Two Parents’ Responses to The Engagement Strategies at Strawberry Mansion High School

Posted on April 26, 2021
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Categories: Featured FACEs

In our April Focus on FACE newsletter issue, we had the opportunity to write about the family engagement initiatives happening at Strawberry Mansion High School. After hearing from Principal Brian McCracken, School Counselor Ms. Ameera Sullivan, and Family Engagement Liaison Victoria Trower, we had the chance to hear from two Strawberry Mansion parents to speak about their experiences collaborating with school administrators and staff. Hearing from parent Regina Canty and parent Latisha Brown gave us a deeper look at how the family engagement initiatives at Strawberry Mansion have been received.

Parent Regina Canty, who has a senior at Strawberry Mansion, and Parent Latisha Brown, mother of a sophomore at Strawberry Mansion, both attest that the two strongest ways school staff have been staying connected are by offering help for any barriers to digital learning and by providing consistent communication about the progress of their students. Both parents shared that whenever there were technical issues, school staff were quick to assist them. Ms. Canty explains that when they were having computer issues, the school staff were vigilant to help them troubleshoot the problems so that her student was able to get logged back into class. Ms. Brown also says, “They’ve been checking up on [my son’s] Chromebook situation and any technical issues.” By helping with technology issues, the school staff has helped to reduce barriers to students being able to attend online classes.

In regards to consistent communication, Ms. Canty says, “They’ve been marvelous… Teachers constantly call me, text me. Principal McCracken talked to [my child] one-on-one…” Ms. Canty shares about how her son’s teacher would call to inform her about his attendance and academics so that she can keep track of his progress. Ms. Canty says, “The emails, text messages, the calls from the teacher and the principal have been very helpful.” Parents will not only receive progress reports but also reminders about upcoming meetings and events. Ms. Canty said, “Reminders about report card conferences would come via email, direct text messages–the teacher would choose the medium that works the easiest for me and send it via multiple media so that she can ensure that I get it.” These reminders have been helpful to keep not only students but also parents on the same page. Ms. Brown has a similar experience: “The school staff have been really reaching out: making sure that he gets up for school, making sure that he’s logging in for his classes.” Ms. Brown shares that her son’s teacher will check in and let her know about his attendance and keep track of his academic progress as well.

Because many of these lines of communication have been open through emails, texts, phone calls, zoom calls, etc. both Ms. Canty and Ms. Brown have felt that they are kept within the loop and on the same page as school staff members. Ms. Brown shares, “The staff have been very helpful. I really appreciate them.” Ms. Canty says, “Keep up the good work, Mansion staff! I have been very pleased with the support that the staff have given my son for all 4 years throughout. They really have been my son’s back and support; they really teach him not just as a school but as a family. That has an impact on everything. It has not been just this year, but throughout [all 4 years].” What a great feat to stay connected even while being physically separated for so many months! We celebrate Strawberry Mansion High School in this issue and all of the staff members’ hard work to stay engaged with family members!