In this issue …
Family Engagement and Community Partnerships help to build a more vibrant school environment. These valuable practices broaden the scope of support given to students by employing significant input and involvement from families and other partners.
This volume features these important initiatives by individuals and teams engaged in cultivating more robust relationships across our school communities. Authors present innovative practices which include building relationships through family home visits; empowering families with academic parent-teacher teams; offering restorative circles and peer mediation in a trauma-informed school; setting the stage for student directed learning through musical entrepreneurship; improving early literacy achievement for at-risk elementary students; and helping parents from diverse backgrounds to overcome barriers and become more involved in their child’s education.
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Moving Beyond Zero-Tolerance Policies in our Schools: Towards Restorative Practice
by Philip Weinman, Schenectady Federation of Teachers; Sarah Rudgers-Tysz - Mediation Matters
Restorative approaches are proven to have a significant impact on the school environment, placing the emphasis on the relationships between students and adults within the school. A unique partnership between the Schenectady City School District and an area dispute resolution center is giving students and educators the tools to improve their school.
Family Engagement through Academic Parent-Teacher Teams
by Mary Catherine Hillman, Ossining Teachers Association
Academic Parent-Teacher Teams are a vehicle for improving early literacy achievement in at-risk elementary school students. Learn how one Ossining educator used the approach to improve recognition of letter names and sounds along with building a partnership between home and school, family and teacher.
Building Home-School Connections through Parent-Student University
by Justina Ketyer, Hicksville Congress of Teachers; Lisa Estrada, Hicksville Public Schools
How can teachers engage families with diverse language backgrounds? One district used a multi-faceted approach to create a more inclusive atmosphere for parents, with an eye toward student academic success. The Parent-Student University helps families to overcome common barriers and to become more informed and actively engaged in their child’s life at school.
Building Capacity for Family School Engagement through Labor/Management Collaboration
by Seth Cohen, Troy Teachers Association; Natélege Turner-Hassell, Troy City School District
In one low-income neighborhood in the city of Troy, NY, a unique project by the teacher’s union and the district is working to strengthen family-school engagement using home visits, increased communication and Academic Parent-Teacher Teams.
Every Voice Matters
by Eileen Hubbard, Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Teachers Association
One district is using a unique approach to have students take ownership of their own learning while also creating a connection with a community partner. The Entertainment industries elective at Vernon- Verona-Sherrill High School puts students in charge of their learning and empowers them with deciding the legacy that they will leave behind.
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Call for Proposals for Next Issue: Educator's Voice XII