Strengthening Families Initiative
The relationship between a school and its local community is generally indicative of the school experiencing high levels of success. Schools with strong ties to the community enjoy the benefits of high rates of volunteerism, increased access to community resources, and positive endorsements/ perceptions of the school district. The starting point to build such strong ties is with family engagement—the recognition of the importance of the family unit as a whole on a child’s well-being and thus school success. Facilitating positive family engagement entails appreciating the multitude of family dynamics that shape a child’s home environment and providing that structure with tools that promote home/school, academic/non-academic success. Prioritizing family engagement is a critical step in the process of educating the whole person and ensuring that students have the necessary character education to support their academic journey.
The strengthening families initiative at Lancaster ISD will utilize the Practical Parent Education curriculum to teach parenting skills in a way that promotes the maintenance of healthy relationships between parents and their children while empowering parents to take an active role in their child’s education. Sessions are formatted in a manner that encourages parents to collaborate amongst themselves and school personnel to gain insight on effective strategies that support communication skills, positive behavior supports, academic motivation, and an emphasis on prevention.
Effective Strengthening Families Programs are done utilizing a series of training (2 to 3 trainings per semester) in which the topics are relatable and there is an opportunity for the establishment of group cohesiveness. Session topics are selected with input from district administration, faculty, and parents. One of the major goals of the program is to highlight for the parents the value of their involvement and how they are an esteemed and respected part of Lancaster ISD. In an effort to encourage family participation plans will be made to ensure that childcare services, student enrichment activities, and appropriate dining services are available during each session.
Dr. Kanesha Waites
Director of Family Engagement and Behavior Support
Lancaster Independent School District
Student Exploration and Engagement Center | 1201 N Dallas Ave | Lancaster, TX 75146