In an effort to increase relationships with families, teachers in Fletcher are spending several weeks researching and designing strategies and systems that promote a strong sense of family engagement, communication and belonging within the school.
Using data from a variety of sources, staff members identified the need to focus attention on strengthening relationships with families in an effort to further enhance student learning. Teachers analyzed information from three surveys including two Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) surveys and the recent parent feedback surveys to determine three primary goals for the work.
The goals include improving students’ social and academic learning by:
- increasing family engagement.
- increasing family communication.
- ensuring that all family members feel welcomed, heard and valued at school.
During the next several weeks, groups of staff members will be working to design and carry out action steps that address these goals. Each staff member has created a Personalized Learning Plan that details their own professional learning in this process, as well as how their group work will address their focus goal and directly create or improve a system or product that improves the school’s relationships with families. By utilizing the personalized learning plan model for professional development, teachers also have the opportunity to experience firsthand the proficiency-based personalized learning structure that they are working to create for students.
Some of the projects that staff members are working on include incorporating more student work into the school newsletter, ensuring greater proactive and timely communication around concerns (before report cards), balancing positive and negative communication with families (ensuring that we celebrate student successes with families), creating a welcoming outdoor environment (outdoor classroom and community walking path), increasing attendance at critical school events and the installation of a visual announcements system in the lobby.
In a recent review of research by the National Education Association, students whose families are involved in their education, regardless of income or background, are more likely to:
- earn higher grades and test scores; enroll in higher level programs.
- be promoted and pass more classes.
- have better attendance.
- have better social skills, show improved behavior and adapt well to school.
- graduate and go on to further their education.
Target 4. Engaged Community Partners. FWSU staff and students engage in authentic learning opportunities with local, regional, state and global partners to make a difference in their community, state and world.
Indicator of Success – Collaborative Projects and partnerships are part of the fabric of the broader community.
Action Step – Engage community partners in focused, collaborative inquiry processes to address community needs.