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Turner Elementary School Shines as Standing Ovation Family Engagement Award Winner


Every year, DC Public Schools honors outstanding educators, leaders, and schools at the annual Standing Ovation Awards Ceremony hosted by the DC Public Education Fund. 

For more than 10 years, Flamboyan Foundation has sponsored the Standing Ovation Awards Ceremony as well as the award for excellence in family engagement. Turner Elementary School is the well-deserving winner of this year’s M. Shanita Burney School Award for Excellence in Family Engagement. 

Turner views family engagement as a pillar of their work in serving students. In a special video produced by Flamboyan partners at the DC Public Education Fund, Principal Jessica Johnson calls out how important it is for their staff to greet families daily as they enter the school to make those strong connections.

The school staff also arranges other ways to connect with parents and families, including relationship-building activities like home visits and special events like “Pastries with Parents,” where families can chat with teachers or administrators. That’s only a small example of their impact. 

“We approach family engagement the same way we approach instruction,” says Johnson. “By recognizing that if we can’t serve the whole child, then we can’t serve the whole family. We won’t get the educational outcomes we want for our students.” 

The dedication of Turner’s faculty and staff is unwavering. At Flamboyan’s summer training for partner schools last year, Turner sent every single one of its staff members, including school leadership, teachers, custodial staff, and substitute teachers. They understand that family engagement is about building relationships with students at every level, not just in the classroom. 

“Our students are our number one. Our families are number one. Our children are first. We lead with that because when we do that, it helps us remember our why,” says Rhonda Ferguson, 2nd grade teacher and FELT team member. 

Flamboyan was honored to celebrate with Turner, a school in Flamboyan’s Family Engagement Partnership (FEP), at the National Building Museum this year, where the awards ceremony was held.