Sharing power in public schools is a vital component of building strong, inclusive and engaged communities that support the educational success of all students. By empowering families and students to participate in decision-making processes that affect their children, public schools can create a more equitable and effective learning environment that fosters student success.
One of the key goals of sharing power in public schools is to strengthen the family's voice in shared decision-making. This means that families should be seen as partners in the decision-making process, and their input should be valued and taken into account in all decisions that affect their children. In order to achieve this goal, schools need to be transparent and accessible in their communication processes, and families should be given the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns with school leaders.
Another important goal of sharing power in public schools is to build families' connections. Strong and broad-based family organizations can offer families regular opportunities to develop relationships and raise concerns with school leaders, public officials, business, and community leaders. By connecting families to local officials, schools can help families become more engaged in the education process, and foster student and family leadership and civic engagement. This can be done by supporting the development of effective family/parent organizations that represent all families.
Some general ways to build partnerships and share power between schools and families include:
Communication: Encourage open and regular communication between schools and families to build trust and understanding.
Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs): Encourage the formation of PTAs to provide families with a platform for advocacy and to build relationships with school administrators.
Community Outreach: Partner with local community organizations to create programs and initiatives that engage families and provide support.
Student-Led Conferences: Encourage students to take a lead role in reporting their academic progress and setting goals with their families and teachers.
These are just a few examples of how schools and families can work together to share power and make decisions that support student success. By empowering families and students to participate in decision-making processes, schools can help ensure that all students have the support and resources they need to succeed. By working together, schools, families and communities can build stronger and more supportive educational systems that prepare students for the future.