In the Fall of 2022, Whittier Elementary was accepted into the National PTA’s School of Excellence Program. As required, a baseline survey was distributed to identify priority areas within the school community. Survey responses were submitted to National PTA, then evaluated within their frameworks for Standards for Family-School Partnerships and 4 I’s of Family Engagement. A Focus Area was determined by response data and assigned from one of three choices: Improve Education, Ensure Health and Safety of Students or Support the Arts. The Main Objective was also chosen from pre-set categories and determined by survey results. Please see below for Whittier’s School Action Plan and more information on this program and National standards.
The School of Excellence Program aims to:
- Provide a framework for PTAs to implement best practices in family engagement to strengthen family-school partnerships.
- Build inclusive and welcoming school communities where all families contribute to enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.
- Help PTAs attract new, action-oriented PTA members who want to focus on the issues that affect our children the most.
- Provide step-by-step guidance and networking opportunities for PTAs to gain support and feedback, identify and reach goals and earn recognition (National PTA School of Excellence, 2023)
National PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships
PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships set the bar for how schools and parent organizations should work together to support student success. Families are essential partners to providing a high-quality education for every student. Students whose families are engaged are more likely to attend school, avoid discipline problems, achieve at higher levels and graduate. Family engagement also helps schools, research suggests it is equally as important as school leadership or a rigorous curriculum to predict school improvement (National Standards for School and Family Partnerships, National PTA, 2023).
National PTA’s Center for Family Engagement “4 I’s”
Through a focus on grassroots leadership development, the Center for Family Engagement aims to embed transformative family engagement practices, programs and policies across the educational system so that every parent is treated as a valuable partner in their child’s education (4 I’s of Transformative Family Engagement, National PTA 2023).