Community Achieves defines the Family Engagement pillar as follows: Families and schools serve as full partners in every child's education and are equipped to assist with learning and be actively involved in a welcoming school community.
Our goal is that Community Achieves schools form networks of results-focused partners to support the school community in achieving these common outcomes:
Families are actively involved in children's education
Famillies provide strategic, proactive solutions in partnership with the school
- Incentives/giveaways to increase number of parents who volunteer and attend school events
- Branding/promotion help - to build community awareness of school
- Communications/information distribution assistance - social media, flyers, translation, etc.
- Logistical/transportation support getting parents to the school after hours
- Translation support at school events
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Review the common asks listed above, or check out Community Achieves schools' site-specific needs and asks in the box below. Then, respond to the College & Career Readiness Invitation to Participate by submitting a response via the form to the right!
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Site-Specific Needs & Asks Site-Specific Needs & Asks
NEEDS & ASKS BY CLUSTER
Antioch Cluster • Cane Ridge Cluster • Glencliff Cluster • Hunters Lane Cluster • Maplewood Cluster • McGavock Cluster • Overton Cluster • Pearl-Cohn Cluster • Stratford Cluster • Whites Creek Cluster
NEEDS & ASKS BY INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL
Antioch High • Bailey Middle • Buena Vista Elementary • Cole Elementary • Creswell Middle • DuPont Hadley Middle • Gra-Mar Middle • Hunters Lane High • Inglewood Elementary • Jere Baxter Middle • Joelton Middle • Margaret Allen Middle • McKissack Middle • Napier Elementary • Pearl-Cohn High • Tusculum Elementary • Whitsitt Elementary
In the 2015 Tell TN faculty and staff survey, 76.9% of Antioch’s parents feel they know what's going on in the school. Additionally, 51.7% are influential decision makers in the school and 81.9% of parents and guardians support teachers contributing to their success with students.
Antioch strives to create an environment for family engagement; this year we have created the Community Partnership Team which includes the Executive Principal, Family Involvement Specialist, Academy Coach and Family Resource Center Director to focus on events for family engagement and to continue to seek vital partnerships within the community to support the success of our students and their families.
Antioch invites organizations to provide workshops and assistance to help parents and adult community members to engage in the state’s Drive to 55 Initiative -- the Drive to get 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025.
Margaret Allen’s enrollment numbers have seen a decline in recent years, with a loss of 9% in 2015-16 from last year (current enrollment is 469). We believe that a focused effort on branding and a communications plan will increase the school’s capacity to attract families and become the #1 option for families. As such, Margaret Allen is inviting community organizations and individuals to partner with the school to develop a branding and communication plan.
Over the past several years, Cole has had a strong record of family engagement. However, results from the Tell Tenn 2014-15 survey show a slight reduction in the percentage of faculty and staff that feel parents and guardians support teachers, know what is going on in the school, and that the school does a good job of encouraging involvement. Additionally, only 75% agree that parents and guardians are influential decision makers in the school.
To encourage family engagement, Cole wants to train families to be more active in their child(ren)‘s education by hosting a series of grade-level Data Nights. Cole has used this strategy with some success in the past, but wants to promote it more fully and make it more successful by encouraging more families to attend and participate. We are seeking community organizations or individuals to partner with us in promoting these events in the Fall and Spring.
To continue Cole's success in engaging families in the school and in collaboration with the district, Cole will be implementing Family Academic Success Team Meetings, PTO trainings, and leadership development and skills trainings to empower parents to support student learning at home. To facilitate this program, Cole is inviting community organizations and individuals to provide supplies for parents to use at home to support student learning.
To recruit parents and guardians to become decision makers in the school, Cole is also seeking support from community organizations or individuals to partner with us to promote and better equip our PTO program, parent committees, and members of the parent advisory committee.
The parents of less than 5% of the students at Whitsitt had Gradespeed accounts in 2015-15. Gradespeed is a communication tool, encouraged by MNPS, to facilitate information sharing about student performance in school, including grades, comments, and school records on attendance and tardies.
93% of our students come from economically disadvantaged families. Given the high poverty rate among the Whitsitt families, we believe parent/family literacy programs or workshops to teach parents how to assist students with academies will help students attain academic goals.
Whitsitt will organize a Gradespeed workshop through MNPS Support Services. We are inviting community organizations and individuals to provide additional and ongoing activities and workshops to parents while their children are working on academics.
With Saturday School starting in December, there will be a need to provide parent programs.
There’s a pending partnership with a Hispanic United Methodist Church that may provide childcare and parent workshops while students are getting extra help. Saturday school is from 9 am to noon. Faculty and staff that signs up to work on Saturday will do so from 8:30 to 1 pm.
Whitsitt needs to partnerships that will be able to provide workshops to parents.
Administration has asked for CA to help the Whitsitt PTO, which is new and has not operated smoothly, with everything from communications to help them organize in order to have an efficient PTO. MNPS staff, Manny Ehiuma has committed to help with this. The PTO needs help from the district and local organization on how to efficiently fundraise and organize.
Parental engagement is still a struggle for Gra-Mar Middle Prep. We know that if we can help and support our parents we will save our students. The poverty rate for our families is at 94%, which means they are either under-employed or unemployed. We want to look at ways we can bring resources onsite at the school to support them. We would like to create a parent space that will provide our families with their own space where everything is geared toward helping them be the best they can be for themselves and their child. We want to offer workshops and training for them in this center. If they want to stop and search the internet for employment they can do so. The goal is to get our families in the building and to get them any additional assistance they need to be successful.
Gra-Mar Middle Prep is looking for organizations that can provide financial literacy workshops and computer training classes for our families in our New Parent Center (opening in October). We need workshop offerings for the parents, e.g., How to Use the Internet, How to Set Up and Monitor with Gradespeed, Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and Outlook. We would like to offer budgeting classes and homebuyer education classes for our families.
Gra-Mar Middle Prep is also looking for employers who could offer our families opportunities for employment or job readiness training. We would also like vendors for our job fair the date and time is TBD.
Based on the Tell Tennessee survey administered in 2015, 83% of the faculty and staff believed teachers provide parents/guardians with useful information about student learning, and only 79% felt the school does a good job of encouraging parent/guardian involvement. However, only 26% felt that parents/guardians were influential decision makers in the school, and just under half felt parents/guardians supported teachers, contributing to their success with students.
To address the need to engage families in the school’s decision making and to support teachers and students, JBMP has recently established a Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO). We are asking for community organizations and individuals to help us build the PTSO with information and activities that will increase the families’ capacity to be involved in the school, with their children’s education, and the decision making of the school. Types of support may include sharing of information or organization resources at school Open Houses or Parent-Teacher Conferences
Jere Baxter Middle Prep is also in need of community partners that will help spread the word to the community about the available space for parents to come and Job Search, apply for housing, fill out school applications, and help with Grade speed.
We are also in need of community partners to allow GED opportunities for our parents.
Jere Baxter would like to sponsor “Thanksgiving in a box” we would need partners to donate Turkey’s, Ham’s, Can Goods, and Non-Perishable items to make this happen.
Jere Baxter is also in need of community partners to sponsor community events i.e. Movie Nights, Spring Dances, as well as Teacher Appreciation Weeks.
Based on the annual TellTN survey, the faculty and staff DHMP rated community support and involvement as relatively high, with 91% feeling the community is supportive and 87% feeling community members support teachers. However, only 65% feel parents and guardians are influential decision makers in the school and 78% feel parents and guardians support teachers.
DHMP would like community organizations or individuals to sponsor school events and become involved in school activities, increase parent community volunteers, and help the school to have a larger community presence, We would also like partners to promote and attend our VIP tour days and hold Community Watch Meetings at the school.
To address our goal of increasing family engagement, DHMP would also like to promote student transitions from 4th to 5th grade and from 8th to 9th grade. In addition to opening VIP tour days to zoned or potential families, DHMP is requesting community organizations or individuals to partner with the school to help promote the school and to strategize ways to make DHMP the middle school choice for families.
Napier Enhanced Option Elementary School:
Data from the 2014 Tell TN survey show that Napier faculty and staff provided largely favorable ratings of Community Support and Involvement, with an average rate of agreement for the scale at 79%, and increase of 9% points over the last year. However, 2 items had especially low rates of agreement rates, with 36% agreeing 'parents and guardians are influential decision makers in this school' and 48% agreeing 'parents/guardians support teachers, contributing to their success with students." Only 2% of parents have Gradespeed accounts.
Though the PTO is strong, the quantity of parents involved in the school leadership is low, as only about 12 parents regularly attend weekly Parent Council meetings and there is a need for recruitment of parental involvement in a leadership capacity.
While Napier has a strong parent council, we are developing a Parent Volunteer Team. We would like to identify additional new partners to help us increase the number of parents in the formal parent organization and/or on formalized teams. We are asking for partners who want to be involved helping recruit and gain excitement for major parent events, as well as donating meals and snacks for our events. We are also seeking items and monetary incentives to use for the monthly drawings we host for parents who are present in the building.
We are looking for partners to help us host large scale events to tie to learning by providing meals and resources for families.
Napier Elementary is looking for donations of household items (cleaning supplies, food, etc.) and other items of interest to adults for the parent incentive drawing for parents who enter the building each morning to walk their child to class. This effort is to encourage parental presence at Napier.
Approximately 71% of parents at Tusculum ES identify a language other than English as the one spoken at home.
In 2014, according to the TELL survey, teachers and staff felt that 79% of parents knew what was going on at school. By 2015 this had fallen to 59.5%. Only 35.7% of teachers felt that parents were influential within the school. 64.3% felt that they had parental support.
ELDA/ WEDA assessments show a rate of 1.8% English Proficiency for Tusculum students.
Tusculum parents quite often depend on their children to translate at parent engagement events. In order to improve family engagement by increasing familiarity with the school, Tusculum has monthly First Friday Breakfast with the Principal events. Parents, community members and Tusculum staff are able to get to know each other, share time together as well as get news and information about school, community events and available social services. Tusculum also hosts grade level parent data nights, math nights, game nights, Open House, Back to School Bash, as well as a variety of parent workshops and end of year recognition and transitional events.
Tusculum seeks assistance with strategic planning to incorporate more parents by obtaining transportation for parents to and from four apartment complexes, additional volunteer translators, food for breakfasts and data night suppers.
To improve communication between school, home and community, strategic planning assistance relevant to the design, translation, and publishing of monthly newsletters, flyers and pamphlets would be most appreciated.
Buena Vista Enhanced Option Elementary School:
While BVEOS has substantially high participation (>300 students and families) at the six Student Showcases throughout the year, the school continues to look for ways to engage and collaborate with parents. Each Student Showcase Agenda includes time for a parent meeting, a meal, and a celebration of student success.
Despite high attendance to our Showcases, the data from the 2014-2015 Tell Survey shows that only 51.4 percent of BVEOES faculty and staff feel that parents/guardians are influential decision makers in the school. Additionally, only 77.8 percent of faculty and staff feel that parents/guardians support teachers and contribute to their success with students. This is substantiated with very low numbers of parents and guardians having an active account on Gradespeed (only 6 percent as of 2014-2015).
BVEOES invites partners to assist the school in strategizing for ways to attract parents to school events and parent meetings. BVEOES believes strongly in thanking parents for successful school engagement and likes to offer incentives and give-aways whenever possible, for families who attend programs and meetings on a consistent basis.
Additionally, BVEOES seeks partners who are interested in facilitating programs aimed at enhancing and advancing family empowerment.
According to the Spring 2015 Tell Survey, 57% of MMP teachers reported parents/guardians contribute to student success. To improve this, we need to increase parent attendance and engagement in academic activities/programs. MMP also wishes to engage the PTO in decision making at MMP.
Resources to support students and parents TOGETHER in mental health (incarcerated/deceased family members, emotional/learning disabilities, addiction). For example, support groups or one-on-one counseling.
Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Management Magnet High School:
In the 2015 Tell TN faculty and staff survey, 75% of Pearl-Cohn parents feel they know what's going on in the school. Additionally, only 45.5% are influential decision makers in the school and only 62.5% of parents and guardians support teachers contributing to their success with students.
Pearl-Cohn invites organizations to provide workshops and assistance to help parents and adult community members to engage in the state’s Drive to 55 Initiative -- the Drive to get 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025.
Bailey has identified the following areas as needing improvement to increase Family Engagement: sharing of data during the Parent Advisory Committee / Family Ambassadors and other parent meetings, increasing participation in Parent Teacher Conferences, and increasing Gradespeed accounts from 31% to 50%.
Bailey will accomplish improvements through the Parents2Partnters workshop/Parent University Series. Community Achieves and Communities in Schools will partner with teachers to host Data Nights, implementation of F.A.S.T conferences, and the Parent Advisory Committee / Family Ambassadors parent meetings.
Bailey will invite existing partners to help make events a success and invite new partners as needs arise. Bailey is not currently seeking additional partners to support family engagement outcomes in the school.
Data from 2014 TELL TN Survey show that only 44% of staff felt “parents/guardians are influential decision makers in the school.” Also, down from 88.9% in 2013, only 77.8% felt that parents/guardians know what is going on in the school. Only 66.7% felt “community members support teachers, contributing to their success with students.” While our PTO leadership is extremely active and most teachers attended the PTO kick-off, a very small number of parents attended the first two PTO events for 2015-16, and a small number of families are PTO members.
To increase parent and family involvement, IES will launch the F.A.S.T. program this year, providing a strong opportunity for parents to join teachers as a team in their students’ achievement. We are also actively developing strategic partnerships with neighborhood and citywide organizations to support the school. IES invites community organizations and individuals to partner with the school to plan strategically to make this program and additional school and PTO events successful through improved communication (e.g., high-quality newsletters, fliers, posters, t-shirts, fans, signage and other “SWAG” type products), incentives (e.g., catering/snacks, incentives/door prizes, gift cards, merchandise, books, foods, clothing) and logistical support (e.g., coordinated transportation, volunteer ambassadors, childcare during parent meetings, signage/decoration).
Demographics shows that many IES students likely have unstable family circumstances, with fathers and father figures typically absent, incarcerated, or transient in their children’s lives. Most IES parents who bring their children to school are female, most of our regular volunteers are female. Studies show that having more fathers (and father figures) actively engaged in school activities reduces the incidence of problematic behavior and bullying. WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) is an innovative initiative of the National Center for Fathering. IES invites community partners to provide volunteers to become founding members of Inglewood Elementary’s Watch D.O.G.S. group and become sponsors, lunch buddies, classroom/recess/hallway monitors, and mentors for students and teachers.
Creswell Arts Magnet Middle Prep:
In the 2014-15 Tell TN survey, 62.5% of Creswell faculty and staff reported that “parents/guardians are influential decision makers in this school” and only 63.2% reported that “parent /guardians support teachers, contributing to their success with students.”
Creswell has an active PTSO and is developing a new parent volunteer program encouraging families to volunteer 10 hours during the school year, which we are calling "Ten for Creswell." We would like to build an incentive program, e.g., monthly gift card drawings, prizes, meals/refreshments. We are inviting community organizations, businesses, and individuals to partner with us to strategize ways to increase participation and attendance at events such as our Fall Festival, Music, Drama and Art showcases, Awards, Literacy and Math nights, PTSO and Parent /Teacher conferences.
We are also inviting community organizations, businesses, and individuals to build relationships with the school, develop strategic plans for ongoing and future support, and provide educational and informational workshops for parents to nurture family engagement and stronger partnerships between families and the school.
Data from the 2014 Tell TN survey administered to faculty and staff indicate a need to focus improvement efforts on family engagement. Only 37.5% of the survey participants agreed that parents/guardians are influenced decision makers in this school. Only 35.7% believed that parents/guardians support teachers, contributing to their success with students.
There is currently no active PTO in the school. We would like to identify partners to help form a PTO. We are asking for partners who want to be involved in helping recruit and gain excitement for major parent events, as well as donating meals and snacks for our events. We seek speakers to build up and empower parent with parenting education and resources during parents meetings and events once the PTO is formed. In addition, to support our schools effort in increasing our math scores, we would like to start math and literacy nights here at the school for our parents.