At the Learning Community we are committed to build strong relationships with every family. We see families as the greatest strengths in their children’s lives. Children need and deserve to see all the educators in their school treat their families with the deepest respect. We are also committed to being a community – in hard times as well as easy times. That means when a family is experiencing hardship of any kind, we are there with them and we will do everything we can to support them.
We believe that family engagement can take many forms, just as there are so many ways to be a family. Traditional models of family engagement, PTOs and volunteering for example, work best for some people, especially people with wealth and time. Such models largely exclude or devalue the contributions of others, especially those with fewer financial resources and free time. The strengths and contributions of all families are equally valuable at the Learning Community.
Rather than have a PTO, for instance, we have Parent Cafes. All families are personally invited. Cafes happened in the morning and evening to allow everyone to attend. Families also build strong connections with one another in the Parent Café space. This is just one way we build deep and trusting relationships with our families. Parent Café topics are generated by our family’s needs and interests and by our teams needs to communicate specific content or context for families. Parent Café’s in particular are one avenue for regular communication, a safe space for families to give us regular feedback and expect not only to be heard but also regular follow-through from the LC team. Follow-through that is communicated.
We have always developed ways of engaging families together with our families – to match the lived realities of their lives, what is most meaningful for their children, and what grows real community for all of us together.