Effective family-school partnerships bring together district leaders, school staff, and families to create healthier communities by identifying barriers to family engagement and specific child health needs, then developing and implementing effective and equitable solutions as a team. Our family-school partnership model and 6-step framework supports communities in being change agents for child health.
Why family-school partnerships?
“Research shows that—at both the elementary and secondary level—when schools, parents, families, and communities work together, students earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, and are more motivated.” – National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments: Family-School-Community Partnerships
A nationally representative survey conducted by AFHK in January 2020 found that while 86% of parents are interested in providing input on kids’ health issues, 51% of parents do not feel included in decisions about children’s health and well-being at their schools. Family-school partnerships aim to bridge that gap through meaningful collaboration.
6 Steps for Healthier Schools
Our 6-step framework for healthier schools helps you leverage family-school partnerships to build safe and supportive learning environments where children can play, learn, and grow.
- Build your team. School health teams meet regularly to implement and promote initiatives that help create a healthier school. From school staff and families to students and community members, everyone has a role.
- Assess & track progress. Before you make a plan, you need a starting point. Our tools help you evaluate the health of your school’s environment to identify strengths and areas of improvement for your current health and wellness programming and strengthen family-school partnerships.
- Create an action plan. A clear action plan will serve as a road map for your team. Outline priorities and goals, then start making healthy changes in your school and community, one step at a time.
- Find resources. With our library of 150+ activities and resources, you can find ideas to create safe and supportive learning environments through hands-on learning, connection, and play at school and at home.
- Mobilize your community. When schools and families in meaningful ways, they can reach more people, do more things, and have a bigger impact on kids’ lives. Get tips and tools for engaging more families, increasing involvement, and maximizing your community partnerships.
- Maintain momentum. Recognizing your accomplishments and hard work can help your team maintain momentum and support for school and student health. Celebrate success, identify opportunities to grow, and plan for sustainable, long-term change.
Family-school partnerships support the Whole Child
AFHK’s holistic approach aligns with the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model. Family-School partnerships bring schools and families together to advocate for and implement sustainable change to policy and practice needed to support children’s health. The WSCC model emphasizes a school-wide approach and acknowledges learning, health, and the school as a part and reflection of the local community.