Have you ever wondered how family engagement works at other schools in the School District of Philadelphia? Well, all you have to do is ask! This past March, members of several school communities in North Philadelphia came together to discuss what School Advisory Councils (SACs) look like in each other schools and exchange helpful tips and ideas with each other. Members from the Alexander K. McClure, John F. Hartranft, William H. Hunter, and Julia de Burgos school communities were initially connected by parent Rosa Figeroa, who has children at McClure and Hartranft. She explains, “[I] am in two different schools’ SACs, so I saw the difference between them. The ladies from Hartranft asked about the other…so I decided to ask McClure if they were willing to do this meeting and help each other out.”
In the meeting, attendees first heard from McClure principal Sharon Marino talk about her experience building a SAC a few years ago. Principal Marino says she was happy to support: “Research shows that strong family engagement, and by this I don’t mean the number of families who show up at workshops or meetings or for a school play or musical, but real and authentic conversations, academic and social collaborations, and a partnership, is what drives outcomes for students.” Schools then went one by one to share their SAC’s progress, hear feedback, and ask and answer each others’ questions. Hartranft parent Sharon Solomon, who graduated from the school herself, kept the meeting running smoothly with dialogue and follow-up questions to make the most of their time together.
The group’s passion to strengthen family engagement at their schools was obvious and at the meeting’s end, they committed to continue to meet and learn from each other in the future. Shout out to Principal Marino, Family Engagement Liaison Dalila Bedoya, and Hartranft parents Rosa Figeroa, Sharon Solomon, and Christina Saxton for organizing this conversation and inspiring collaboration around SAC. And of course, thank you to the other school community members who attended for your dedication!
Are you interested in working with your Family Engagement Liaison to learn more about family engagement from surrounding school communities? Contact them directly using the Liaison Directory or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected today!