Miftan Tamra High School, a vocational “last-chance” high school in the Arab city of Tamra, proves parent involvement results in greater student success.
Miftan Tamra High School is a Village Way Educational Initiatives (VWEI) partner community with high rates of students leaving school before they graduate. Recently, this “last-chance” school developed a number of activities to involve its parent community which, in turn, positively impacted students’ willingness to learn.
For example, the school organized activities in its pastry and carpentry workshops for both parents and students. During the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan, it hosted a special Iftar meal to end the daily fast.
In addition, the school established a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) for the first time to involve the parents throughout the year in school activities.
With the help of the parent community, Miftan Tamra also implemented a program that successfully resulted in more students returning to school after consistent absences. This program was originally designed by Ibn Rushd High School, which is another Village Way school located in Tamra.
Ibn Rushd High School is now in its fourth year of Village Way partnership and is considered a VWEI graduate community. It provides guidance to educators at Miftan high school, such as when a child is having difficulty coming to school.
Home visits encourage students to remain in school
In order to encourage high school students to remain in school, Miftan established a protocol whereby on the second day of absence, the educator calls the student’s home to alert their parents. On the third day of the student’s absence, the educator and school staff members will plan a home visit.
The purpose of these home visits is show the child how much the school educators care. In this way, the child’s parents also notice how much the staff cares about their child.
The visits also help school staff understand reasons for the student’s absence and provides an opportunity to explain the importance of attending school. When the child, hopefully, returns to school, an individualized plan is put into place to help the child face the difficulties identified at the visit.
One father noted, “This is the first time that an educator has come into our home for my child’s benefit since he was in first grade. Until now he has been invisible, and I feel this is the first time that he is actually seen.”
Another parent noted, “It is exciting to see how much responsibility the school takes for the future of the student and how many are trying to find alternatives for the student to succeed.”
Educators note how much the involvement of the parents, their enthusiasm and support, impacts the child’s willingness to return to the school setting.