Families as Partners
Families as Partners (FAP) is full of gratitude for our incredible schools, partners, and families who have continued to support our mission of building collaborative and meaningful family and school partnerships. These strong bonds were forged over six years, by our team of committed Principals, Parent Support Specialists, Parent Champions, and school partners. They provided a critical network of support that was instrumental in helping our schools, communities, and students continue learning in this most unusual year. We explored different ways of connecting with parents and adopted new ways of creating inclusive spaces and learning opportunities for our families during a year that brought tremendous challenges to our world and community. Parent Support Specialists and Parent Champions provided in-person crisis support this year, including distributing water, coats, meals, and meeting the needs of our community around virtual learning.
FAP provided support and learning opportunities for parents, Parent Champions, and Parent Support Specialists at our 21 participating schools. We offered parents basic and advanced computer literacy classes, ePromotora classes, and Austin PBS Scratch Kids Workshops. These classes helped families establish foundations in early literacy, encouraged positive parent-child engagement, and facilitated the development of 21-century skills.
Reflection and Perspectives of 2020-2021 School Year
Families as Partners is very proud of all the Parent Champions from our 21 campuses who worked closely with their school to help other parents this school year. One immediate need that was identified early in the school year was technology and mental health support. Over 50 Parent Champions were ready to step up and support in these areas. Families as Partners also assisted the Refugee Department with a Parent Refugee Ambassador, who provided interpretation and translation services to parents and staff, in addition to volunteering in other capacities district-wide.
We would like to recognize our Parent Champions for continuing to contribute to their children's education and our schools. During the last week of May, we visited the Parent Champions outside their schools. We thanked them, their principal, and their Parent Support Specialist for everything they have accomplished this year. Our school communities were able to navigate a virtual school year and come together during a historic winter storm thanks to their resilience and leadership. It was a pleasure to meet some of them in person for the first time!! Pictures of our visit can be found by clicking this link.
Furthermore, we are incredibly grateful to our Parent Support Specialists for exploring new and creative ways to connect and create community between families and schools. Parent Support Specialists have been an integral part of our program, developing innovative ideas and uniting parents. They also connect our families to community resources and coordinated online registration events in addition to connecting families with staff to support their student's learning.
Families as Partners thrives not because of the work of a few people, but through the collaborative effort of many campus parents and staff, and community partners. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our community partners.
A well-deserved highlight goes out to some of our amazing partners, including Austin Community College Continuing Education Division, Austin PBS, and ePromotora, for the work we have done together this year! Thank you for motivating our parents to continue learning and creating virtual spaces where families found connections and inspiration!
Austin Community College
Austin Community College (ACC), Continuing Education Division is an invaluable partner to FAP! This partnership has helped build a pathway to employment for families and has given parents the skills to continue working on their personal goals, as well as support their children's educational journey. This year ACC was ready to support the technological needs of our families by delivering computer classes that helped parents navigate educational platforms and connect to others in their school and community.
Austin PBS Workshops
Austin PBS virtual workshops have been enormously popular with our families. Scratch Jr classes initially started working with parents. However, this school year they incorporated both parents and children in the workshops and provided a wonderful virtual family learning experience. These courses built the children and parents' early coding and computer skills by actively engaging families in STEM-related topics. Parents and students gained confidence in these essential new literacy capacities.
In ePromotora, parents learn how to work with young children to help them develop solid foundations and skills needed in the early stages of their education. The workshops use culturally appropriate techniques, and focus on early literacy skills, including vocabulary, print awareness, colors, alphabet, and shapes. Parents who completed the workshops now understand how to prepare their children for pre-school and reinforce what their children are learning.
End of Year Celebration!
On Friday, May 21st we gathered online to celebrate our resilience, partnership, and accomplishments this school year. Over 75 staff and community members came together to share, laugh, and celebrate all that we've accomplished. Thank you to our partners, interpreters, parents, principals, and school teams for attending and for your commitment to parent engagement.
A special thank you to our guest speakers, Rudolph Castillo, Harris Parent Support Specialist, Brandi Juarez, Harris's Parent Champion, Guadalupe Salazar, Walnut Creek's Parent Champion, Woonten's Bernando Martinez, Parent Support Specialist & Partners in Education Coordinator, and Virginia Garza, Continuing Education Division Austin Community College for helping us highlight and salute all the extraordinary work we've done as teachers, parents, and partners this year!
What's Next for Families as Partners?
We are thrilled to announce The Orsinger Foundation and the Austin Ed Fund will continue their support to Families as Partners Program on 21 AISD elementary campuses during the 2021-2022 school year! We will continue supporting the participating schools in three core areas: (1) Parent Education/Development of Parent Champions, (2) Quality Early Childhood Education, and (3) Parent and Child Engagement.
Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that with a generous grant from St. David's Foundation, Families as Partners will begin a Home Visiting program in the attendance area of three of our current FAP schools: Andrews, Guerrero Thompson, and TA Brown. This program will establish trusting relationships with 28 families before their children enter school and implement a research-based parenting curriculum that builds on the assets of the parents and families. They will have an opportunity to learn and practice parenting skills to promote their two-and three-year-old children's learning and development to be Pre Kindergarten ready!
We want to express our most sincere gratitude to St.David's Foundation, Austin Ed Fund, and The Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation. Thank you for your support and contributions to our communities on behalf of our families, schools, and program.
Summer Learning Opportunities
Wednesday, June 9th, 9:30 am -12:30 pm
For PK teachers, register the link below, https://www.smore.com/695st
Wednesday, June 23rd, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
For K-1st grade teachers, register the link below, https://www.smore.com/dyaf9
Enhancing your Technology Skills -
Wednesday, June 23, 9:00 am-11:00 am
Wednesday, June 23, 1:00 pm -3:00 pm
Resume Workshop -
Monday, June 21, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Monday, June 28st, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Conscious Discipline PD for teachers - Thursday, July 22nd
Click here to access links to register for Summer Learning Opportunity and additional details!
SEL at Home Resources
Click this link for SEL At Home Resources:
Families as Partners Website
Click here to learn more about Families as Partners Initiative