To engage families and get them excited for the new school year, schools recently conducted community walks.
Community walks serve to connect teachers and staff to families and ensure they are being equipped to support the development of their students and advocate for their success. Initiatives like this reinforce Spring Branch ISD’s Family Education, Engagement and Empowerment Framework (Family E3), which ensures schools partner with families to promote student achievement.
“Building relationships with our families is essential to the success of students,” said Irma Garner, Woodview Elementary principal. “By engaging families we can encourage them to participate in their students’ education, which translates into higher levels of attendance, better academic performance and increased motivation.”
The week before the first day of school, Woodview teachers and staff visited various apartment complexes and distributed backpacks and school supplies to students. With two staff-filled buses, they drove throughout their community excited to connect with families.
Students eagerly waited outside their complexes for the buses to arrive and rushed to hug their teachers as they stepped down the bus stairs.
“It was such a great experience to be part of the community walk,” said Mayan Ontiveros, Woodview teacher. “Our students not only received resources to start the year but they also saw how important they are to us and how excited we are to welcome them back.”
Northbrook Middle School teachers and staff also hosted a community walk prior to school starting. They handed out flyers at apartment complexes in their community to promote their upcoming Meet the Teacher event and encouraged families to attend.
“Initiatives like this help us get to know our students better and gain insight into how we can support them throughout the year,” said Bruce Hill, Northbrook Middle principal. “It also lets families know how important they are to us and the value we place in engaging with our families.”
After the apartment visits, staff members who participated in the community walks discussed what they learned and shared ideas on how they could further engage families throughout the year.
“I enjoyed going on the community walk and seeing my students,” said Northbrook Middle athletic coordinator Hope Grochmall. “It helps build relationships with our families and lets them know that we are here to support them.”
Listed are only a couple of schools that have engaged in community walks. Campuses across SBISD continue to conduct community walks to reach and connect with families.
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