Family involvement plays a key role in helping students succeed in school and in building a sense of pride in the school community. We are here to help build strong partnerships among home, school, and the community.
Parents are invited to take part in BPS Parent University, an opportunity for parents to sharpen their skills as they work in one of life's most important and demanding roles. Sessions focus on child development, what children are learning in schools, advocacy, parent leadership and effective parenting skills.. Parent University offers three day-long Saturday learning sessions during the academic year: one each in October, January, and May, with additional sessions offered throughout the year at schools, libraries and community centers. Parent University is free for all BPS parents. In June there is a Parent University graduation for parents who have completed a set of learning sessions.
Here are some other examples of activities that schools offer to engage families in student learning:
Expectations for schools
- individual parent-teacher conferences
- workshops on the subjects your child will learn and how to help your child prepare for tests
- home reading programs
- home visits by school staff or other parents
- special events, such as Math and Literacy Nights
- policy making and school governance committees
- opportunities to volunteer—in classrooms, the school Family Center, fundraising activities, and fun events.
Every Boston public school is expected to:
Outreach to families
- set aside space for parents
- schedule time each week for teachers to contact or meet with parents
- respond promptly to questions and requests from parents
- communicate regularly with parents in the language spoken in the home
- inform parents in a “family-friendly” format about strategies to improve student achievement at school and at home
- at the high school level, provide parents with a syllabus (a written summary) of the main topics to be covered in each course.
The district and schools are working hard to strengthen home/school partnerships. Through two programs of the Family & Student Engagement Office, trained staff are helping to make that happen. Thirty-one schools have full-time Family & Community Outreach Coordinators (FCOCs). The FCOCs have three main goals:
- Strengthen relationships among parents and between parents and teachers
- Build the capacity of parents to help their children and be school leaders
- Make schools more welcoming to families.
The School, Family & Community Engagement Unit works with all BPS schools to help organize School Site Councils, plan activities to engage families in their children’s learning, and help parents and school staff communicate with each other. Several team members are specially trained to work with families with limited English and families who have children in special education programs.