Community Engagement and Empowerment

Action Team Goal:

Parents and community members should embrace opportunities to support schools and children.

Meeting 6 Recap

Brainstormed around project implementation to prepare for the next phase, focusing on parent workshops and:

  • Workshop leadership diversity

  • Potential partners

  • Recruitment

  • Pilot audience

  • Workshop pilot location

  • Overall goal

Highlights from this discussion include:

  • Building an accepting/trusting environment for parents

  • Workshop leadership by parents and community leaders

  • Parent, teacher, and school focus group to identify needs/priorities for the workshop series

  • Diversity in workshop leaders with an emphasis on a leader who is Spanish-speaking

  • Vetting process for potential partners so they do not replicate oppression or create harm

  • Personalized invitations and incentives to attract parents to the space

  • Beginning the pilot with 4 meetings during the school year that are up to an hour and a half long

 

Meeting 5 Recap

  • Consolidated ideas, chose to work on providing workshops and trainings throughout the year for parents in pilot schools

  • Workshops would provide various engagement activities, knowledge building, and trainings based on parents’ and students’ needs

  • Team decided they would like to see these workshops piloted in

    • Orchard Knob Elementary

    • Orchard Knob Middle

    • Howard feeder pattern

  • The team wants this program to include

    • cultural competency training for facilitators and workshop attendees

    • both language translators and child care

 

Meeting 4 Recap

  • The team spent the first half of the meeting crafting project ideas around the subject of increasing parent engagement

  • Participants underwent a voting and workshopping process to narrow down project ideas. The 3 project ideas discussed were:

    • supporting the community school model

    • creating a parent-needs-based class

    • training front office staff and liaison staff to better engage parents and create a welcoming environment in schools

  • The group felt more discussion and input from parents was needed before narrowing scope of project

 

Meeting 3 Recap

  • Participants discussed multiple current community efforts to more effectively engage parents in our schools, including Parent University, community school strategies, and community engagement specialists

  • Participants explored how the group can build upon current programming to increase parent involvement and support in schools

 

Meeting 2 Recap

  • Participants determined ways in which parents and community members can currently be involved in schools, including opportunities and challenges associated with both

  • Group members analyzed approaches from the following best practice approaches and research

    • Parent University

    • community organizing strategies with parents across the country

    • community schools models for engaging parents

    • connecting businesses, churches, and local organizations to schools

 

Meeting 1 Recap

  • Participants discussed what community engagement and empowerment would look like

  • Identified what successful community and parental engagement looks like for Hamilton County schools

  • The group determined the opportunities and challenges faced in ensuring parents and community members are embracing opportunities to support schools and children

 

Next Steps:

UnifiEd and members of the team will be setting up meetings with principals to pitch this idea and gauge interest in piloting this project. Next meeting, we will have principal feedback to determine the pilot area and will build out the curriculum for this project.