Partnerships between families and schools are crucial for kids

Published 8:26 am Friday, January 19, 2018

By Katie Baskin

Southgate Elem. principal

As parents, we have goals for our children. We want them to be happy, we want them to be healthy, and we want them to be growing academically, socially, and emotionally every day.

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As an educator in the Austin Public School District, I can say that we also want those things for the students who walk into our classrooms and hearts every day. Parents and educators alike have a common goal for children in the Austin community: we all want our kids to grow into the amazing young adults we know they have the potential to be. In order for us to meet this goal, it is critical that we develop a partnership between families and schools.

Austin Public Schools offers a variety of ways for families to be involved collaborators and informed partners in students’ education. Communication with a student’s teachers or counselors and other pertinent school personnel is essential, so please share information about your children’s interests, learning styles, personalities, and how they engage in and out of the school. Parent-teacher conferences and Parent-Teacher Committees offer two great opportunities to communicate.  Schools and teachers also offer important general information through school websites, email and social media venues like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

We also welcome parent/guardian volunteers to engage in events that require more support for our students. While not all are able to participate during the school hours due to other commitments, there are often outside opportunities as well. Lastly, there are multiple community collaboration opportunities for all to participate in. Austin Aspires, for example, has various action teams that meet to collaborate in designing experiences for students, support networks for parents, and processes our community can put into place to support all families.

Our students in Austin truly have great opportunities each day, to be challenged and grow their skills. The Austin community is so incredibly supportive and we are very fortunate to be working together to ensure our students have what they need to reach their potential. Collaboration and communication between families and the schools is a key component to continuing the fantastic experiences for our students.