I recently had the honor of attending an education conference in in Phoenix, Arizona titled "SEL in Action." At the conference, about a hundred practitioners and supporters convened from places like Nashville, TN, Austin, TX and Anchorage, AS to discuss real strategies for strengthening social-emotional learning practices in public schools like our own.
NBFA's Chief Strategy Officer Quentin Ball and I led an informal workshop on how to do a better job of engaging families. At NBFA we strive to include parents in their child's education as much as possible through student-led parent-teacher conferences, school-wide events like the Multicultural night, and workshops like the one we hosted in October on homework. However, we haven't had as good attendance as we would like at workshops on curriculum or social emotional learning. The group in Phoenix gave us some great ideas including:
1. Hosting workshop events in YOUR neighborhood. We are exploring having events either in your living complex or in a local community center. We would come to you, sidestepping the need for you to find transportation.
2. Hiring a bilingual family-school liaison, whom you all can talk to about school programs including our social-emotional learning initiatives. I have a commitment to hiring this person by the beginning of the next school year.
3. Using Robocalls and social media more to communicate about everything. I realize you are busy parents, juggling work and kids and life, and I am looking for alternate ways to share information.
I look forward to rolling out these ideas over the next year and for partnering with you at New Beginnings Family Academy. As always, please feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions.