What is family and community engagement (FACE)?
• FACE fosters and builds community within our schools where all feel welcome, can contribute, can benefit, and make a positive difference for all kids;
• FACE supports relationships between teachers, staff, administrators, families and community partners;
• FACE can blend local and global resources to meet community needs (both bringing in and sharing out resources)
Why is education focused on FACE?
40 years of research have shown that in within schools that encourage strong family engagement:
• Improved student scores
• Lower dropout rate
• Fewer missed school days and tardiness
• Academic programs/events involving parents have more success
• Parents think more highly of teachers
• Higher employee morale
• More school support from families
• Better school reputation in community
New ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) legislation includes family engagement in federal, state and district school assessment. The new processes and regulations are currently being discussed in work groups in Olympia. Districts will be working on family engagement plans, preparing for the roll out of ESSA legislation in 2017-2018. This year, districts will also be rolling out fully funded all-day kindergarten with new family engagement guidelines and requirements. How will your schools engage your families?
PTA can play an integral role in family engagement through:
• Communication (open, two-way communication between families and PTA, school, district and community organizations)
• Parent Education (information on how to navigate the school system, how parents can support their children in school, nutrition, safety, other education based on needs of families in each community) best if done in collaboration with district/school personnel.
• Learning-based programming (collaborate with school admin and teachers to enhance student learning through assemblies, hands-on student workshops, PTA events such as STEM, reading or math nights)
• Community Building (fun events that celebrate the community such as an International night, dance, games nights)
• Advocating for parent voices on decision-making bodies (use strong, positive relationships with school and district administration to promote inclusion of parents on hiring committees, facilities use task forces, curriculum selection committees and more)