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Community Engagement

Our PTSAs provide meaningful advocacy and support for our students and schools. I encourage you to consider joining your local PTSA if you have not already done so. You do not need to have children in our schools to join. Any community member can help support a PTSA by becoming a member.


This month, I had an opportunity to write a short article for the Lake Washington PTSA Council's newsletter, Currents. This is a monthly newsletter that goes out to subscribers. You can sign up for this publication and their Weekly Waves newsletter here: https://www.lwptsa.net/newsletters/


My contribution to the February Currents newsletter highlights the Board's work around our community engagement policy revisions. I'm really excited about potential changes to this policy.


“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ―Helen Keller

 

The COVID pandemic required us to live in isolation for the greater good of the community. While some individuals relished this opportunity, many struggled. Humans are social; we desire connection. When we live, work, and learn in a supportive community, we grow. It's true that we can do so much more when we work together.

 

After a prolonged time of operating alone, there comes a desire and need to redefine what operating together looks like. Working alongside district leadership, the Board is looking at the Equitable Collaboration Framework from UW's College of Education to help guide our policy revision around community engagement.

  

  

The colorful analogy of values being woven together paints a beautiful picture of the hope I have for our forward thinking plans around collaboration. Each principle listed above is a thread of equal importance that will guide the work of our district. When woven together, six colorful "threads" will aim to help shape system-wide change to ensure all voices, especially those from non-dominant communities, are heard and valued. These threads help equally distribute the responsibility of education between families, schools, and community. Schools are not the only environment where learning occurs. Teachers are not the sole educators of our children. If we begin to redefine what working together looks like, our children will truly be able to accomplish so much. 

 

Shifting thoughts around community engagement will look a lot like my first attempt at knitting, a design full of loose strands, a few holes, and uneven colors. We need to remind ourselves that masterpieces evolve with time and many revisions. By keeping student success at the forefront of our decisions, we will eventually create a community masterpiece.


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