Fellowship Overview

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.

Participating Schools

Pre-kindergarten
  • Weldon Hafley Development Center, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD
Elementary Schools
  • Alfred Sorensen Elementary, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD
  • Blanton Elementary, Arlington ISD
  • Bright Elementary, Frisco ISD
  • Cedric C. Smith Elementary, Magnolia ISD
  • Constance Hulbert Elementary, Ysleta ISD
  • East Point Elementary, Ysleta ISD
  • Elma E. Barrera Elementary, Santa Rosa ISD
  • F.W. Gross Elementary, Victoria ISD
  • Griffith Elementary, Brazosport ISD
  • Gulledge Elementary, Plano ISD
  • Independence Elementary, Keller ISD
  • Jean & Betty Schmalz Elementary, Katy ISD
  • Janett Brockett Elementary, Mansfield Elementary
  • Judy Rucker Elementary, Prosper ISD
  • Pewitt Elementary, Pewitt CISD
  • Robert B. Sewell Elementary, Garland ISD
  • Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary, Socorro ISD
  • Spicewood Park Elementary, Southwest ISD
  • Travis Elementary, Harlingen CISD
Middle Schools
  • Clifton Middle, Clifton ISD
  • Killough Middle, Alief ISD
  • Ricardo Middle, Ricardo ISD
  • Sam Houston Middle, Garland ISD
High Schools
  • Lancaster High, Lancaster ISD
  • Mount Calm High, Mount Calm ISD

Design Camp Experience

Intensive Learning in the Texas Hill Country

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.

Speakers

Jesús Gerena

Jesús Gerena

Dr. Darnisa Amante

Dr. Darnisa Amante

Dr. Irvin Scott

Dr. Irvin Scott

Susan Yanun

Susan Yanun

Norma Rios-Sierra

Norma Rios-Sierra

Elizabeth Canada

Elizabeth Canada

Dr. Maria Paredes

Dr. Maria Paredes

Adeeb Barqawi

Adeeb Barqawi

Nicole Bevilacqua

Nicole Bevilacqua

Dr. Veronica Benavides

Dr. Veronica Benavides

Fellows share about their commitment to family engagement and why the work matters.

“The task before us is large but it is important and it is achievable. We are fortunate to be part of this fellowship that will provide knowledge, support, and encouragement as we redefine family engagement at our campus!”
“Family partnerships means engaging members of a child’s family to join our school as equals. Every child has a rich resource to raise him up when a school can vulnerably step back and realize barriers we have inadvertently built inhibiting full participation. Child advocacy equates to family advocacy, and every school must plan for ways to empower families to build capacity as child educators. I have the responsibility and power to make this positive change happen.”
“I realized that family engagement is much more than fluff … it’s about empowerment. It’s about community involvement. It’s about self-efficacy. Most of all, it’s about student success because of a community built on trust and relationships.”

Top-Notch Instruction on Family Engagement

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.