District Leaders Network on Family and Community Engagement
Family engagement is not something that can
come in a box. You have to understand the context, and that’s what we do here. We kind
of peel back the strategies, so people understand the elements that are needed to build it,
but then help folks think about what does it look like in your context. The District Leaders Network on Family and
Community Engagement is comprised of folks who lead family and community engagement work
at the school district level. As this issue grew in importance and prominence, and we
decided that we ought to launch a network and make it a peer learning and action network.
We now have built a network of over 125 school districts around the country. It’s great to have a network of peers that
we can go to with questions, learn from their mistakes, learn from their success, exchange
ideas. You try to identify what is going to work,
but then you’re never 100 percent sure if you’re on a good path, but then to see people
that are ahead of you, on that same path, that’s been really powerful for me and our
district. For once, we are headed in the direction of
solving the problems and being solution oriented instead of problem ridden. When you go back home you can pick up that
phone, or get on your site, and talk to that person in Nevada, or in New Mexico, or California
and say this is what I’m dealing with. What did you say we should do? And you can’t
have enough of that. The whole networking opportunity that we’re afforded here is just
invaluable. It’s really wonderful to come here because
you see that there is some great work going on across the nation and it’s very inspiring. It’s also about celebrating the work, coming
to talk about what you’re doing that you’re most proud of, and sharing that with colleagues.
Is really affirming. I think you’ll see this leadership network
continue to grow as there is more and more acknowledgment that you really can’t achieve
the kinds of results you want to achieve without good family and community engagement. We are
the place where district leaders come to learn from each other for family and community engagement.
And we’d like that to remain so.