Nashville classical was one of Possip’s first partner schools. Their enrollment, parent happiness and teacher satisfaction are all inspiring. We wanted to talk to them a bit about their family engagement mindsets and systems.
What are a few things you want to make sure all parents know before the start of the school year?
Nashville Classical is a community and it takes participation from everyone: staff, scholars, and families to achieve our goals for each scholar. That means we start the year by sharing both what the school will do and what families must do to have a successful year. We also want to provide multiple ways for families to stay in touch: everything from Possip to teacher’s phone numbers. Our families know how to be connected and get help when they or their scholar needs it.
What are some opportunities that parents have to regularly engage with the school on your campus?
Nashville Classical has opportunities for families to engage every day. On the daily level, families receive a report from teachers every afternoon. This includes academic and behavior information, plus announcements and homework assignment. On a weekly level, families receive updates on school events and news from a newsletter available in paper and online. Next, they have the opportunity to Possip feedback and questions to the school. Finally, each week we invite families to volunteer on campus with projects that help teachers and classrooms directly. Once a month, the parent committee, called the Classical Families Committee, meets for discussion on topics relevant to the community, parent learning opportunities, or to host inclusive events for all families.
As someone who works in a school, you have so many competing priorities. How do keep family engagement top of mind?
We keep family engagement top of mind through planning. Family engagement cannot be an afterthought; it has to be a part of the goals and mission of the school. Each summer we plan the ways our diverse families will engage with the school and when. We plan everything from our first parent meetings, ways families can share feedback, and schedule our special events. This planning lets families know when and how to engage with the school. It also demonstrates that we care about parent voice and want them to be active members of school our community.
How do you think great family engagement helps students be successful?
Our scholars know that school and family are intertwined; we are one community built for them. They have support here at school and they have support at home to reach their ambitious goals. This ensures that every scholar knows that expectations are high and they know they have every adult in their life helping them meet them.