Families As Partners
Families as Partners (FAP) is an Austin ISD initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation with the goal of creating sustainable and effective school-family partnerships for academic success. The FAP program outcomes are accomplished by engaging parents in meaningful collaborative work with each campus’ staff and administration.
Many different groups of constituents are involved the FAP. In AISD the following groups are the major players at both the campus and district levels:
District staff and administration
Community members & community groups
The first step of creating your FAP Program is to build. In our project, we began by 1) building teams and 2) building systems for communication, organization, and task completion. Each of these steps is critical to the success of your new program.
Once the teams have been recruited and some systems have been put into place, training is the next step in the process. Teams need a wide variety of skills; some of which all teams need, while others are more site specific.
The main purpose of the FAP program is to empower families to become active and involved in their children’s school and education. FAP participants, including parents, teachers and staff form campus-based work groups called Think Tanks.
Evaluation is an essential part of the Families as Partners program. We continuously assess various components of our program to identify which aspects are effective and which aspects require rethinking. Surveys and focus groups help us measure the impact of FAP on our families and our schools, and we also use district-wide data sources for evaluation purposes.
Growing FAP is one of the main goals of the program. This section draws upon the lessons learned and experiences of each of the main participant groups: district and campus administrators, campus teachers, and staff and parents.