Today I had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Reiko Williams about family engagement. She referenced Joyce Epstein’s Framework of Six Types of Involvement as the model Portland Public School’s use to engage families. The Framework
Portland’s Statement on Equity:
“A key strategy to closing the gap is cultural competency and race awareness training that Portland Public Schools is rolling out district wide. This professional development is offered in partnership with Glenn Singleton and his San Francisco based Pacific Educational Group, which helps education organizations nationwide understand and address the impact of systemic racism on student achievement. The training is built on what’s called Courageous Conversations.”
The dynamics in Portland schools are changing as families move and neighborhoods change. From 2001 to 2011 there have been huge demographics shifts. Keeping these issues in mind – communicating with families and the community is more important than ever.
One thing the speaker mentioned was that the high school engagement and conversations need improvement. By seeing kids by, “their every aspect,” teachers can work smarter and not harder. She also shared a few experiences developing relationships with families and specific ways educators and schools can develop this collaboration. For teachers to educate in the community they need these relationships that inform their teaching.