The evidence is beyond dispute. When schools forge strong relationships with families to support learning, students tend to succeed both academically and socially.
Based on her research, Karen Mapp from Harvard University developed a joining process that calls for
1) welcoming families into the school
2) honoring their participation
3) connecting with parents through a focus on the children and their learning.
This three-part joining process creates a school culture where parents feel valued, connected, and motivated to be more active in their children’s schooling. These strategies provide unique opportunities to start off on the right foot with families.
Traditionally, family engagement events are structured so that families are mostly ‘talked at’ by teachers and administrators, the main focus is on providing information. We encourage you to make this an opportunity for staff and families to begin to build trusting relationships and to experience your classroom and the school as a learning community where students, families, and staff work together towards a common goal: the success of every student.
Click on the links to find examples of how schools in APS are applying foundational strategies to initiate strong relationships with families. These highlighted strategies are cornerstones for building an effective family-school partnership early on.