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Family FACTS on Education

famfacts_1How can families set the stage for children’s success in Math? 
This issue of Family FACTS highlights recent discoveries about math learning and its importance for young children. It suggests ways parents can powerfully instill basic math ideas through play during everyday routines.


famfacts_2How can families help their child get ready for kindergarten? (Download PDF  in English | Spanish | Portuguese)
Kindergarten is an important learning opportunity — the beginning of REAL SCHOOL! The learning that happens in kindergarten is the foundation for all the learning that comes after it. This issue of Family FACTS lays out ways families can prepare themselves — and their youngsters — for a successful kindergarten experience.


famfacts_3How can parents help young children learn two languages? (Download PDF  in English | Spanish | Portuguese)
Many parents today are raising young children who are growing up learning two languages at the same time. This issue of Family FACTS refers to these children as “dual language learners.” It is important for parents and family members who do not speak English to understand that the early language skills children learn in their own home language help their children learn and understand English.


famfacts_4What are my child’s educational rights?
In the United States, schools are responsible for the education of all children—be they black, brown, white, poor, rich, female, male, disabled, non-disabled, documented or undocumented, English-speaking or not. This issue of Family FACTS provides a summary of key educational rights, especially as they apply to special groups of students.


famfacts_5“How is my child doing in school?”
Parents are eager to get an answer to this question. To help answer the question, the MCAS Parent/Guardian Report includes information on “Student Growth Percentiles” which shows how much a student has grown academically since the previous year. This issue of Family FACTS emphasizes its application to individual students. Another Family FACTS called “Student Growth Percentiles: What they tell us about schools, districts, and groups of students” explores how student growth performance data can shed light on school and district performance.


famfacts_6What do the Common Core State Standards mean for Massachusetts students?
In July of 2010, Massachusetts adopted new national education standards. These standards, called the Common Core State Standards, were designed by experts from across the nation to prepare students for success in college and 21st century careers. This issue of Family FACTS explains what the Common Core State Standards are, why they were created, and how they will affect Massachusetts students.


famfacts_7“How does my child’s school compare with other schools?” 
“Student Growth Percentiles (SGP)” is a new way of showing how students are progressing academically. There are two issues of Family FACTS to help parents understand student growth percentiles. The first explains what it means for students. This second issue explores how growth percentiles can shed light on the performance of schools, districts and groups of students.


famfacts_8What are the educational rights for my child who is learning English?
Education is a basic right of all children in the United States. The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Actt of 2001 (ESEA) added important new educational rights for English learners and their parents. Federal laws, such as ESEA, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, and Massachusetts state laws recognize that students who are new to the United States and who are English learners need extra support. They need help to learn English and, at the same time, to master academic standards. This issue of Family FACTS outlines some of these rights under state and federal laws.


young african Student isolated read a bookWhat can I do to help my child with MCAS?
M-C-A-S. Four letters that can spell anxiety, both for parents and for students! They stand for Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System. This issue of Family FACTS explains how families can dispel the anxiety and help their children be ready to take these tests or any other state assessments both now and in the future.


Two little kids playing with magnifying glass outdoors in the day time

How to Make the Most of Summer (Download PDF in English | Spanish | Portuguese)
Studies have shown that all students are likely to lose some of their learning gains during the summer. For the average student, this loss amounts to at least a month’s worth of learning. Parents can help keep their kids sharp in the summer. But how?


Serious couple with teenager schoolboy doing homework in home interior

What is family engagement in schools? (Download PDF in English | Spanish | Portuguese)
All families want the best for their children. Families know their children best and can be a valuable resource to teachers. When families, schools and communities partner together, great things can be accomplished. Every child can get the support he or she needs to succeed and schools do better in educating all children. This issue of Family FACTS provides a closer look at what is family engagement.


Female student excited with discussion

How Can Families and Teachers Make the Most of Parent – Teacher Conferences? (Download PDF in English | Spanish | Portuguese)
Each year, most elementary, middle, and high schools sponsor “Parent-Teacher Conferences.” Parent-Teacher Conferences are special times when teachers focus entirely on communicating with parents around an individual student’s progress at school. Remember, that you are the expert about your son or daughter. The teacher is the expert on the things students need to learn at their grade level. Tips in this Family Facts will help you make the most of your time together.


mother helping happy daughter with homework

How can families help their children with homework? (Download PDF in English | Spanish | Portuguese)
Parents play a vital role in their children’s education, and helping with homework is an important part of that role. This issue of Family FACTS describes steps families can take at home to support their children’s studying and homework. There are tips on how to create a positive learning environment at home where good study habits are developed and encouraged. With your help your children can develop vital skills and confidence to face challenges in the classroom today and throughout their lives.