Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD

The Role of Parents

Where do parents fit into Baldrige?
How can I support the school?
What is my job as a parent to support my child's learning?
How can I apply quality tools at home?

Where Do You Fit into Baldrige?

Baldrige is a stakeholder model. Parent involvement is key to the success of a Baldrige-guided school or classroom.

Parent Input Is Key to School Improvement

Through parent input, schools can: Parents at school meeting
  • Incorporate the expectations that parents have of their school into school improvement planning
  • Understand the needs of students from the parents' perspectives
  • Solicit parent expertise in problem-solving
  • Focus contributions of time from volunteers to support goals/objectives
  • Collaborate with parent organizations (e.g. PTA) so their efforts can support the goals/objectives of the school

How Can You Support the School?


Participate in the school improvement planning (SIP) process by attending meetings and being an active and constructive voice as the SIP is developed. Parents can also participate in other school functions such as going to Back to School nights, giving feedback to teachers, asking questions at school, etc.


Contribute opinions, comments and feedback. Schools look to parents for ways to improve. Be sure to complete surveys as they are provided to you.

Be informed

Be informed and on the lookout for:

• information regarding Baldrige implementation in school newsletters or on the MCPS or local school website

• meetings in which you can learn about the school, Baldrige, etc

• your child's data notebook or folder; provide time for your child to share the contents of the notebook or folder.

Be patient

Be patient as the school learns this new process for school improvement. Remember that Baldrige is about continuous improvement. Learn about the successes and "lessons learned" in the spirit of continuous improvement. (adapted from College Gardens ES web site)

Learning: Whose Job Is It?

In Baldrige classrooms, one of the first tasks at the beginning of the school year is for students to learn about taking responsibility or accountability for learning.

My job, your job, our job example, close up
view larger image

Traditionally the teacher has carried the responsibility for learning. In Baldrige-guided classrooms, however, students learn to become responsible or accountable for their learning. Whereas the teacher guides learning and the parent supports learning, the student learns to take the responsibility for his or her learning, including the bottom line – the results. Teachers are provided with training and resources (e.g., My Job, Your Job, Our Job: Building a Classroom Learning System) to support this effort. They guide students in analyzing who has the responsibility for learning. Students also learn skills to become independent learners and to work cooperatively with other students in meeting class goals.
How to Use My Job, Your Job, Our Job (32K Word)

Parent Guide: Ways to Support Learning

As a parent, you may use the questions on the Parent's Baldrige Guide (56K PDF) to think about ways you can support the learning process for your child in a Baldrige-guided classroom.
bullet pointPrint the parent guide (56K PDF)

How Can You Apply Quality Tools at Home?

Quality tools are visual organizers that help students with planning, decision-making, and problem solving in many situations : on the job, at school, during meetings, in the classroom, and at home.

Flow Charts

Your child may be using a flowchart at school to help him/her get organized for class in the morning or for a biology lab. If you would like to get part of your day organized with your child, try a flow chart for getting ready for school in the morning or for doing homework in the afternoon or evening.
bullet pointExample flow chart (31K Word)

Plus/Delta Tool

At school, the teacher might ask students how the school day or a particular lesson went. To initiate the “pluses”, the teacher asks, “What went well today?” These are charted with the idea of reinforcing the “pluses” in the future. To discuss the “deltas”, the teacher elicits from the students those things that need improvement. The focus is not on criticism but on what can be done to improve things for the next day/lesson. (Beginning “delta” statements with a verb helps channel ideas in a positive, constructive manner.)

Example Plus/Delta
At home, you might wish to discuss with your child how the evening’s homework session went. Here is an example of how the ideas you and your child generated could be charted or discussed:

(what went well)
(ideas for improvement)
  • Homework was completed
  • I remembered to bring home all the needed materials to complete my homework
  • I was not distracted by the phone ringing
  • Have a snack and 30 minutes of play/relaxation before doing homework
  • Make a note or underline what I don't understand in my homework
  • Turn off the TV when I am working
To be successful with the plus/delta tool:
  • Reinforce each suggestion in a positive and constructive manner
  • Keep focused on suggestions for improvement
  • Be sure to reinforce the “pluses” and to act upon the “deltas”

Force Field Analysis

At school, the teacher might ask students to analyze current behaviors/beliefs that may be “drivers” or “preventers” in reaching goals. Once “preventers” have been identified, a plan for action can be formulated to address the issues.

Example Force Field Analysis
At home, you and your child might wish to focus on an individual goal such as scoring 90% on math tests. Ask your student:

  • What are you currently doing to help you achieve your goal? (Drivers)
  • What is keeping you from reaching your goal? (Preventers)

Drivers Preventers
  • Completing homework each night
  • Paying attention in class
  • Studying for tests
  • Not asking for help when there is something I don’t understand
  • Waiting until the last night to study for tests
How will you strengthen the Drivers? How will you reduce the Preventers?

Action Plan

An action plan is a tool that can be used to record tasks that need to be completed in order to reach goals.

Example of an Action Plan

What needs to accomplished? Who will be responsible for the task? When will the task be completed?
Ask for help: make an appointment with the teacher; find a study buddy Student Immediately after it becomes apparent that understanding has not been achieved: check with teacher or study buddy
Begin studying three days before the test Student During the three days (evenings) before the test

Related Topics in Baldrige for Parents

November 23, 2010 | Maintained by Web Services | Content Manager: Michael Perich