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445 Warren Street Boston, MA 02121 Phone: (617) 635-9660

Office of Family & Student Engagement [Mid-Year/Annual] Report [Year-Year]

+Office of Family & Student Engagement [Mid-Year/Annual] Report 2 Boston Public Schools (BPS) Vision for Family & Student Engagement

“Every school will welcome every family and every student actively engaging them in student learning and school improvement.” Mission & Theory of Change Research consistently demonstrates that family involvement in children’s education has a significant positive effect on student achievement.1 Indeed, experts contend that “partnerships among schools, families, and community groups are not a luxury—they are a necessity.”2 Toward that end, the mission of the Office of Family and Student Engagement (OFSE) is to build the capacity of BPS schools, staff, families, students and communities to establish the kinds of partnerships that strengthen student learning and improve schools. This mid-year report reflects the Office’s progress toward achieving the goals that are aligned to our theory of change.

If we simultaneously build the capacity of families, schools, and students to engage in ways that promote and strengthen partnerships focused on the mutual accountability for student success and school improvement,

then we will have more schools with welcoming and engaging school climate, more teachers who are actively engaging students and their families in classroom practice, more families that are actively engaged in supporting learning at home and more families, students and teachers involved in the school-based decision-making process,

which will result in accelerated improvement of outcomes for both students and schools.

Mid-Year Highlights [In 1-3 sentences, describe one of the highlights of OFSE’s progress so far this year on a key strategy/initiative]

[In 1-3 sentences, describe one of the highlights of OFSE’s progress so far this year on a key strategy/initiative]

[In 1-3 sentences, describe one of the highlights of OFSE’s progress so far this year on a key strategy/initiative]

250 Hours Invested

Effort Toward Key Strategies

200 150 100 50 0

Henderson, A. T., & Mapp, K. L. (2002). A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement. Austin, Texas: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL). 1

Henderson, A. T., Mapp, K. L., Johnson, V. R., & Davies, D. (2007). Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships. New York, NY: The New Press. 2

+Office of Family & Student Engagement [Mid-Year/Annual] Report 3

Capacity Building for Families Acceleration Agenda Strategy #3 This year, OFSE has aimed at building the capacity of BPS families by [expanding family education offerings through Parent University and increasing the participation of new families with a specific focus on early childhood families and English language learners. We have also focused on expanding support for Citywide Parent Council and Title I Parent Advisory Council]. It should also be noted that a set of core beliefs guide all of our work with families. They include the deep convictions that: 1. All parents have dreams for their children and want the best for them; 2.

All parents have the capacity to support their children’s learning;


Parents and school staff should be equal partners;


The primary responsibility for building partnerships between home ad school rests primarily with school leaders and staff and with students;


All students want to excel and achieve – it is the role of the adults to listen, engage, support and encourage them in ways that impact their achievement; and,


Students at the center of the decision-making process are more engaged and take “ownership” of their education, enhancing school climate, improving student/adult relationships and increasing overall student achievement.

Parent University Parent University was created in 2010 as the primary strategy to build the capacity of parents to be actively engaged in their children's education. The established goal of the program is to "educate and empower parents as partners, advocates and lifelong teachers in their child's education through educational courses and leadership opportunities." Already this year, we have offered [#] Large Convening(s), [#] multi-session class(es) and [#] single-class satellite session(s) held at schools, community centers and libraries across the district. As of [month], [#] BPS family members— representing [#] different neighborhoods—have participated in Parent University offerings this school year. Results of a recent email survey3 sent to a random sample of 2012-2013 program participants support the program theory that Parent University leads to positive changes in family engagement behaviors that support student learning. For example, 61.7% of respondents indicated that they asked their child’s teacher about ways to support their child’s learning at home as a result of having attended.

Strands Learned by Parent University Participants (n=60) Skills and strategies to support your own personal


Skills and strategies to support your child's learning


Information that will help you to advocate for your child Leadership skills

77% 42% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percent of Respondents


For the a copy of the full evaluation report, please email

To date, [#] family members—or, approximately [%] of all BPS families—have participated in Parent University.

A traves de mi participacion en los talleres de Parent University he adquirido una serie de conocimientos especificos academicos que me han ayudado primeramente a ayudar a mis hijos en sus tareas escolares, a involucrarme y considerar la educacion de mis hijos como algo importante para que ellos sean exitosos en sus vidas, entre otros conocimientos y herramientas aue me ha servido a nivel personal y profesional. -survey respondent

Through my participation in Parent University workshops I have acquired a number of specific academic skills that have helped me first to help my children with their homework, to get involved and consider my children's education as important for them to be successful in their lives, including knowledge and tools that have helped me personally and professionally.

+Office of Family & Student Engagement [Mid-Year/Annual] Report 4 Parent-Child Clubs Piloted in the Fall of 2013, Parent-Child Clubs represent a promising new model of family education that that involves parents (or other guardians) and their BPS students together. [One to two sentences describing the current state of implementation of the club including the topics, where they have been offered, and the number of BPS families that have participated]. Findings from an initial evaluation4 of this creative program indicate that there are positive outcomes for both parents and “Before, I didn’t like reading children who participate. For parents, it appears that the clubs facilitate role construction and and writing, but now I do, increase parental efficacy. For children, parents noted an increase in their children’s because now it’s easier ‘cause engagement in learning and improved academic skills as a result of attending. my mom helps me. We work together.” – student participant Capacity Building for Schools Acceleration Agenda Strategy #1-3 OFSE uses a number of strategies to build the capacity of BPS schools to authentically engage families, students and the community in ways that build trust and positively impact student learning and school improvement. In particular, OFSE has focused on [1) increasing the number schools with fully functioning School Site Councils, Parent Councils and Student Government, 2) providing increased supports for educators aligned with the educator evaluation system, and 3) piloting the Family Friendly Schools Initiative (FFSI)].

Educator Professional Development Ensuring that all educators reach proficiency on the new educator evaluation rubric released by DESE, OFSE has developed a number of options for professional development (PD) for BPS teachers that align to the new educator evaluation rubric [including both schoolbased and districtwide workshops. School-based PD are developed in collaboration with principals and other administrators. In addition to the "Engaging Families in Literacy" workshops “I now realize the positive impact connecting with families can which were held monthly during the fall and winter, OFSE have on the learning of my students. I feel that through this has developed a district wide professional development series workshop I was made to realize that it may be necessary for me specifically for classroom teachers "Engaging Families in to go beyond my own comfort zone to reach and help my families Student Learning." The series was piloted in the Spring of feel valued as partners in their child's learning.” –BPS teacher 2012 and offered in the Fall and again beginning in February]. Evidence from [questionnaires completed by participants]5 suggest that [participants had very positive reactions to our PD work. For example, see the quote above. However, evidence also showed that a significant number of respondents did not feel that our PD courses would have a significant impact on their teaching practice. Therefore, as we move forward, this will be an area of focus in our planning, so that we continue to ensure that teachers find the information we present to be relevant to their teaching practice, not a separate entity of their work].

Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT) This year, we are excited to announce that with the support of EdVestors, the Blackstone Elementary School, Lee Academy Pilot School, and Sumner Elementary School will implement a new and innovative family engagement strategy called Academic Parent Teacher Teams (APTT). The goal of APTT is to create meaningful, data-focused partnerships between teachers and parents that strengthen student learning by replacing traditional parent-teacher conferences with home visits and three whole-class meetings. [One-two sentence description of evidence of outcomes. Talk about both the evaluation method and the findings].6

5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0

Baseline Learning Data Current Learning Data

For a copy of the full evaluation report or to inquire about the Club, please contact For a copy of the full evaluation report or to inquire about Professional Development opportunities, please contact 6 [Where to go for more info] 4 5

+Office of Family & Student Engagement [Mid-Year/Annual] Report 5 Family Friendly Schools Initiative (FFSI) The Family Friendly Schools Initiative (FFSI) is BPS's key strategy for building the capacity of schools to implement school-wide engagement strategies and practices that strengthen partnerships between teachers and families, and connect families to school improvement and student learning. The FFSI has been designed to provide schools with a comprehensive process and set of tools for planning and implementing engagement practices that will help all school staff meet the proficiency targets for Standard III (Family and Community Engagement) of the new Massachusetts administrator and teacher evaluation rubrics. Schools that go through the FFSI process will be eligible for certification as BPS Family Friendly School. [There are currently [#] schools certified and [#] more schools in the process of self-assessement].

Family and Community Outreach Coordinators (FCOC) Initiative FCOCs are in [20] BPS schools and are responsible for implementing capacity building strategies with school staff and parents. FCOC schools serve as "incubators" of effective engagement practice. [While outcomes for the FCOC program have been inconsistent, OFSE has identified significant progress in a cross-section of FCOC schools. Successful schools have created specific conditions for engagement and have utilized their FCOC as a catalyst for building effective practice. FCOC schools with moderate to low impact generally have not utilized the FCOC in a way that would build internal capacity among school staff to effectively engage families. As we move forward to reconfigure the FCOC initiative for success, a more clearly designated role for FCOCs has emerged. The new role focuses on FCOCs as technical assistance providers and engagement coaches promoting successful strategies in more schools].

Non-FCOC Schools


FCOC Schools

4.3 0






“As a result of the Blackstone having an FCOC, we have transformed the way family and community partners are engaged. Now, we systematically invite families to be thinking partners in their children’s education”

# of Core Elements in Place

-Cynthia Jeffries Paris, Blackstone Principal

% of Schools in Compliance

5 Core Elements 100%

Network A


Network B


Network C


Network D

20% 0%

Network E Network F Network G Network H

Figure 1 - These represent the minimum requirements for establishing family and student engagement practice in school. They are based on requirements detailed in federal and state law and in BPS policy.

+Office of Family & Student Engagement [Mid-Year/Annual] Report 6

Capacity Building for Students Acceleration Agenda Strategy #3 Sharing responsibility for student learning ensures that all stakeholders, including the student's themselves are engaged in ways that promote and support student success. OFSE has been working toward this goal by [increasing awareness of Student's Rights & Responsibilities through school-based campaigns and curriculum, increasing the number of BSAC representatives, providing students with ongoing opportunities for input in teacher evaluation planning, and by increasing the number of schools implementing constructive feedback].

Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) In recent years, BSAC has played a key role in advising the School Committee and the Superintendent on district policy, working with the Headmasters on student climate issues, and informing students of their rights and responsibilities under district rules. Over the last [10] years BSAC has worked on issues and informed policy changes such as: Punctuality Policy, Homework Policy, Cell Phone Policy, Teacher Evaluation & Hiring, Student Government, School Safety, BPS Budget and School Quality. Every high school should have a representative serving on the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC), which serves as a citywide advisor to the school committee and superintendent. Currently, [40%] of high schools have representatives serving on BSAC. Student Rights and Responsibilities Campaign In an effort to help our peers understand their rights, we launched student rights campaigns at several of our schools this year. BSAC members made announcements, organized information tables at lunch, and handed out student rights cards to raise awareness.

Impact of School-Based Campaigns

[One-two sentence description of the method of evaluation and the evidence of outcomes or impact] Student Feedback in Teacher Evaluation Students have a great perspective on what makes a teacher efficient and effective, and there should be a formal process to incorporate student input in teacher evaluations. In May 2010, the Boston School Committee approved the Boston Student Advisory Council's Constructive Feedback Proposal and voted to implement the policy at the high school level starting the 2010-2011 school year. BSAC has since taken this project to the state level, successfully lobbying for student feedback in educator regulations beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. Beginning in the next school year, student feedback will be included as evidence informing a teacher's performance evaluation.

20% 70%

Do Not Know 80%


30% Before


School Discipline Over the past couple of years, students and parents have played an integral role in revising the Code of Conduct (formerly known as the Code of Discipline). BSAC studied the document, and presented feedback to the School Committee. As part of the revision process, parents pushed for an advisory committee composed of students and parents to review the implementation of the Code of Conduct in schools. BSAC made sure that meetings would be held at times that students could attend. BSAC now serves on the Code of Conduct Advisory Committee. We are also part of a national coalition, Dignity in Schools, which supports our local efforts, such as the BSAC annual listening project. We played an integral role in lobbying for the passage of Chapter 222, a law that encourages schools to explore options other than suspensions and expulsions.

Capacity Building for the District Acceleration Agenda Strategy #4 OFSE is also working to build the capacity of the district. [This work includes planning and supporting the Network Support reorganization, clarifying roles, identifying professional development, and establishing protocols for effective practice. Importantly, it also includes ensuring budget alignment with district priorities for student learning and engagement].

+Office of Family & Student Engagement [Mid-Year/Annual] Report 7

Performance Target Progress Parent University Team 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Network Liaison Team 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Family & Community Outreach Coordination Team 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

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Where we are now

Mid year report template draft