FHSD Schools Earn Recognition for School, Family, and Community Partnerships

Posted on 09/23/2016
FHSD Schools Earn Recognition for School, Family, and Community Partnerships

Barnwell and Francis Howell Middle Schools strive to be key cogs in our community, not only as places of learning, but also as centers of community engagement. Their efforts to join school and community together have earned them 2016 Partnership School Awards from the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University. Both schools were recognized for making excellent progress in strengthening and sustaining comprehensive programs of school, family, and community partnerships.

“Francis Howell Middle firmly believes in connecting with our parents and greater school community,” said Principal Dr. Ted Huff. “By creating a positive partnership, we are able to learn and grow from our parents, teachers, and community (and vice versa). It is very rewarding when we are able to work alongside our school community members. We are all here to help each other.”

FHMS provided detailed descriptions of specific strategies that help to engage more and different families in ways that support school improvement goals for student success. NNPS looks for evidence of good program development including teamwork, leadership, goal-linked plans for action, implementation, evaluation, and network connections. FHMS’s Family Trivia Night is included in the new edition of Promising Partnership Practices 2016. The reviewers praised the way FHMS’s Action Team for Partnerships (ATP) reached out to engage students’ families. Reviewers also commended the Grade 6 transition activity, noting the good planning that was done for a useful series of events and activities. “What a wonderful way to help more students make a smooth transition to the middle school,” wrote one reviewer.

Barnwell submitted a description of their robotics program and the process they use to identify and support parent coaches for each team. Principal Dave Eckhoff raved about how parent volunteers are the true catalyst for their robotics teams. Because of these parent volunteers, Barnwell is able to field six to seven teams each year. “At Barnwell Middle, we know that our school is a hub of the community,” Eckhoff said. “Getting our families involved in the education of our students is vital. One key to the success of our robotics program is the hard work of parent volunteers who serve as coaches and mentors for each team. They are the key to the success of our students as well.”

“These schools are applying research-based approaches to strengthen their welcoming climate, and to engage parents and community partners in ways that improve student attendance, behavior, achievement, health, and high school graduation rates,” said Dr. Joyce L. Epstein, Director of NNPS.

Both schools will continue to strengthen their programs of school, family, and community partnerships in the new school year. These efforts are designed to help all students succeed at high levels. Their practices are included in the 2016 Promising Partnership Practices collection, a national publication, which contains the schools' selections (Barnwell is on page 24, FHMS is on page 60). For their award, the selected programs will receive a $500 check from NNPS, renewal of NNPS membership for next year, and a plaque showcasing their achievement. The programs will be recognized on the NNPS website with a summary and a photo of the participants. Read about NNPS at www.partnershipschools.org.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.