Fort Worth Parent Engagement Collaborative: 2018 Community Luncheon
On December 3, 2018, the Fort Worth Parent Engagement Collaborative (PEC) hosted a community luncheon to share outcomes and parent feedback from its fourth year of partnering with local families and their children ages birth to 5.
About the PEC
The PEC is made up of three (3) local foundations and five (5) parent engagement nonprofits that joined together in 2014 to help support parents and provide a strong foundation for their children’s learning success. Below is a snapshot on each of the nonprofit agencies, and the PEC’s overarching goals.
Year 4 Key Takeaways
Upon concluding its fourth year of programming, the PEC studied data from the 2017-2018 school year and reviewed feedback from parent focus groups. The PEC team gleaned several key takeaways:
PEC parents have extremely valuable insights and practical suggestions about how to build stronger school, family, and community connections.
There is a desire for families and schools to develop a shared support system for children and parents, as opposed to seeing school and home as two separate places for children to grow and learn.
Parents earnestly want to connect with their children’s schools – and school leaders and educators are eager to connect with families – but there are often challenges on both sides that prevent authentic, meaningful connections from being built. We have the opportunity to break down some of these barriers through more open, consistent communication between families, school leaders, counselors, and teachers.
A decrease in regular parent attendance in our PEC programming in year four supported our collective analysis that while parents found PEC programming valuable, we needed to broaden the scope (both programmatically and geographically) of the PEC in order to best serve the unique family needs across all of our PEC agencies. (See graphic below.)
The data also showed us that parents’ perceptions of school connectedness continued to grow stronger over their years of programming through the PEC, so the PEC team wanted to build upon that strength as we assessed our strategic priorities in the 2018/2019 school year.
Year 5 Strategy & Goals
In 2018, the PEC decided to broaden its geographic scope to serve families (both inside and outside of Morningside) who are uniquely aligned with each of the agencies’ focus areas and service offerings – and to focus on lifting up parent voice to influence broader community change.
In the 2018-2019 school year, the PEC is partnering with Fort Worth ISD and the Fort Worth Children’s Partnership (FWCP) to integrate parent voice into a six-week feedback loop with principals and school leaders who have signed on to a continuous improvement process. The FWCP is now partnering with Morningside schools, in addition to other select schools within the FWISD network, that are committed to integrating realtime data and feedback to improve student outcomes and elevate family engagement.
PEC Parent Feedback in Year 5
During the December luncheon, a panel of PEC parents and principals shared highlights of their experiences with the PEC, and what they look forward to in their future work with the PEC. One of the parents shared that it was “the little things” that her PEC agency offered to her that made such a difference in supporting her role as a working mother. As her children grow older, her family “gives back” to the agency that helped her, because her children have learned and grown so much through their time with the PEC.
The Miles Foundation, The Morris Foundation, and The Rainwater Foundation also presented slides with key feedback that has been shared by parents early in Year 5 of this work (see below slides for themes and takeaways captured from the fall of 2018).
In concluding the luncheon, the PEC agencies and funders shared early successes that have already been experienced through the feedback process established with Fort Worth ISD principals and schools (see below graphic). As the PEC moves forward in Year 5 of its work, the PEC agencies and foundations will continue to iterate their approach based on parent, principal, and community feedback, and look forward to sharing results and progress as this work moves forward.