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Consider Families and Communities as Experts on their Children


Educators honor the family as an expert on their child to create a sense of partnership and shared responsibility between the teacher and family. This starts with a positive initial contact. Staff is purposeful in empowering the community by supporting local business, hosting culturally responsive events, and building up the community’s culture.

Tips from Parent Advisory Council members:

  • Encourage parents to share information about their children with teachers and the school. Invite parents to talk about their family with the class when their child is “Student of the Week.”
  • Take time to listen to and gather information from families attending parent-teacher conferences.
  • Build and maintain a database of parents as resources. Identify parents’ skills such as language fluency, computer skills, art, cultural awareness, and others.


Teachers at the Goodman Community Center 4-year-old kindergarten program in Madison meet individually with parents. Parents share their hopes and knowledge about their child’s strengths and learning styles. Then, parents and teachers come up with goals they will work together on for the child to achieve.

Leopold Elementary School staff has created a welcoming environment for all families by holding Ready, Set, Go (RSG) conferences. RSG conferences are held prior to the beginning of the school year to establish positive, proactive partnerships between home and school. Teachers listen to parents’ hopes and expectations and value their expertise on their child. Through RSG, teachers gather information that will help guide academic and social instruction throughout the year.