I led an “Ask the Experts” session this week titled “Grow a Relationship-Driven School Culture” at the National Family Engagement Summit in Richmond, Virginia. This post explains some takeaways and shows the presentation slides.
After a brief presentation on the topic, I gave four choices of concepts for the group to decide on discussing. Almost unanimously they chose the topic ‘Ritualize to Actualize.’ We broke into groups and discussed routines that they had in their schools that were the most important and the most effective for family engagement. This session was unique in that it was more of a group discussion on a topic instead of your typical one person presentation. Through this, not only did we have many ideas to share, I know I ended up with a lot of great takeaways.
The second topic chosen was ‘A Shared Vision of Success.’ This was more difficult for many of the participants. This could be an area to further explore and help schools do more to engage their families to create their vision of success in their schools.
Add Meaning and Purpose to Programs
One thing that caught me was about making your activities or routines meaningful. If it you want something done more, make it mean more. Add significance, value, and a greater sense of purpose to the routine if you want others to continue on with it when you aren’t looking.
Four C’s of School Community Engagement
When discussing their strategies, one group initiated a session brainstorm and we created on the spot, the “Four C’s of Family Engagement!” This was an amazing example of getting a ton of really smart educators together, give them opportunity to collaborate, and magic happens in the room!
- COMMUNICATE often and effectively with all stakeholders.
- Be CONSISTENT so others now when and what to expect.
- Be CREATIVE with your ways to engage.
- Show that you CARE in all of your interactions.
Attached are my slides from the presentation and pictures of the ideas that the six groups shared for their best community engagement routines or rituals.