Building Authentic School and Family Partnerships:

Insights From the Caregiver Community

By the BELE Network

To holistically educate young people, school leaders must engage caregivers as co-designers of their students’ learning environments. This is at the core of the BELE Network’s fourth Essential Action: Partner with Caregivers and Communities. In practice, that means creating opportunities that center the experiences of students and caregivers, develop collaborative relationships with caregivers, and result in authentic school-family partnerships with a shared mission to build equitable learning environments.

To do so, Insights From the Caregiver Community: Building Authentic School and Family Partnerships — authored by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as part of the BELE Learning Series, — provides four key insights gathered from caregivers:

  1. School leaders can increase the willingness of families and caregivers to engage in partnership when they demonstrate a commitment to creating a responsive school culture.
    As school leaders aim to create school environments that are responsive to and involve reciprocal relationships with caregivers, it is important that school leaders:
    — Develop an understanding of the values of students and caregivers who are a part of the school community.
    — Acquire resources that help them identify and address the needs of students and caregivers in the school community.
    — Provide, together with staff, opportunities for caregivers to participate in creating, implementing, and assessing decisions in the learning environment.

To learn more about working with caregivers, check out the BELE Network’s second Learning Brief.

The BELE Network is working alongside partner members to share learning briefs to advance equity in education, which are grounded in seven Essential Actions. We encourage you to visit the BELE Resource Library, an evolving repository of resources and recommendations, to find the resources best suited to your unique needs. You can also subscribe to the BELE monthly newsletter here to get the latest learnings straight to your inbox.

The BELE Network is dedicated to reimagining our inequitable school system that has failed too many for too long, and is committed to transforming our classrooms into learning environments that nurture the intellectual, emotional and cultural growth of all students — especially students of color. Learn more about BELE on our website, and access our resource library to get the best and most up-to-date thinking on how to make learning environments more equitable.

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The BELE Network

We are committed to creating learning environments that equitably support every student — especially students of color and low-income students. belenetwork.org