October 10 — 2:57 pm, 2017

District plans events and activities for Family Engagement Month

engagement Saquoia Freeman/School District of Philadelphia

The School District kicked off a series of family-friendly events this week to celebrate Family Engagement Month.

“We know that our students are provided the greatest opportunity to succeed when their families and communities are invested in their learning,” said Superintendent William Hite. “Just as our teachers and principals help students achieve inside the classroom, it is equally important for families to support learning and growth both at home and in the community.” 

A news conference on Monday highlighted the events planned by the District’s Family and Community Engagement Office, including a talk by actor and author Hill Harper on Oct. 13 and a Family Fun Night at the Franklin Institute on Oct. 18.

Besides Hite, speakers at the kickoff included Karyn Lynch, chief of the District’s Office of Student Support Services; Robert Smith, regional vice president of community investments at Comcast; Sharon Marino, principal at McClure Elementary School; and Eva Sanchez, parent of a McClure Elementary student. 

The District said it has enhanced its outreach to families and community members in recent years with the establishment of School Advisory Councils in schools. SACs are peer-elected, collaborative teams comprising family members, the school principal, teachers or other school-based staff, students (for schools with grades 7 through 12), and community members. These organizations champion the work for improved student achievement, effective teaching in the classroom, parent and community engagement in the educational process, and communication and support between home and school. 

“At McClure Elementary, we have created systems to keep all parents informed of the happenings and resources at the school, updated about academic expectations, and how to communicate with school staff when they have questions,” said Marino. “Our SAC in particular also plays an important role in shaping and furthering our goals, which include addressing student attendance, academic achievement, and safety in our neighborhood, and how we will continue to empower our students to be leaders in our school and community.”

In addition, the District’s Family and Community Engagement Office sends regular newsletters to parents and District staff, informing them of available resources for students and families. The office has also significantly increased its number of family engagement coordinators and liaisons available to help students achieve academic proficiency and college and career readiness. 

More information about the District’s planned events for Family Engagement Month can be found at https://www.philasd.org/face/events/.

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