School Turnaround

  • Family and Alumni Engagement Strategy

    Click here. Among several factors that lead to success in turnaround schools is a strong partnership between stakeholders, especially family and alumni. The feedback the APS community provided in earlier stages of our strategy development supports this focus and there's agreement that a successful implementation of a family and alumni engagment program will benefit our students district-wide. 

    This page provides a broad outline of our overall strategy. For further details, review our presentations and strategy documents linked in this section. And when you have a few moments, please know that your feedback for ongoing improvement is welcome. 

    APS Family & Alumni Engagement Strategy December 2016 version

    APS Family Engagement Strategy November 2016 redline version

    APS Family Engagement Timeline Presentation 

    Draft Policy - LEBA Family Engagement

     

     


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    Hypothesis & Research

    We started from the premise that if we identified the right drivers for meaningful engagement, our students would benefit. 

    To identify those drivers, between May and September 2016, we sought input from internal, external and secondary sources

     

    Process

    With guidance from a cross-functional,
    internal steering committee, we:

    • Conducted APS data-gathering activities to identify current APS family engagement strategies and initiatives
    • Gathered input from APS stakeholders through interviews and focus groups
    • Administered a parent survey that was distributed district-wide
    • Identified key engagement best practices through secondary research

    Four Themes Emerged

    Culture & Leadership        

    Leaders must focus on building a culture of engagement and holding people accountable for creating a welcoming environment

    Commit to engagement standards and accountability at all levels of leadership

    Ensure everyone is responsible for creating a welcoming environment

    Rebuild trust through strategic intent and consistency in actions and interactions

    Develop expectations and boundaries to support effective partnerships and collaboration with families and alumni

    Invest in recruitment strategies and professional development to support positive engagement

    Communication  

    Authentic, two-way communication builds trust, enhances relationships and is the foundation for increased engagement at all levels

    Ensure communication is accurate, consistent and relevant to all stakeholders, particularly parents/caregivers and alumni

    Personalize and provide vehicles for interaction when communicating with parents/caregivers, whenever possible

    Embed interpretation and translation services in all communications

    Leverage technology, including social media and digital platforms, to extend reach to parents/caregivers and alumni

    Provide access to and navigation within schools and central administration that align with welcoming environment standards

     

    Cluster & School-based Approach

    Effective engagement must align with vision and standards, and should be tailored based on needs of clusters, schools and communities

    Acknowledge that schools and teachers are the engagement “front-line”

    Commit to meet families “where they are”

    Strengthen engagement and relationships through increased interconnections within clusters

    Expand virtual engagement opportunities to broaden participation

    Be intentional about cultivating relationships with alumni and identify specific ways that they can support students

    Organization & Infrastructure

    Investment in organization and infrastructure must be aligned to strategy and resources to support engagement goals

    Ensure infrastructure and resources are aligned at the district, cluster and school level

    Empower parents/caregivers to support their children and be effective partners

    Build capacity of Parent Liaisons to support the school and cluster engagement strategies

    Expand partnerships to better serve family and community needs

    Drive accountability and consistency through performance management, evaluation, and reporting systems

    Invest in staff development to build capacity


    We Achieved Alignment

    Feedback from stakeholders aligned with best practice research

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    Family & Community Engagement

    Develop channels for two-way communication

    Cultivate a welcoming environment

    Build staff capacity to facilitate effective engagement

    Educate and engage parents

    Engage the community

     

    Alumni Engagement

    Connect alumni early and extend engagement throughout life

    Align activities to mission and vision

    Create focal point of contact for programming and communication

    Create a continuum of activities

    Use data to target programming and communication  

     


    speak Recommendations to Support APS Vision
    (as presented to the ABOE, October 2016)

    We recommend the following high-level goals and tactics to support the APS vision of a high-performing school district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage, and the community trusts the system.

    Demonstrate Leadership Commitment

    Adopt board policy

    Define standards of accountability

    Provide professional development

    Foster Two-Way Communication

    Launch technology-enabled communications

    Commit to clear, timely and accurate communications

    Create feedback loop

    Align Organization and Infrastructure to Support Clusters and Schools

    Establish dedicated leader

    Empower GO Teams

    Invest in cluster-based engagement structure

     


    Next Steps

    We are continuing to engage with internal and external stakeholders to finalize our family and alumni engagement strategy. The input that we receive is being integrated, as part of our process. Our final strategy will be presented to the Atlanta Board of Education in December 2016.

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