Raising Family Partnerships, a family engagement fellowship for public school principals and their leadership teams, seeks to redesign how families, schools, and communities collaborate to improve student outcomes across the state.
The fellowship commenced in the summer of 2017 with two intensive design camps in Austin, Texas and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The immersive all-expenses-paid camp experiences provided campus leadership teams the opportunity to solidify their family engagement goals and strategies, leadership approaches, and current practices.
As a Raising Family Partnerships fellow, principals and their leadership teams will continue to learn from experts, as well as each other, the various ways to advance their campus and community strategies.
At the end of the fellowship year, teams will invite leaders of other schools in their district to a design workshop to help scale impact beyond the program participants. There, fellows will showcase their family engagement plans, implementation outcomes, and lessons learned, helping others understand the opportunities and resources available for their own campuses.
Family and community engagement teams from across Texas converged on Travaasa Austin in northwest Travis County for a week of intensive learning. Pioneers in the emerging field of family and community engagement led sessions on topics ranging from team building and culture to staff development and data management. Presenters (featured below) included Dr. Irvin Scott, lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Dr. Maria Parades, developer of a family and community engagement implementation model, and Jesús Gerena, CEO of the Family Independence Initiative.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, 10 Raising Family Partnerships teams received instruction from some of the nation’s most informed advocates of family and community engagement research. During a week at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, teams worked on honing their strategies for collaborating with families, particularly with regard to unique populations.
Both sets of cohorts in Austin and Cambridge were charged with devising and presenting a preliminary plan for implementing new and improved ways of working with their families and communities to improve student outcomes.
A panel of family engagement experts offered immediate, comprehensive feedback and suggestions on ways to execute the plans.