On Monday, May 15, 2023, State Superintendent Richard Woods, presented Myers Middle School with the Family-Friendly School Partnership Award.
The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) launched the Family-Friendly Partnership School (FFSP) Initiative in the summer of 2010 to assist Title I schools, families, and communities in working together to create welcoming environments that lead to increased student achievement. The idea behind the initiative is that welcoming environments provide parents with a reciprocal relationship where not only do they feel that they belong to the school, but also the school belongs to them. Therefore, this sense of belonging motivates parents to be more active in their children's education, which in turn ultimately has a positive impact on student achievement!
School staff at Myers Middle shared information on some of the efforts they've made to increase involvement of their families in the school environment. Those efforts include enhanced communication including the use of social media, a welcoming family engagement room, and increasing opportunities for families to come into the school for programs and events.
The Family-Friendly Partnership Initiative was initially an annual award program, sponsored in partnership with the Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE), The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Georgia, and the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE). However, beginning in the 2017-18 School Year, the FFPS initiative discontinued the awards program and transitioned to the current framework of supporting schools that voluntarily invest their time and resources toward improving their welcoming environments as they play their improvement efforts. Each school selected for participation joins a two-year cohort.
All Title 1 school wide schools are invited to submit an online application. Applications are processed through a review by a panel of representatives who then select up to five schools based on criteria such as: geographical location in Georgia, location of available site judges, representation of small, medium, and large school systems, and other factors. Each school team's application must identify two S.M.A.R.T. goals on which to focus its improvement efforts related to Welcoming All Families and the Community standard within Georgia's Systems of Continuous Improvement.
See more photos from the event here.