Parent and community partnerships in Arlington Public Schools provide valuable support for students. These partnerships foster opportunities that cultivate student learning.
One goal in the Arlington Strategic Plan is to engage and encourage our parents and community members to partner with us in the education of each student. This vital partnership is essential. As a district, we are committed to taking specific actions to promote families and community members as active and integral participants in the learning process.
Eagerly inviting volunteers and giving access to numerous volunteer opportunities such as the Watch D.O.G.S Program at several elementary schools is a great example. The Watch D.O.G.S program is made up of adults volunteering time at the beginning of the day to greet students, and interacting and connecting in positive ways with students and families as they arrive.
Other actions include increasing family and community membership on important district committees such as the Advisory Council for Education and Facilities Advisory Committee. As a district, we enhance partnerships with local business groups, city officials, and community and civic organizations in a variety of ways.
One example includes joint board meetings that take place twice annually between the Arlington School Board, city of Arlington and the local hospital districts. Another example is the partnership with the Arlington Education Foundation, which funds classroom mini-grants to provide innovative, imaginative and exciting learning opportunities in classrooms. Earlier this year, AEF grants funded a greenhouse and garden in an elementary school, a greenhouse at one of our middle schools, a preschool science center and much more. We are grateful for our amazing parents and community members who partner with us in the learning process.
We encourage more engagement at all levels. It is through our collective and joint work that we will remove barriers and provide the support necessary to educate all students, preparing and inspiring them to graduate and seek their full potential as lifelong learners.
Chrys Sweeting is superintendent of Arlington Public Schools.