What’s the ‘real’ art of family-school partnerships?
When I first meet with a school, they describe to me, that even with their very best of intentions, they have incidentally disconnected from their community over time and cannot put their finger on why?
How can this be so?
Student connectedness, communication, parent engagement, attendance, loss of identity and how to measure the real impact of your actions build a wall that seems too challenging to scale.
When I dig a little deeper, we discover some common themes. Multiple technologies, dated communication systems and processes, culture, language, the pace of change, shrinking enrolments, poor school community perception, low levels of workplace joy, loss of identity, unkept physical settings and more contribute to a low level of family-school partnerships.
So what path would you like to follow?
The red line is an accelerating path to more of the same where school-family partnerships are at the whim of the above.
Or, the green line, where a school embeds family-school partnerships into their plan (this should be a given, regarding the research supporting its positive impact on schools). A high-performing community engagement team project manages its strategy and is made accountable. School leaders play the ‘long game’ of school-family partnerships and seek to sustain change over the years, not months. With their team of parallel leaders, the school benchmarks, measures and create artefacts to evaluate their actions.
It’s a big job, but highly achievable! The most relevant decision for you now is which path do you wish to walk in your school?