to stay connected. Additionally, these meetings gave our administrators a chance to use their time on other school operations to enhance to educational process instead of continuously scheduling parent conferences for each teacher. All in all I recommend that Parent Collaboration be utilized in an entire school setting and throughout Duval County and The State of Florida.

  5. As a teacher, I can say Parent Collaboration has helped us to build relationships with students and their families. Parents come in to talk about anything from medical and family issues to organization and homework. Teachers invite parents in to problem solve and have questions and concerns addressed. Meeting on a weekly basis has been a great support to teachers, middle school students and their families.

  6. Parent Collaboration meetings are producing successful relationships and student success with 837 members meeting as of 12/2/11. The average of 70 members meeting each week have added value to the educational experience for me. We look forward to an End-of-the-Year Celebration on December 16th. Thank you for all of your support and Happy Holidays.

    • Hi Mrs. Harla,
      How are you? I am a student at Landmark. I really can’t wait for the Parent Collaboration 16th party! It will be so much fun I can’t wait
      Whitney Brandt

    • i think thats a wonderful idea,for parents to get invited for 30 min. It wont hurt to use ur lunch break or jus sum time out to visit ur childs school! @ least u can find out whats really going on with your child & his/her teachers…. keep up the great work

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your fantastic comments. The collaboration is a great program!

  8. Too often parents are unaware of their child’s progress until they receieve a progress report or report card. Many times the only contact teachers have with parents is prompted by behavioral concerns. I wish that more parents would take advantage of this opportunity to be proactive with their students’ educational experience.

    • Thank you Erica, for posting, supporting and being an active part of Parent Collaboration (PC). Thank you Erica for your link on: parentcollaboration.org. Members since August is a total of 1053 members to Dec. 16, 2011.

      Let your School Board member representatives and state politicians know how you feel…ask them to apply program to schools for all to benefit.

  9. Parent Collaboration has been an excellent way of communicating with parents on a regular basis that allows parents the flexibilty to meet with either certain teachers or all of the teachers about their concerns. Over the past three years I have seen it become a much more effective communication strategy than the standard parent teacher conference because it encourages continual weekly communication. For 6th graders adjusting to middle school, it can have such positive results for the students, the parents, and the teachers.

  10. This was so fun and we had so much food thank you for all of the goods and i love christmas and you should love god love every body and merry christmas and for all a good nite

    • Forrest your’e right this Parent Collaboration party was a lot of fun i can’t wait until the next parent collaboration meeting.
      Whitney Brandt

      • I KNOW RIGT! i agree,it was terrific.mrs.harla does a good job supporting us! the party was off the sleigh! woot woot! :) xoxo

  11. i liked what this said

  12. I like the parent collaboration meetings. It is nice to be able to have a one on one conversation with the teachers without trying to schedule a meeting. I also appreciate being able to email when I can’t attend a meeting and always getting a fast response. I think it’s wonderful to hear that this program has a 98 percent passing rate. Great job Ms. Harla!

    • Thank you for posting, supporting and being an active part of Parent Collaboration (PC). Feel free to join our site and be a member to keep up with the latest PC news, http://www.parentcollaboration.org add your bio, and meet others on the site! Thanks again for joining us on 12/16. We had 153 members present :), makes a total of 1053 members from Aug to Dec. 2011. Please let your School Board member representatives and local/state politicians know how you feel…ask them to apply program to schools for all to benefit.

  13. Thank you for the opportunity to evaluate our childs progress with the teacher on a one to one basis. This is a excellent program for everyone to take advantage of.

    • Thank you for posting, supporting and being an active part of Parent Collaboration (PC). Feel free to join our site and be a member to keep up with the latest PC news, http://www.parentcollaboration.org add your bio, and meet others on the site! Thanks again for joining us on 12/16. We had 153 members present :), makes a total of 1053 members from Aug to Dec. 2011. Let your School Board member representatives know how you feel…ask them to apply program to schools for all to benefit. Thank you for coming to 12/16 PC Celebration

  14. I really think that this is a great process for me and the other children to connect with the teachers. We go to PLC meetings with our parents, and talk about what are we missing and how are we doing in class, with the History Teacher Ms.Harla, Science Teacher Ms.Kellam, Math Teacher Ms.Stawara, and Language Arts Teacher Ms.Stevens.

  15. What a fun morning visiting with teachers and enjoying the school choir singing Christmas Carols. We had a great time!

  16. I think parrent collaboration helps me and my mom alot to understand. Also it is a grat time to enjoy on hollidays. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good break.

  17. I love that the teachers offer this every Friday. What a great way to keep on top of what is going on with my son and school. I hope this continues as he moves on to 7th and 8th grade. These meetings have helped me see the areas my son needs help in and then address them with the teacher on a weekly basis. This should be standard in all schools.

    • Thank you for posting, supporting and being an active part of Parent Collaboration (PC). Thank you for being a member to keep up with the latest PC news, http://www.parentcollaboration.org. Thanks again for joining us on 12/16. We had 153 members present :), makes a total of 1053 members from Aug to Dec. 2011. Let your School Board member representatives know how you feel…ask them to apply program to schools for all to benefit. You can make that difference.

  18. I agree with this program because parents should be in the program to learn more about their children grades.

  19. Parent collaboration is agreat way for parents and there children to interact with the teachers and have a good time

  20. i think parent collaboration is a really smart idea for parents and kids to come and have a great time spending together and talking to freinds and teachers this is very awsome!

  21. this is a good program fot the kids an parents to get to interact with the kids an teachers!

  22. This is a nice program I enjoy coming to my kids school meeting with the teachers and learning more about there education THANKS FOR EVERYTHING

  23. thank you i had a great time

  24. yes this is nice eating and communicating with the teachers

  25. I loved the get together for the parents and children. This is a great way to communicate with others.

    • Thank you for posting, supporting and being an active part of Parent Collaboration (PC). Keep up with the latest PC news, http://www.parentcollaboration.org and thanks for joining the site. Thanks again for joining us on 12/16. We had 153 members present :), makes a total of 1053 members from Aug to Dec. 2011.

      Let your School Board member representatives know how you feel…ask them to apply program to schools for all to benefit.

  26. well this this this i really dont have a word for it ,its just great and the food taste outstandin and im enjoying myself and im having a good time

  27. Rhonda

    I enjoyed the festivities and I hope all have a very merry christmas an enjoy the Holidays. thanks so much!!

  28. Hi Ms. Harla,
    I think this a marvelous idea. I will definitely come to check out the progress of my son Jalil Frye this way. Thanks for doing a great job at helping parents to bridge the gap of success with their teachers.

    Annie L. Frye

    • Thank you for posting, supporting and wanting to be an active part of Parent Collaboration (PC). Feel free to join our site and be a member to keep up with the latest PC news, http://www.parentcollaboration.org add your bio, and meet others on the site! Thanks again for joining us on 12/16. We had 153 members present :), makes a total of 1053 members from Aug to Dec. 2011.

      Let your School Board member representatives know how you feel…ask them to apply program to schools for all to benefit.

  29. I like parent teacher colaboration because it helps the students.

  30. I agree that Parent Collaboration is an excellent way to stay involved in your child’s eduction and keep the lines of communication open between parent and teacher. The fact that its every Friday at 8:15 is great because it doesnt require an appointment.

    • Thank you for posting, supporting and being an active part of Parent Collaboration (PC). Feel free to join our site and be a member to keep up with the latest PC news, http://www.parentcollaboration.org add your bio, and meet others on the site! Thanks again for joining us on 12/16. We had 153 members present :), makes a total of 1053 members from Aug to Dec. 2011.

      Let your School Board member representatives know how you feel…ask them to apply program to schools for all to benefit.

  31. The parent/teacher collaboration is an excellent idea! We have seen a great improvement in our son’s attitude towards school. Ms. Erica Smith is a wonderful teacher!!! :)

    • Thank you for attending, we hope you had a good time. Thank you for mentioning what a wonderful teacher Ms. Erica Smith is for Joseph. Always great to hear positive things going on in the schools! I understand Santa left a gift for Joseph in my room, please come by in January to pick it up…thanks! Thanks for your support for parents, teachers, and education!!!

  32. Thank you to all of you who do so much! You made today a wonderful time of sharing, singing, and getting to know one another a little bit more so enjoyable. Thank you to Ms. Azleton and her chorus group, you sound terrific! Thank you to our videographer Mr. K. Sowers, look for the link coming soon, thank you to (Geary) William ,photograher, thank you to our data collector Mr. B. Adams, thank you to our food organizers Ms. E. Smith, Ms. A. Kellam, Ms. M. Yelverton, The McBride, Miles family and several other teachers, parents and students. thank you drama club for hosting, thank you Santa, we hope all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a very Good New Year! Thank you to our administration and thanks to our Principal, Mr. David Gilmore, or none of this would be happening.

  33. Parent Collaboration has made me and my dad get along better and the party we had today was great and it was before Christmas break.I myself had enjoyed the party and help me understand better what parent collaboration is actually about.I hope everyone enjoyed the party and have a good Christmas break.Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.Peace be with you all.

    • Thank you Minh,

      So glad to see you at the PC function with your Dad! Thank you for posting and we look forward to the New Year, Happy New Year Minh! Thank you Minh’s Dad! Always great to see you, thank you for your support, as usual.

  34. Im very interested in this program, being a school board member in a school district in Illinois (west of Chicago). I would love to see your data and statistics. This program sounds great however, would love to take a closer look for our area.

  35. Parentcollaboration.org Click: blog: page three: Scroll down to the 2nd FLDOE, click… gets you here, :). Aug 2013-Jan 2014 Parent Collaboration participation is 1,198 teachers, parents, and students: you are the difference!
    Happy New Year 2014, and may God bless our children,

  36. Go to parentcollaboration.org for details and contact.

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