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Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0


“Parents, families, educators and communities—there’s no better partnership to ensure that all students have the support and resources they need to succeed in school and in life,” Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of the NEA, said recently.  I’m sure that all of those involved in Mom Congress heartily agree.

You’ll be excited to hear that last week the National Educator’s Association (NEA) released a guide titled “Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0:  Collaborative Strategies to Advance Student Learning” to help educators better connect with parents to support positive student outcomes.

As the guide was officially announced, Stephanie Wood, Executive Editor for Parenting magazine, said, "It’s crucial for both parents and teachers to feel supported in their efforts to help children get the most out of their education.  The NEA guide provides some wonderful strategies to foster better communication between families, schools and community leaders, in order to give each the tools they need to help kids succeed.”

The guide jumps past all the back and forth finger-pointing that often goes on between parents, educators and community leaders and seeks to answer the question – how can we engage and work together for children? 

After giving 10 key strategies for creating effective family-school-community partnerships to advance student learning, the guide gives 16 case studies of programs that are effectively creating these partnerships with incredible results.

One highlighted program, the The Parent-Teacher Home Visit Project (PTHVP) in Sacramento, Calif., trains teachers to visit the homes of all of their students in order to build relationships and work together with parents.  All students are visited so no family is singled out in a negative way.  The program las led to increased student attendance, improved test scores, and reduced suspension and expulsion rates.

I love that the NEA is working to identify successful initiatives and instruct educators on how they can implement these best practices.

According to an NEA press release, three of the takeaways from the programs highlighted in the guide were that educators and parents need to build collaborations with community partners, use data to set priorities and focus strategies, and agree on core values.

The press release states, “The PTHVP model is based on the premise that the family is the expert on the child, the teacher is the expert on the curriculum, but both can learn from the other. Both sides agree that families and educators are equally important co-educators.”

“Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0” Collaborative Strategies to Advance Student Learning,” was released on Parents Day during the 90th anniversary of American Education Week (AEW).  For more information on Parents Day and AEW, click here.  To view the full guide, click Here.

Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.