The Relationships’ Route to Whole School Engagement and School Improvement

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A short course consisting of three 90-minute webinars over three dates

About this Event

Lead Presenter Angela Jerabek: Director of the BARR Center, USA.

Date: 26th , 28th and 29th October 2020

Time: 4:30 pm (London Time)

Introduction

Why has The Bill Gates Foundation given £10 million pounds to BARR (Building Assets, Reducing Risks) to extend their work in US Schools? It’s because its intervention model of intentionally building structured relationships among staff, students and parents, combined with careful use of school data, has had phenomenal performance results in all the 170 schools it works in.

These three webinars will outline how these relationships are built, how school data is used to support the programme and how research can be used to convince schools and funders that your improvement is not a ‘one-off’ achievement.

Session 1: Monday 26th October – Staff-to-Staff Relationships

According to BARR’s theory of change, change in student achievement begins with addressing staff attitudes and behaviours. Too often, leaders and staff skip this step and expect curricular, structural, or other types of changes to provide the solution. Attention to staff then translates into student level changes in attitudes and behaviour.

This session will focus on how to establish and enhance staff-to-staff relationships, regardless of the operational setting (in person or virtual). You will hear from both the BARR Center staff and BARR School educators and we will offer practical tools and tips you can use in your schools.

Session 2: Wednesday 28th October – Staff-to-Student Relationships

BARR’s two pillars are data and relationships. Too often, schools take for granted the ability for teachers to build relationships with students. In reality, staff need support and coaching to build relationships with students. Relationships become the pathway to student engagement forming the foundation for student achievement.

This webinar will focus on how to establish and enhance staff-to-student relationships regardless of the operational setting (virtual or in person). You will hear from both the BARR Centre staff and BARR School educators with tool and tips to use straight away in your setting.

Session 3: Thursday 29th October – Student-to-Student Relationships and Family Engagement

Student engagement is intentionally built into BARR. Through BARR’s social emotional curriculum and its structured, intentional relationship building, students meet peers they may never have encountered in a meaningful way.

We provide the structure so that it occurs in a supportive environment. Students who have gone through this curriculum tell us, “I now trust my classmates. I would never let them down.” BARR’s restructuring of the schedule creates cohorts of students, allowing them to connect more easily with one another.

BARR creates cohorts of teachers with a common schedule. This coordination among teachers results in better and more organized connection with families. When a parent shares information with one block teacher, the child’s teachers are all privy to this information, resulting in less miscommunication.

Moreover, the communication from teachers to parents tends to be strengths-based. Parents are accustomed to hearing what is wrong with their child; BARR tells them what is right. Parents are then more likely to collaborate with the school, especially during this time when their load is heavier than usual in terms of ensuring quality education for their children.

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