The "School2Home Case for Support" includes a variety of research and resources on improving academic achievement through digital access and literacy.
An Important Resource in Implementation of Common Core State Standards
Student academic achievement is greatly increased when parents are able to support their children during
their educational process and can actively participate in the various programs offered at each school. This is
especially true when planning and implementing a new major initiative such as the Common Core State
Standards (CCSS) and related computer assisted assessment system planned and initiated by the Smarter
Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). The parents and community at large must have an appreciation
and understanding of the new program to be able to support teachers in their efforts to implement changes in
student work assignments, expectations, and new student performance assessments resulting from CCSS
Research has shown that parent involvement is one of the most important variables that effects the
implementation and success of any school program. Due to challenging work schedules, lack of familiarity
with the educational system and language barriers, effective parent engagement is especially challenging at
the numerous low-performing schools often located in underserved communities. For the past five years,
School2Home has been developed and funded by the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) as well
as matching funds from school districts and a variety of other grant programs with the purpose of closing
both the Achievement Gap and the Digital Divide by integrating the use of technology into teaching and
learning at low-performing middle schools throughout California. School2Home provides the essential
framework anchored in best practices to turn around low-performing schools and the requisite platform to
support Common Core Standards, innovative pedagogy, or other school-improvement initiatives.
School2Home focuses on increasing parent engagement in student learning, improving teacher to parent
communications, increasing student achievement motivation, and helping parents to understand student
academic and behavioral performance assessments and to learn how the use of technology at home and
school supports learning. School2Home is planned in collaboration with districts and schools.
The following is a brief description of the major School2Home activities that could directly and indirectly
support the planning and implementation of CCSS and the related computer assisted assessment system:
• Inform parents about the Common Core Standards: School2Home can incorporate into its parent
training program information from the CCSS Leadership Planning Guide, recently developed with input
from the California State PTA, California School Boards Association, Californians Together, California
State Board of Education, California Department of Education and the Common Core Guide for Parents.
• Help parents understand the new Smarter Balanced Assessments: School2Home can provide training
and follow-up assistance for parents on understanding the new computer-based formative and summative
student performance assessments and the implications for ways that parents can help students with home
• Facilitate parents getting involved with their children’s school program: School2Home can provide
information for parents on how to work with the school as a volunteer in ways that keep them connected
the most educationally relevant school activities and how to connect on-line to school and teacher
• Involve parents in school level planning for CCSS: School2Home can assist schools establish a
core leadership team that includes parents to participate in CCSS related site planning. School2Home
can work with the school leadership team and help facilitate the planning process. The facilitation of
forming and leading a school leadership team is a core component of School2Home.
• Help schools plan for technology use to support CCSS: School2Home can support the school
leadership team in planning to incorporate the use of computers, netbooks or tablets to support
teaching and learning aligned with CCSS.
• Help parents judge student performance beyond test scores: School2Home can assist schools in
introducing parents to the assessment process. A major objective for CCSS is to move to assessing
student work according to their capacity to apply learning to the completion of projects and higher order
problem solving. Parents need training to understand this approach and its value.
• Provide ongoing updates for parents: School2Home can provide updates on new and emerging
CCSS developments, especially as updates are relevant to actions that parents can take.
• Provide information about digital resources appropriate to home use: School2Home can inform
and support home use of electronic learning resources and online courses appropriate for home use that
support CCSS. Parent workshops provide information about affordable Internet access and teach them
how to find information in Spanish and English on the School2Home website.
• Have parents share home-based instructional activities: School2Home can facilitate workshops for
parents to share information and activities they find useful in supporting student learning and motivation.
• Use the technology to facilitate school to home communication: School2Home can provide the
training and support to enable increased and ongoing communications between teachers and parents with
examples of effective practices. A component of the School2Home parent workshops teaches parents how
to access attendance and progress information about their child through the district’s parent portal. The
School2Home professional development encourages teachers to leverage the access to technology to
increase their level of communication with parents who would otherwise not be able to meet with teachers
due to restrictive work schedules.
• Provide teachers with professional development and coaching: School2Home can provide
training and ongoing support for teachers on instructional use of CCSS aligned digital resources and
how to adapt such resources to meet local needs of their students. The 24 hours of School2Home
professional development prepares teachers to engage students in a technology-rich environment
during and after school hours with a focus on increased academic achievement.
• Provide support and resources to enable students to acquire 21st century skills: School2Home
can help schools engage students in the program to develop deeper technology expertise and problem
solving skills. They will be more competent and comfortable using computers and more prepared to use
computers during the SBAC testing.
• Identify CCSS aligned technology applications and instructional resources with documented
promise of effectiveness: School2Home collaborates with other services that review instructional
resources such as the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) and links to the best resources
through the School2Home website.
• Provide parents and teachers with information regarding appropriate safe use of the Internet:
School2Home has a component of professional development that relates to Internet safety for students
with advice to parents and teachers. School2Home parent workshops address Internet safety and the
promotion of good digital citizenship.
• Assist parents in using the new CCSS student performance report cards: School2Home can work
with the district to communicate to parents about how to interpret the new CCSS reports, which may
contain over 30 categories of information about their children’s learning and school behavior related to
the new standards.
• Serve as a partner agency with the school district: School2Home can be the primary resource to the
school district in facilitating and helping maintain the technology and parent involvement component of
the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and CCSS implementation plans.
• Provide School2Home Learning Academies: School2Home emphasizes peer support through
learning communities and has developed Learning Academies and online learning for leadership teams
to share best CCSS and parent engagement practices and learn from one another.
• Provide for external evaluation to document implementation: School2Home provides for an external
evaluation to determine level of implementation of program components, level of use of each component,
impact of School2Home on parent involvement, use of technology to support instruction and learning,
and to inform changes needed to potentially improve effectiveness.