WS/FCS will build and strengthen partnerships and communication with families, local businesses, educational organizations, community agencies, and advocacy groups in order to engage families and community stakeholders in the entire educational process for all students.
Objectives include: creation of more welcoming environments and developing new pathways for families to become engaged.
- Objective A – Create an environment that makes families feel welcome, valued, and inspired to be engaged and active partners in their children’s education.
- Objective B – Increase community stakeholder support and collaboration through improved communication and promoting increased understanding of district operations.
- Objective C - Increase Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) Participation
As part of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools strategic planning process, the Office of Community Engagement was formed in December 2020 to build and strengthen existing learning-focused partnerships. WS/FCS is committed to creating more welcoming environments for community stakeholders and parents while also developing accessible pathways for families and community partners to be co-creators of high-quality, relevant learning experiences.
WS/FCS encourages and wants all families to be involved in the work of schools, especially those directly connected to the advancement of student outcomes. From academics and college and career preparation to social-emotional wellbeing and cultural diversity, WS/FCS is reviewing policies and practices as well as enhancing accommodations so that students experience greater safety, equity, success, and respect. Recent endeavors include:
- establishing remote learning centers, in collaboration with The Forsyth Promise, to offer small group support to students with a goal of decreasing barriers to remote learning,
- forming CARES Teams to connect students and families with helpful resources to promote engagement with learning during uniquely challenging times, and
- hosting a virtual town hall was held with two psychologists and clinicians from Wake Forest Baptist Health on how families can support their children and practice self-care through COVID-19 and beyond.
In 2021, WS/FCS will continue to increase the availability of interpretation and translation services for non-English speaking families, establish on-going engagement events and volunteer opportunities for families, and enhance communication of important information.
Community Partnerships and Volunteer Services
WS/FCS has already begun working in intentional collaboration with several community organizations to engage students in meaningful ways. Through resource matching, focusing on the broad growth of all students, we strive to achieve equitable outcomes where all students are valued, inspired, informed, and supported. Recent endeavors include:
- facilitating virtual opportunities for volunteer, mentor, and reading/literacy programs,
- expansion of Inspire 340 school turnaround wraparound services, and
- the implementation of a task force to evaluate the feasibility of transitioning remote learning centers to sustainable and supportive community learning environments for safe after-school and enrichment opportunities.
In 2021, WS/FCS will assist in the development of tools and metrics for measuring the impact and effectiveness of partner programs and initiatives, establish awareness of local school needs and how partners can best support the district and its schools, and empower the collaborative potential between WS/FCS and the community.
Additionally, the Families and Community channel of the WS/FCS website has been fully revamped and streamlined with helpful resources and information, and will be updated on an ongoing basis.