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Headshot Young Girl

Alicia Discepola Mackall


United States

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In the classroom, we aim to design to the edges for our students, which means creating learning experiences and environments that cater to the diverse needs and abilities of every student (including those who may require additional support or challenges). Shouldn’t we be doing the same for the grown-up members of our learning community? Research consistently emphasizes the correlation between parent and guardian involvement and student success, and effective communication is essential for fostering strong home-school connections, nurturing positive relationships, and enhancing parent/ guardian engagement. But not all grown-ups can receive- or participate in- the communication. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability, which accounts for around 26% of the adult population. The US Department of Education reports about 130 million adults in the U.S. have low literacy skills. more than half of Americans between the ages of 16 and 74 (54%) read below the equivalent of a 6th grade level. According to the U.S. Census Bureau more than 350 languages are spoken in the US. 15% of the US population has dyslexia. There are plenty of communication barriers, but there are even more reasons to break those barriers. Studies show that students with involved parents are more likely to have higher grades, better attendance, improved behavior, and increased motivation to learn. Research has told us when parents are actively engaged in their children's education, students are more likely to earn higher grades and test scores, enroll in higher-level programs, and graduate from high school. We can’t engage if we can’t communicate. In order to best support our students and build a culture of inclusivity, parent/ guardian communication needs to be accessible and equitable.

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