The Racine Unified School District Office of Family and Community Engagement is dedicated to raising student success through intentional and robust partnerships with families.
Its mission is to cultivate practices and strategies for Racine schools to increase school, family and community connections.
Why does it matter?
Research studies have pointed out consistent, convincing and validating evidence which shows that family engagement is one of the strongest predictors of overall student success.
Efforts which are collaborative, linked to learning, and build respectful and trusting relationships are more likely to produce outcomes of children adapting well to school, attending regularly and earning better grades. This partnership maximizes shared responsibility between home and school to support student achievement and overall school improvement.
Racine Unified programs are open to all families in the district, whether children attend RUSD schools or not. They include:
- Parent University offers monthly workshops and information sessions to help parents and caregivers become full partners in their children’s education. The sessions equip parents and caregivers with new or additional skills, knowledge and resources. For example, this month, Racine Police Department Deputy Chief Bill Macemon will provide parents with information and tips on internet safety.
- Parent Leadership Network provides an opportunity for parents to receive support and training to serve as school representatives for their child’s school. Parent leaders stay connected to learn about district priorities and ways to participate in the decision-making process.
- Family Empowerment Day is an annual family fun event for the community. The event offers a day of family-friendly workshops, early childhood activities, college and community resource fair, free food, giveaways, health screenings and more. Participants have the opportunity to connect with local community partners and agencies.
This year, Family Empowerment Day will feature a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker, RUSD student talent and citywide group performances throughout the day. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at Case High School, 7345 Washington Ave., Mount Pleasant. Families are encouraged to register in advance to receive free food tickets. Register online at goo.gl/rrBrZa.
- Parent Academy provides seasonal learning labs, hands-on workshops to promote ways to support family at-home learning time. The spring workshop will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, at Mitchell Middle School, 2701 Drexel Ave. Registration is encouraged. Go to goo.gl/47d9Z6.
For complete program details, visit the RUSD website: www.rusd.org/district/family-community-engagement.
In addition to these programs, the Office of Family and Community Engagement staff provides professional learning opportunities for teachers to expand their expertise to learn about foundational strategies and ideas which transform practice to promote successful partnerships with families.
The guiding principle for engagement goes beyond involvement. It’s not enough to just get parents into the school for an event or activity. Engagement entails leveraging authentic connections such as two-way communication, creating welcoming environments, fostering positive relationships, capacity building and providing relevant resources.
The path toward partnership with RUSD families and community stakeholders shows promise to address access and opportunity gaps to promote excellence for all students.
What is clear from student performance and behavior data is the response must be deliberate and intentional. Family engagement signifies a mindset shift. The RUSD team is committed to forming meaningful home-school collaborations which embolden schools and families together to be champions for our children.