"Since the community is critical to the success of East, we also see the school as centered in and serving primarily the larger community neighborhoods surrounding the school."-East EPOEast's FACE Committee takes leadership in including all members of the East community as assets to scholar learning and development. We champion a mindset of schools as an imminent, integrated part of their surrounding social fabric, not a separate, closed part of their community. For the success of East, its scholars, Rochester, and the world, schools must include the assets of their surrounding community, and the surrounding community should assist in their school's success. In this interconnected, diverse, global world, few things are a zero-sum game, especially in education. We are all stakeholders in the future of our youth.The FACE Committee meets monthly and is open to all parents, guardians, family and community members. The committee is responsible for leading the engagement of families and community members at East, along with 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 or student-led conferences. An important function of this committee is to work with the New York State Commissioner of Education to determine whether East has met demonstrable improvement indicators. Thus, at monthly meetings, we discuss school data, emerging issues, and contribute to the quarterly reports sent to the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
FACE 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 at Lorna.Washington@rcsdk12.org.The Diagnostic Tool for School and District EffectivenessTo guide and measure our commitment to Family and Community Engagement, East utilizes the NYSED's Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE). The DTSDE is a holistic framework for school practice. The FACE Committee focuses on Tenet 6 of the DTSDE: Family and Community Engagement.
Tenet 6: The school creates a culture of partnership where families, community members, and school staff work together to share in the responsibility for student academic progress and social-emotional growth and well-being.
Statement of Practice 6.2: The school leader ensures that regular communication with students and families fosters their high expectations for student academic achievement.Statement of Practice 6.3: The school engages in effective planning and reciprocal communication with family and community stakeholders so that students' strength and needs are identified and used to augment learning.Statement of Practice 6.4: The school community partners with families and community agencies to promote and provide training across all areas (academic and social and emotional developmental health) to support student success.Statement of Practice 6.5: The schools shares data in a way that promotes dialogue among parents, students, and school community members centered on student learning and success and encourages and empowers families to understand and use data to advocate for appropriate support services for their children.East's Philosophy on Family and Community EngagementAs East entered into an Educational Partnership with the University of Rochester, a comprehensive commitment to FACE was outlined in East's EPO plan. On page 57-58, we define the following vision:
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-conceptualize our understanding of family engagement by creating meaningful 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.
We will use an interdependent model of developmental processes and transformational pathways to frame and re-conceptualize family engagement.
As we build collaborations, we must ensure time to build relationships and trust, to create models that center community knowledge and resources, and work toward co-constructing successful developmental 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 School Based Planning Team 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.