WINDSOR, CT (January 25, 2018) – Thanks in part to a Family and Community Partnership Plan funded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Windsor Public Schools district continues to see an increase in student achievement. This initiative, funded with $334,690 from the Hartford Foundation this year, is designed to help the district to partner with families and community stakeholders in support of raising student success.]
"We are incredibly grateful to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for supporting this very important work in Windsor," said Russell Sills, Director, Office of Family and Community Partnership. We must develop true partnerships with our families if we want to maximize the learning of each of our kids. Funding from the foundation has allowed us to greatly expand and accelerate our work with families."
In its third year, the Windsor Public Schools Office of Family and Community Partnership continues to grow its partner meetings between teachers and families as well as student led conferences in grades 3-8. The home visitation pilot project has yielded positive feedback from both participating teachers and families. In early 2017, the district administered the Early Development Instrument (EDI), an assessment that provides population-level data by neighborhood on school readiness. The district used the EDI findings to drive community conversations and prompt collaborative development of action plans designed to maximize kindergarten readiness for all Windsor children. Windsor Public Schools, in partnership with the Town of Windsor and the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, has launched WinCal (WinCal.org), a community-wide online calendar. Developed in response to a family survey, WinCal provides one location where Windsor residents can find out about educational and entertainment opportunities in our community. The district also formalized an agreement with ASCEND (a community-based mentoring organization) that has resulted in the development of a program that professionally trained and supported 40 adult mentors of high school and elementary school students.
"Increasing student success has always been a top priority for our district and this continued partnership with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving allows us to put many of our ideas into action," said Dr. Craig Cooke, Superintendent of Schools. "Our Office of Family and Community Partnership, funded through this grant, is working hard and seeing the return on this investment."
This year Windsor's home visit pilot project included 42 teachers visiting a total of 174 families. Based on a recent survey, 95% of the parents indicated the home visit improved their relationship with their child's teacher. In addition, 100% of parents and teachers stated they would recommend home visits to peers. Most importantly, 81% of teachers indicated they have seen improvement in the student's performance since the home visits.
"These are the types of improvements we can expect to see when schools and school districts develop authentic relationships with students' families and the surrounding community," said Sara Sneed, director of Education Investments for the Hartford Foundation. "Parent involvement in special meetings once or twice a year is not enough. We are hoping to see ongoing family and community partnership with schools, supporting students' educational experience in and out of school. Windsor is off to a great start in deepening its partnership practices with strong, visionary leadership setting the pace and expectations. We are pleased to be just a small part of their work."
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $680 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.
Windsor Public Schools serves nearly 4,000 students in the community of Windsor, Connecticut, a town located in north central Connecticut between Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts. Windsor Public Schools is comprised of six schools: Oliver Ellsworth School, Poquonock School, Clover Street School, John F. Kennedy School, Sage Park Middle School, and Windsor High School. The mission of Windsor Public Schools is to develop the genius in every child and to create life-long learners. For more information about the Windsor Board of Education and any of its schools, please visit www.windsorct.org.
Family, School and Community Partnership: Windsor, CT
A teacher, parent and student from Windsor talk about the teacher home visit program, part of the district's efforts to increase parent and student engagement.