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Creating A Family Engagement Plan

In the bustling corridors of Peabody Middle School, change was in the air. The School Improvement Committee, charged with enhancing family engagement, had eagerly taken on the challenge of developing a comprehensive Family Engagement Plan. Armed with Project Appleseed's tools and resources, they embarked on a journey to strengthen the bond between the school and its families.

The committee, consisting of dedicated parents, passionate teachers, committed school staff, visionary administrators, and engaged community members, gathered in the school library to kick off their mission. With the 10 Step Family Engagement Plan as their guide, they began their endeavor.

Forming the committee was the first step, and each member brought a unique perspective to the table. Parents shared their insights into the challenges they faced in engaging with the school, while teachers and staff offered their expertise on effective communication strategies. School administrators provided guidance on aligning the plan with district policies, and community members shared valuable resources to support family-school partnerships.

As they delved into Project Appleseed's resources, the committee members were inspired by the possibilities. They reviewed the Parent Engagement Pledge, Parent Engagement Report Card, Red Carpet Treatment tool, - all found in the Family Engagement Toolbox - with enthusiasm, recognizing the potential impact these tools could have on fostering meaningful connections between the school and families.

With a clear purpose in mind, the committee defined the goals of their Family Engagement Plan: to increase parent participation in school activities, improve communication between school and home, and strengthen the relationship between school and families. They understood the importance of involving stakeholders at every stage of the process and embarked on a comprehensive needs assessment to gather data on the current state of family engagement at Peabody Middle School.

Identifying strategies and tactics was a collaborative effort, with the committee drawing on the wealth of resources provided by Project Appleseed. They discussed distributing the Parent Engagement Pledge and Report Card, implementing the Red Carpet Treatment to welcome all families, and establishing a database of pledged volunteers to support school activities.

As they mapped out a timeline and action plan, the committee allocated resources and set milestones for implementation. They recognized the need for ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure the effectiveness of their efforts and committed to regular reviews and revisions of the plan.

Project Appleseed Workshop

​What are three essential aspects of​ parent engagement? 

Connect, engage and sustain.

Professional development was a key component of their strategy, and they eagerly signed up for Project Appleseed's Traveling Workshop and Family Engagement Toolbox Training. They understood the importance of equipping teachers and staff with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively engage with families.

With the groundwork laid, the committee launched their Family Engagement Plan with enthusiasm. They reached out to families through various channels, from face-to-face meetings to text messages and social media campaigns. They leveraged community partnerships and media outreach to raise awareness of their initiatives and encouraged families to take the Parent Engagement Pledge.

Project Appleseed's Six Slices of Family Engagement

As the school year progressed, the committee celebrated their successes and learned from their challenges. They recognized the importance of perseverance and adaptability in their journey towards creating a more inclusive and supportive educational environment.

At the end of the year, as they reflected on their accomplishments, the committee members knew that their work was far from over. They embraced the mantra of "rinse and repeat," committing to continually improving and refining their Family Engagement Plan to better serve the needs of their school community.

Through their dedication and collaboration, the School Improvement Committee had laid the foundation for lasting change at Peabody Middle School. With Project Appleseed's tools and resources as their guide, they had transformed their vision of family-school partnerships into a reality, enriching the lives of students, families, and educators alike.

Federal policies, such as the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, require schools to communicate and engage with families. School districts receiving Title I, Part A funds must have a written parent engagement plan and involve parents in the development of their Title I programs. Consider these questions for schools to use in order to increase and improve high-impact parent involvement in their student's education.

Questions to Consider for Action Planning: 

✔ Is our school or district presently implementing actions to increase parent engagement such as connecting with parents, engaging parents, and sustaining parents’ involvement? What is missing?



✔ Which new strategy, action, activity, or policy change would be the most feasible and appropriate for our school (or district) to implement? 

    1.    Make a positive connection with parents so they feel welcomed in the school. 



    2.    Provide a variety of activities and frequent opportunities to fully engage parents. 


   a.    Provide parenting support. 

   b.    Communicate with parents. 

   c.    Provide a variety of volunteer opportunities. 

   d.    Support learning at home. 

   e.    Encourage parents to be part of decision making in schools. Collaborate with the community. 

3.    Work with parents to sustain parent engagement by addressing the common challenges to getting and keeping parents engaged.


✔ What resources and buy-in are needed to move the Action Plan forward?


 

✔ What contacts or professional expertise does our team need to help move the Action Plan forward?

 

✔ Who will serve as the team lead for coordinating, refining, implementing, and evaluating the Action Plan?

 

✔ How will our team obtain feedback on our Action Plan ideas from other members of our school, district staff, parents, and students? 


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Guide for Completing the Action Plan Form Action Steps 
Identify a specified parent engagement action, activity, or policy change that will be implemented. 

 

By whom 
List the people who will be responsible for each step. For example, who needs to be involved in planning and implementing the activity or policy and whom would you recommend to assume leadership for the action? 

When 
Identify approximate deadlines for initiating and completing each step.
Describe briefly how the process, progress, or impact of the activity or policy will be evaluated. 

Progress 
list the specific steps needed to implement the action, activity, or policy change. 

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