The Office of Family Engagement and Equity would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!
As I reflect back on 2013 and envision what is ahead in 2014, my focus is centered on how to create a climate of partnership between our schools and families. Examples of effective partnerships in action come to mind … Jefferson Elementary’s wonderful ELAC meetings, and Washington’s parent equity meetings, to name just a few. Schools are making exceptional efforts to be more inclusive, recognizing the power of strengthening home-to-school relationships, and the positive benefits these relationships have for our students.
According to the authors of School, Family and Community Partnerships, “Many research studies conducted in the U.S. and other countries show that educators, parents, and students want more and better family and community involvement. The studies indicate that programs of partnership must be developed to reach all families, with activities linked to school goals for student success. Of course, partnership programs must be customized to meet the goals and needs of each school.”
My staff and I, in the Office of Family Engagement and Equity, are dedicated to supporting and furthering the engagement of all families, in all of our schools in Berkeley Unified. With our work over the last 18 months in our six elementary pilot schools, we have seen some great events and the building of systems that include ALL families and we look forward to sharing techniques and strategies worth replicating. We would love to hear from you! What events and school systems/structures make you feel like a partner in your child’s educational journey? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.