Family-School Partnership

Cultivate Partnerships

   1."All families have dreams for their children and want the best for them."

It is vital for educators to understand that families who send their children to them each day want their children to succeed in school and in life. Yes, families might say or do things that lead you, educators to think otherwise. But these actions and behaviors are often triggered by stressful factors in their lives and do not reflect their innermost feelings about the importance of education and their desire for their children to become happy and successful adults. 

  2."All families have the capacity to support their children's learning." 

Regardless of how little or how much formal education they may have or what languages they may speak, all families contribute to their children's learning. Families' knowledge, talents, and life experiences give them plenty of capacity for assisting their children with school skills, and practitioners need all that information to design the best learning opportunities for those children. Families have knowledge that should be respected, utilized, and developed by school staff. The expression, parents are their children's first teachers, is so widely used it's almost a cliche. If we believe it, we need to view and treat parents as the experts that they are.

  3. "Parents and school staff should be equal partners."

All stakeholders supporting childrens' development should have equal status, value, and responsibility. That means starting from the premise that everyone has something to offer and that everyone should get something positive out of the relationship.

  4."Responsibility for building and sustaining partnerships between school, home, and the community rests primarily with school staff, especially school leaders."

Now, you might see a contradiction between this and the belief in equal partners. If we're equal partners, why does this responsibility rest with school staff? Well, many families see schools as powerful and forbidding institutions. The school leader and staff must take the first step, especially when families already feel intimidated. Certainly, there is a responsibility on both sides, and families must connect with teachers and other school staff on behalf of their children. Everyone who works in the school, especially the school leader, must walk the walk, not just talk the talk, of mutual partnership.

This means exhibiting a real passion for partnership. 








Positive Parenting

Why It’s a Mistake to Prioritize Behavior Goals Over Social-Emotional Development

"Too often, adults react to problematic behaviors—whether in the form of language, physical actions, or emotional outbursts—by issuing consequences for this “choice.” But that approach assumes the child can choose to behave otherwise, that she has the capacity for “executive function.” But many vulnerable children, teens—and even young adults—require years of experience to acquire that capability." Read article 

Children Need a Safe Place to Feel Bad

I don’t think I’m alone in this – I hate when my children feel bad. I don’t want them to have to feel sadness or loneliness, grief or pain. I wish they were in a permanent bubble of joy, and no bad feelings could touch them. When they come home from school feeling sad because they were rejected or when they feel angry because something didn’t go as they’d hoped or planned, my initial reaction is to make it better. Then come the questions I desperately want to ask. Read more 

Helping the Anxious Child or Teen Find Rest

As a parent it is challenging when you feel helpless to effect change for a child who is suffering or anxious. Parents often ask their kids “Just tell me what’s wrong,” or “what can I do to help you,”only to stare into blank faces or be given reasons that defy understanding. As a child’s anxiety grows, so does a parent’s. The more a child is full of worry, the more a parent can question their ability to help them feel safe.    Read more

Online Workshops

Professional Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) is pleased to announce 2-week, online professional development workshops for K-12 educators. These workshops each explore a key concept or practice of particular relevance for today’s K-12 educators, and are grounded in day-to-day teaching and leadership practice.

A core part of the HGSE experience is cohort learning, job-embedded application and reflection, and peer discussion. Our curriculum and learning experience are designed to create a community of practice for participants to learn with and from each other, and to apply what they learn, as they learn, in their own schools and classrooms.

We offer online workshops multiple times a year and run a series each season.

Buffering Stress and Adversity Through Early Learning 
July 24-August 6, 2017 | $149 per person
This Saul Zaentz Professional Learning Academy workshop, designed by Nonie Lesaux and Stephanie Jones, sheds light on the growing number of stressors facing today’s youngest learners — and explores the features of strong early learning environments that can buffer children’s stressors and promote early learning and development. 

Today’s Early Educator: Challenges, Competencies, and Professional Supports
August 7-20, 2017 | $149 per person
This online workshop, offered to early education leaders as part of the Saul Zaentz Professional Learning Academy and based on the work of Nonie Lesaux and Stephanie Jones, focuses on the educator competencies and workforce supports that enable the creation of a high-quality learning environment.

College-Going Identity and Student Success
August 7-20, 2017 | $149 per person

This workshop utilizes the work of HGSE Senior Lecturer Mandy Savitz-Romer to provide strategies for promoting future-oriented identities and explores the role of educators in that process.

Culturally Responsive Literature Instruction
August 7-20, 2017 | $149 per person
Based upon the research of HGSE Professor Pamela Mason, this workshop provides strategies for identifying cultural assumptions in literature and incorporating new texts and conversations into your classroom practice.

Learning Through Discussion and Disagreement
August 7-20, 2017 | $149 per person

This workshop reveals what classroom discussion is and isn’t, presents evidence for its value, and offers immediate strategies for getting started. Based upon the research of HGSE Professor Catherine Snow, it provides strategies for encouraging discussion and debate in the classroom. 

Using Research to Inform Decisions
August 7-20, 2017 | $149 per person
This online workshop, based on the work of HGSE Professor Heather Hill and her colleagues in the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice, supports educational leaders in the skills needed to select, read, and use relevant research for decision-making in their own setting. 

Bear and Squirrel

When a laid-back bear and a high-strung squirrel clash over playing on a swing, who will win? Kids will learn a valuable lesson about sharing in this entertaining picture book!

Age Level: 3-7    Grade level: P-2


Download for FREE on kindle

Skyward Family Access

What is Skyward Family Access and why every Flagler parent should have it? 


Skyward Family Access is an online report card and much more. It provides parents or legal guardians access to student record information anytime, day or night, through a home computer. Skyward's Family Access allows easy, open lines of communication between the school and home. Students and parents can login to view attendance, grades, schedules, and calendars.  Parents are able to access their children's grades as soon as the teacher inputs that information. We, parents, play a significant role in our children’s education and through Skyward you'll know instantly if they struggle in any subject. 


To set up a Skyward Family Access account: 

  • Ask the school Registrar at the time of student registration 
  • Contact the school Registrar to set an appointment
  • Parent/legal guardian must bring a photo ID with the current home address listed on it. 
  • A single Parent ID and Pin Code will provide access to all students for whom you are the legal parent/guardian.


Skyward Family Access is a MUST have tool for every Flagler Parent.

Free library of open-education resources coming to Amazon

Anyone with an Amazon account can now download resources such as lesson plans, worksheets, and other materials on Amazon Inspire.  Soon teachers will be able to share lesson plans and other materials with colleagues…    Read More

The Bridge of the Golden Wood

In this beautifully illustrated picture book, a clever boy solves a problem to help some hungry fish — and earns an unexpected reward! A fable about ingenuity and serving others. 

Age Level: 4-18    

Grade Level: P-12

Download for FREE on Amazon or Apple iBooks