“We are going to see where our students live,” Adrienne Pere, assistant principal at Northbrook Middle School, told teachers prior to the group getting on buses to do a community walk at the Northwest Corners apartment complex on Pitner Road in Spring Branch ISD.
She asked the teachers to consider, “What is the difference between a house and a home?” A response from one of the teachers set the respectful tone for the community walk: “A house is a building. A home is where the heart lives.”
Principal H.P. Hyder said he and the administrative team at the school reflected over the summer about ways to have more families involved, to positively influence the culture there as well as student achievement. The team decided to get started by meeting and reconnecting with their students and families right where they live, even before the first day of school on August 16.
Based on a previous event organized by Landrum Middle School, the Northbrook Middle School Community Walk was launched.
“We want families to know that we, the staff at Northbrook Middle School, are here to support their student(s) academically,” Hyder said. “We want to partner with parents, and show them ways to get involved in our school.”
Teachers and administrative staff paired up and were given a list of student addresses to visit across the sprawling apartment complex. Each pair included at least one Spanish speaking staff member to facilitate communication with families.
Packets of printed materials, in English and Spanish, were given to the families containing information about school operations, uniforms, who to contact, ideas for supporting their child’s success, buses, school meals and much more.
Hyder accompanied his staff on the community walk and met some of his current and future students.
He wanted each student and family to know, “We will walk along side you, and do everything we can so when you leave Northbrook Middle School, you will be successful in high school.”
See video of Dr. Hyder and community walk event here.
Efforts like these align with the Spring Branch ISD Family Education, Engagement and Empowerment (E3)Framework, in place to ensure schools partner with families to increase student achievement.
Many homes and hearts were reached by the community walk and by the Northbrook Middle School teachers and leaders. Their Collective Greatness and Collaborative Spirit will help their students get a strong start to successful 2021-22 school year.