FAMILY AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

Family and Community Partnerships are important to a happy school and student success. Weekly community events such as Community Art Walks, Family Dinner Nights, Interactive Board Meetings, Communication Café and Family Lounge, Health and Wellness Resource Center, and Family Learning Experiences are all examples of the Eureka! Inclusive design.  

Field trips:  The San José area is rich in cultural resources, and students and parents will regularly be invited to take part in field trips to these resources.  Field trips will include, but will certainly not be limited to, visits to the library, the farmers’ market, Children’s Discovery Museum, the Tech Shop, the Computer History Museum, the San José Museum of Art, MACLA, City Hall, the Mayor’s Office, the Fire Department, and the post office.  Through offering a variety of such experiences, we hope to minimize the impact of several obstacles to full family engagement in schooling.  Those obstacles include language barriers, conflicts in schedules, and logistical considerations when students with disabilities need special arrangements to be able to visit a site.  Field trips will be planned that specifically address and negate the inhibitory nature of these potential obstacles.

Not So Board Night: It is beneficial to the school and to families that send their children to the school to participate in the governance of the school.  Board meetings are the time when parents have a regular, but seldom exercised, opportunity to participate in the governance of the school.  To build community and to accustom parents to participating in school governance, the school will make Board meeting nights into family friendly events. Eureka! Inclusive will provide activities for the children that do not want to participate and a social snack session during which families will discuss matters of relevance, explore ideas, get to know members of other families, and then will participate in the Board meeting.  Eureka! Inclusive will provide time for student presentations and reports. Hosting the Board meeting in a friendly, familial environment should encourage much fuller parental participation in board meetings than normally occurs.

Eureka! Inclusive Community of Families Dinner Project: Each classroom will plan and -host a shared meal. The students will work together with teachers and family to determine day,type of meal, menu, and location. The students would choose conversation topics, create shopping lists, and develop a budget. For instance the students in a 3rd/4th grade class might choose a Pokemon Japanese themed meal.

The Family Dinner Project is a growing movement that brings together people to celebrate food, fun and conversation about things that matter. We are a nonprofit organization currently operating from the offices of Project Zero at Harvard University. Over the past 15 years, research has shown what parents have known for a long time: Sharing a fun family meal is good for the spirit, brain and health of all family members. See Appendix K for more details.

First Friday Art and Culture Walk: The Bay Area is full of neighborhoods with great historical interest, murals, architectural details, and scientific interest.  Eureka! plans to sponsor a program of walks that would likely take place in the early evening, particularly near the end of the school year when daylight lasts into the evening hours or on Saturdays.  These walks would engage school personnel, students and parents in shared cultural activities, shared learning, and friendly interaction with one another.  The walks would be a way to build the culture of the school.

Children’s Discovery Museum Family Science Night: These highly successful events are designed to provide successful science investigations for students and their families. Benefits of Family Science Nights:

·         Promotes inquiry-based science education

·         Includes professional development in science for teachers

·         Brings together families and teachers for a special evening event

·         Encourages parents and children to learn together while participating in hands-on science activities

·         Provides science curricula for teachers to use in the classroom

Partnering with SWIFT Education

The films below show how Trusting Family and Community Partnerships are created.