ERIC Number: ED595137
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Engaging English Learner Families in Charter Schools
Christy, Leona; Kim, Juli; Hassel, Bryan C.
National Charter School Resource Center
Emerging as one of the fastest growing demographic groups among school children in the country, English Learners (ELs) constituted 10 percent of public school students in the United States in 2010-11. Research and practice suggest that greater family engagement with schools can be a critical lever for ensuring the academic success of these students. However, involving EL families remains a challenge for schools. Research suggests that EL families' awareness of school options may be constrained by factors such as limited contact with social networks through which information regarding schools and school quality is exchanged, socioeconomic status, language barriers, and families' abilities to transport their children to school. Given the greater autonomy afforded to them, charter schools are well positioned to counterbalance these challenges by developing new strategies and making concerted efforts to engage EL families. Against this backdrop, the National Charter School Resource Center developed this white paper to examine the practices used by charter schools to engage EL families with a view to answering two questions: (1) What strategies can charter schools use to engage EL families? and (2) How can charter schools fund these strategies? This paper highlights several practices used by schools to engage EL families. To develop this report, the authors relied primarily on an extensive survey of literature, supplemented by interviews with leaders of charter schools that have successfully engaged EL families. In Section I of this paper, the authors highlight practices employed by charter operators to reach out to EL families and involve them in the activities of their charter schools. In Section II, they provide an overview of funding strategies utilized by schools to finance their family engagement efforts. Finally, in Section III, the authors discuss the implications of the findings. Additionally, in the bibliography, the authors identify a comprehensive set of resources addressing issues charter schools may face in meeting the needs of ELs.
Descriptors: Charter Schools, English Language Learners, Family Involvement, School Choice, Access to Information, Barriers, Family School Relationship, Financial Support, Educational Finance, Recruitment, Enrollment, Communication Strategies, Student Needs, Budgets, Partnerships in Education
National Charter School Resource Center. Available from: Safal Partners. 2900 Wilcrest Suite 416, Houston, TX 77042. Tel: 713-955-2727; Fax: 713-422-2434; Web site: http://www.charterschoolcenter.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) at Safal Partners; Public Impact