First Presenter's Institution

Forsyth County Schools

Second Presenter's Institution

Forsyth County Schools

Third Presenter's Institution

Forsyth County Schools

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 1 (Plimsoll)

Strand #1

Family & Community

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

This presentation is relevant to the audience because it supports the Standard, “Home: Family and Community.” Knowing the stories of our stakeholders is beneficial in building culture, empathy, and understanding which leads to increased family engagement. Family engagement leads to student achievement. Family engagement and student achievement are two key factors in creating successful schools.

Brief Program Description

Family engagement is a common goal for schools. Knowing the stories is key in making that happen. Stories build soul making them powerful. This presentation is designed for school employees and will explain the importance of knowing the stories, training staff on how to learn the stories, and sharing the school’s story which are three ways to increase family engagement.

Summary

Theodore Roosevelt is famous for saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This presentation will include strategies for attendees in how to learn the stories of staff, students, and families. By listening and learning the stories, we show our level of caring. We also build empathy, trust and understanding by knowing the stories of our stakeholders. Sharing stories builds community. As a result, it is important to know the stories and share the story of the school. Families get involved in schools when they know we care, and they trust the school and staff. This presentation will outline strategies used at Chestatee Elementary in Forsyth County, Georgia to learn the stories of families, students, and staff. It will also provide steps for training teachers on how to learn the stories in their classrooms. Finally, we will discuss the power of sharing the school’s story through social media and best practices for using social media to build community and family engagement. Attendees will leave with handouts outlining strategies and QR codes to refer to so that they may implement any one of these three steps to get started or to train staff at their schools on this information.

Evidence

Evidence shows that family engagement increases student achievement, but getting families involved can be difficult in many schools. This presentation shows how one school used the power of story to build family engagement.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Polly Tennies has 32 years of experience in public education. She graduated from Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA with a B.A. in Elementary/ Early Childhood Education. She went on to pursue her M.S. as a Reading Specialist at Loyola College in Baltimore, MD. She received her Leadership Certification from the University of Georgia and completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Tennies has taught elementary school, been a literacy coach, and an assistant principal. She is a National Board-Certified Teacher and a past Forsyth County Teacher of the Year.

Beverly Jablonski has been an educator for 13 years. She graduated from North Georgia College and State University with a dual degree in Early Childhood and Special Education in addition to endorsements in Math, Science, Gifted, and Reading. She holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She will serve as the Title I Coach for this coming school year. Meg Killingsworth has been an educator for 21 years and currently serves as her school’s Family Engagement Coordinator. She graduated from Indiana University in 1998 and enjoyed teaching kindergarten, first, and second grades along with special education resource before her work with families.

Keyword Descriptors

Family Engagement, personal stories, empathy, building culture, social media

Presentation Year

2020

Start Date

3-9-2020 10:30 AM

End Date

3-9-2020 11:45 AM

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Mar 9th, 10:30 AM Mar 9th, 11:45 AM

The Power of Story: Creating Soul in a School

Session 1 (Plimsoll)

Family engagement is a common goal for schools. Knowing the stories is key in making that happen. Stories build soul making them powerful. This presentation is designed for school employees and will explain the importance of knowing the stories, training staff on how to learn the stories, and sharing the school’s story which are three ways to increase family engagement.