Thursday, March 16 – During the afternoon Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee public hearing, Jessica Garcia, WSPTA Region 2 Family and Community Engagement Chair/Bellevue PTSA Council President, testified in favor of SHB 1618 (family engagement coordinators). Ms. Garcia spoke with passion about her first-hand experience with family engagement and the great importance it has on her school. She told a story about how one year, there were 92 Hispanic families in their school community, and how best to engage those families. The school, district administrators, the school’s PTA, and community partners talked together about the best ways to accomplish engagement. With Ms. Garcia as a bilingual contact, she was able to connect with each of those families. From the discussion, the decision was made to hold a family information event, fully in Spanish. Through a direct outreach marketing campaign, asking specifically what those families needed, 86 of the 92 families attended. With the hard work of a family engagement coordinator, making sure that all applicable community resources were present, the event was a success. The after-effect of the the Hispanic-focused family engagement event, the school saw an increase in academic achievement and fewer disciplinary actions among Hispanic students. Read Ms. Garcia’s full testimony here.
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