Redefining family and community engagement a Cajon Valley Union

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Cajon Valley Union School District (the District) is leading the way for creating meaningful partnerships between families, teachers and communities. The Classroom of the Future Foundation and local universities consider Cajon Valley Union School District to be “One to Watch,” and the District considers enhanced family and community engagement as crucial to its success.

Cajon Valley Union School District (the District) is leading the way for creating meaningful partnerships between families, teachers and communities. The Classroom of the Future Foundation and local universities consider Cajon Valley Union School District to be “One to Watch,” and the District considers enhanced family and community engagement as crucial to its success.

Research shows when families and community groups engage with students’ education, children perform better in school, stay in school longer and enjoy learning more. The definition of engagement varies from family to family, which is why a new approach was needed. The District created an initiative that allows families to show schools what engagement looks and feels like from their perspective. It also is giving parents tools needed to stay engaged with students’ academic progress.

“Schools should be the center of a community. Creating an environment where parents are comfortable, valued and appreciated for their efforts is essential to successful engagement,” said District Superintendent David Miyashiro, Ed.D. “We are initiating long-lasting changes throughout the District and building relationships with families that will benefit the entire community and well as the students.”

The District is leading the way for creating meaningful partnerships between families, teachers and communities. The back to school season at Cajon Valley features innovative events dedicated to connecting families and educators. The District is pilot testing several approaches to engagement at different campuses. Cajon Valley Middle School has designed a Back-to-School festival to showcase the multiculturalism of the school. With student performances, booths from local community agencies, it provides opportunities for family members to get an up-close-and-personal feel for their students’ learning environment.

Naranca Elementary School has established a Family Outreach Team. The Team is receiving leadership training on how to share best practices with other parents regarding productive family support of education. They will meet regularly throughout the year in order to learn additional best practices of engagement, and to share further insight of community needs with the school.

Johnson Elementary School will be hosting parents in a session to share insights on effective family engagement in education. Simultaneously, while teachers are showing parents how to use new classroom tools to effectively engage with students, parents will be educating teachers on what they do to engage their children within their own homes and communities. Reflective of the diverse population of El Cajon, the same session will be offered concurrently in English, Spanish and Arabic.