- Family and Community Engagement*
- Welcome all families into the school community: Families are active participants in the life of the school, and feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning and doing in class.
- Support student success: Families and school staff continuously collaborate to support students’ learning and healthy development both at home and at school, and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so effectively.
- Speak up for every child: Families are empowered to be advocates for their own and other children, to ensure that students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success.
- Share power: Families and school staff are equal partners in decisions that affect children and families and together inform, influence, and create policies, practices, and programs.
- Collaborate with community: Families and school and district staff collaborate with community members to connect students, families, and staff to expanded learning opportunities, community services, and civic participation. Opportunities for Community Partnerships are continuously identified, assessed for effectiveness and strengthened. Partners are intentionally engaged in support of student, school and family needs. Regular and meaningful community engagement events and activities are well planned and communicated in advance to schools, district and larger community.
- Communicate effectively with families: Families and school staff engage in regular, two-way, meaningful communication about student learning. Positive and collaborative relationships are developed and maintained to strengthen support for district and schools.
- External Relations: Ensure a variety of media is utilized to maximize community and family awareness and support for district and schools’ priorities, goals and programs. Advocate for District needs at local, state and federal level. Develop and maintain relationships with youth organizations, community organizations, parent groups and philanthropy.
2. Chronic Absenteeism
- Generate and act on absenteeism data. Prioritize the development of early warning prevention and intervention systems that identify students who are, or are at risk of becoming, chronically absent before they miss enough school that it is nearly impossible for them to catch up. Dropout prevention specialists ensure coordinated systems of support, within schools and community for students who are chronically absent. Ensure regular school-based attendance committee meetings that focus on individual student intervention needs and student responses to interventions.
- Create and deploy positive messages and measures. Focus on developing positive messages for youth and families as well as implementing supportive engagement strategies. These include mentoring, counseling support, and creating safe and supportive school climates to improve students' attendance at, connection to, and success in school.
- Focus communities on addressing chronic absenteeism. Launch community initiatives to raise public awareness about the causes and effects of chronic absenteeism, including awareness among families and youth. Prioritize, school and district-wide campaign –Attendance Matters. Engage within communities and across sectors to conduct root-cause analyses of local absenteeism trends. Implement evidence-based strategies and programs such as Youth Stat that effectively engage and support students who are, or are at risk of becoming, chronically absent.
- Ensure responsibility across sectors. Regularly communicate that chronic absenteeism is a problem that affects the whole community, not just those students who are chronically absent and their families. Ensure NHPS, health, Housing Authority, justice system, faith-based communities and others are working together to ensure shared accountability within and across sectors to successfully address the local, underlying causes of chronic absenteeism.
3. High Quality Extended Day Programs
- Partnerships: Link schools and community partners to offer a variety but intentionally designed activities that are aligned to school and district learning goals in developmentally and academically appropriate way.
- Meaningful programs: Support schools by offering or helping them to create programs that engage students in meaningful ways that meet needs such as improving specific social emotional skills, building on school day learning or giving then voice by engaging students in solving community problems.
- Best Practices: Help schools ensure programs are grounded in best practices of proven afterschool and summer programs that will provide the greatest likely hood of success.
- Engage Students: Support schools in designing programs that give students choice and engage them in their own education by providing hands on, experiential learning opportunities that build upon but do not replicate learning that happens during the school day.
4. Restorative Practices
- Ensure district policies are revised to reflect direction toward Restorative Practices: Restorative Practices reflect an approach to building positive, healthy relationships and community that promotes a safe supportive and positive learning environment; prevents conflict as much as possible; and respond to misconduct and harm by seeking both accountability and repairing of the harm.
- Collaborate with schools and other departments to ensure the professional development of school-based Youth and Family Engagement staff, school leaders and teachers to appropriately implement restorative practices.
- Analyze data and explore root causes for exclusionary practices to determine where supports are needed, particularly in school with high levels of students in poverty.
- Work with schools on reviewing case-by-case expulsion hearing requests and determine if, and which, alternatives to exclusion from school privileges are better suited for student rather than an expulsion.
- Support schools in developing effective student re-entry planning and supports from juvenile justice, expulsions, and suspensions.
5. Are Over Aged and Under-Credited
- Study and Identify the extent of students in NHPS who are at risk for drop out due to likelihood that they will not graduate with their cohort peers due to them not having the appropriate or academic skills or credits for their age intended grade.
- Support the development of substantial and effective support structures, including multi-pathways opportunities to reduce the likely hood of school dropout.
* Adopted from CT State Department of Education and National Parent Teachers Association