National Family Engagement Fellowship

Atlanta Team

Explore the Atlanta Team’s findings, vision, and strategic plan, and get to know the people doing this powerful work for students and families in the Peach State.

Welcome to Atlanta

Connecting, empowering, + sustaining Atlanta public schools’ families.

The National Family Engagement Fellowship Team from Atlanta, comprised of leaders from the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, came together under the newly formed Office of Family Engagement for APS to accomplish three goals:

  1. Develop a city-wide definition of family engagement;
  2. Hear from and empower those in the community most impacted by inequity, and;
  3. Reestablish trust within and amongst community members and educators.

Through Flamboyan’s Fellowship, the Atlanta Team saw an opportunity to listen and take action to close the gap between families and schools. What they heard was eroded trust that could be felt across the city, particularly on the heels of a cheating scandal that shook public faith in APS. Families felt disconnected, lamented a lack of communication, and felt like educators did not value family partnerships. It was imperative that the Atlanta Team create multiple pathways for stakeholders to be heard.

The Atlanta Team has initiated a pilot with a cohort of schools to implement the family engagement strategic planning tool. The Pilot assists APS in further increasing authentic and impactful family engagement practices while the tool serves as a reflection and assessment guide for school leaders and governance teams, and provides an opportunity for school leaders to utilize baseline data and growth over time. Going forward, the Office of Family Engagement will continue to refine the pilot and survey tool to ensure that more families and community stakeholders have access to provide feedback about engagement opportunities. School leaders will also use data from the tool to ensure practices and programs are responsive to families’ needs.

In Their Own Words

“I know there’s a disconnect between what schools and administrators feel like they are giving and what families in the community feel like they are receiving. The tool is a way to get everybody a common understanding of what needs to happen, and what is happening.”

Crystal Mayfield Jones, Principal, Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Strategic Plan

Outcomes + Strategies

  • Tell the “real story”: overcome obstacles through collaboration and create “a new story” with all stakeholders to engage families, communities, and schools that supports student success
  • Form safe professional learning communities
  • Conduct consistent, localized living room conversations to identify the unique needs of the school and community and to create next steps
  • Implement communication and change management framework.
  • Clearly define, message, and invest internal and external partners in Atlanta Public Schools’ definition of family engagement
  • Conduct focus groups to identify the unique needs of the school and community
  • Provide consultation, coaching, and training as it relates to the family engagement school-based models
  • Identify mentors (external partners, Office of Family Engagement at Atlanta Public Schools, principals) to support the family engagement work
  • Continue to collaborate with metro Atlanta family engagement offices to share best practices and discuss problems of practice
  • Create opportunities for two-way communication through trainings with Associate Superintendents to build their capacity to support principals in their respective clusters

Download the strategic plan

Atlanta’s three-year vision is that through continued collaboration, Atlanta Public Schools will provide tailored resources that support families and schools.

Download Now

FELLOWSHIP PARTICIPANTS

Meet the Atlanta Team

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