The first steps in developing a Compact for Reading are to form a Core Compact Team if you do not already have one, and identify people who can serve on a Compact Invention Team--the Team that will actually develop the Compact for Reading.
The Core Compact Team oversees the development, implementation, and evaluation for your school-family-community partnership. The Core Team includes as members at least one principal, teacher, parent, and another community member.
The basic responsibilities of Core Team members are as follows:
Team members should be knowledgeable about reading and family involvement, know the school and its broader community, and be willing to take a leadership role in overseeing the school Compact process.
In forming your Core Compact Team, you may want to use an existing team to take on these responsibilities. For example, look at the membership of an existing Compact Team, a school-based management council, a family-school advisory group, a working team of the Parent-Teacher Association or Organization, or business-school partnership, or a similar group that works closely with the school, families, and communities on educational matters.
|The Compact Invention Team|
One of the responsibilities of the Core Compact Team is to identify people in the school and community who will brainstorm, strategize, and develop the Compact.
In some cases, the Core Compact Team may want to take on these responsibilities. In other cases, the Core Team will need to form another team--the Compact Invention Team--to develop the Compact.
Among representatives reflecting the make up of your school community, who could be considered for your Compact Invention team, include:
The members of the Compact Invention Team are responsible for developing and writing the Compact; for working to ensure that the school staff, parents, and other community members understand the Compact; and for obtaining continuing commitment from the school community to fulfill it, once it is adopted.
Parents, teachers, and community members who may be interested in participating in the development and writing process may not be able to attend meetings because they cannot afford child care, do not have transportation, or have time constraints that make it impossible to attend.
There are several ways your team can take into account the time pressures and responsibilities facing parents, teachers, and community members when scheduling a meeting.
Teams can assist families by:
Teams can assist teachers by:
This attention sends a strong message to teachers and parents that the Core Team is serious about involving others in the writing process.
|Directions: Use this checklist to make sure you have completed all necessary activities to form a strong Compact Team. |
|Addressing Language Differences|
To create a Compact Invention Team that truly represents your school community, it is crucial that the invitations and meeting notices be translated into the languages spoken by your parent and community populations. If members of these communities do not respond to the notices, your Core Team should try to personally recruit individuals to be on the team. The team needs to represent all segments of the community.
Moreover, it is vital to provide a translator for these individuals during the Compact Invention Team meetings. Ask other parents, teachers, and community members whether they will serve as translators for these parents and community members. If this is not possible, check to see if a translator can be hired from a private agency.
|Taking an Inventory of Your School's Literacy Needs and Resources|
Two important responsibilities of the Core Team are to evaluate student achievement in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and to take inventory of the school's resources that support reading. Thus, the Core Team:
The information gathered in this literacy inventory will help your Core Team write your Compact.
Before the first formal Compact Invention Team meeting, Core Team members can use Activity Sheet 1A to take stock of the school's literacy efforts, as shared by principals, teachers, and families.