Families and Communities
Parents and guardians are children's first teachers. Research shows clearly that strong partnerships between schools and their students' families maximize academic success for the school and child alike. Children come to the schoolhouse door with very different backgrounds, abilities, desires and experiences. Working together as a team matters.
Too often, schools complain that they have trouble finding the time, the will, and the cultural or interpersonal skills to partner with parents and communities. Too often, families complain they are left out of decisions regarding their child's education, or worse, they feel ill-treated. And schools rightly complain that they can not do the work of civilizing children by themselves. Schools would be wise to become places where parents can turn for help with their children. Nonprofit social-service agencies can be of great help as partners, bringing therapeutic home-based and community-based services that no school is equipped to handle.
Basic Education Plan
The Basic Education Plan (BEP) for Rhode Island outlines the Board of Education expectations for the schools and districts in Rhode Island.
The Board expects that every school has a committee to oversee the family and community engagement activities. Section G-14-2.2 — "Student, Family and Community Engagement" (starting on page 25) — outlines these expectations in broad terms. Families have a right to hold the schools accountable for meeting these expectations.