Family and Community Engagement Committee (FACE)
The FACE committee takes leadership in implementing Tenet 6 of the UR East EPO plan. In writing the plan, we used New York State Department of Education’s (NYSED) Diagnostic Tool for District and School Effectiveness (DTDSE) to organize the proposal. Tenet 6 focuses on family and community engagement.
The statement of practice for tenet 6 is:
The school leader ensures that regular communication with students and families fosters their high expectations for student academic achievement.
Our goal is to meet the highest standard which states:
a) The school leader, in collaboration with the staff, ensures that staff members are knowledgeable about the school's priority and plan for students to graduate from high school and complete postsecondary education (college, CTE) with advanced competence, and school staff regularly communicate this priority to students, parents, and community leaders in ways that are appropriate for the grade level of the students.
b) The school community implements proactively the plan to create diverse and meaningful opportunities for engaging students, families, and community stakeholders in the conversation regarding high expectations for student academic achievement and uses multiple points of entry to provide tips and tools focused on student learning and development.
Based on extensive collaboration with students and their families, community members, and East staff, we developed the following statement of beliefs about family and community engagement (UR EPO Plan, pp. 57-58):
Philosophy on parental and family involvement
We believe that families are equal partners in a child’s education (note that our definition of “family” includes anyone the child identifies as part of their support network). Through our work with families, communities, and schools we will re-think our understanding of family engagement by creating opportunities for shared decision making along with the youth and adults in our community. Our goal is to build collaborations among stakeholders that re-center community and families and build capacity for families and youth to transform themselves, their schools, and their communities. We believe that when families are strengthened and connected to their communities, they take the lead in improving the quality of their lives.
As we build collaborations, we must include time to build relationships and trust, to create models that center community knowledge and resources, and work toward building successful pathways for families and youth.
Strategies to implement this philosophy:
· We seek to support this process through authentic family engagement practices. For example, we will redefine the “parent/teacher conference” to a student-led family conference at which all parties will share in the positive educational development of the child and in finding the right path for the individual child and her/his family.
· Together with families and community partners, we will use an asset-based perspective of students and families to develop a collaborative culture of celebration and high expectations in which all parties feel respected and valued.
· Governance Council will serve as the governance team for the school (e.g. Board of Directors). It will consist of teachers, administrators, family members, students, community partners, representations from each union, and EPO representatives. The Council will meet at least monthly and produce a monthly report, including meeting minutes, for the EPO superintendent and the larger school community.
· Social media will be leveraged to facilitate communication with families and community partners.
The FACE committee meets monthly and is open to all parents, guardians, family and community members. The committee is responsible for creating, funding, and hosting family and community events for the school wide calendar. Events include family dinner nights, parent workshops, arts and cultural celebrations, data sharing, open house, and parent/teacher/student led conferences. An important function of this committee is to work with the New York State Commissioner of Education to determine whether the UR East EPO has met demonstrable improvement indicators. Thus at monthly meetings, we discuss school data, emerging issues, and contribute to the quarterly reports sent to NYSED.
Committee membership includes East administration, UR faculty, RTA representatives, parents, community agency leaders, City of Rochester staff, volunteers, and East scholars. If you are interested in becoming a member of the committee, please contact Lorna Washington at 585.324.3652 or firstname.lastname@example.org
 FACE and PTSA have merged so as to more effectively implement authentic family and community engagement.
[LJ1]Link to NYSED webpage http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/diagnostic-tool-institute/home.html
[LJ2]Link to EPO plan and committee charge
[LJ3]Link to meeting calendar