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In 2024, we are thrilled to share our plans for fostering collaboration and strengthening relationships between families and educators. Our work underscores our commitment to supporting inclusive and welcoming environments, ensuring that all families, especially those with diverse linguistic backgrounds and with disabled family members, feel supported in navigating the educational landscape.

Webinar Series: Creating Welcoming Environments for Newcomer Families: We are excited to announce a webinar series supported by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The series will assist school districts in creating welcoming environments for Newcomer families. These sessions will provide practical insights, resources, and strategies to ensure every family feels valued and engaged in our educational community.

Community of Practice for Family Engagement: Our commitment to peer-to-peer collaboration takes a new form with the launch of our Community of Practice for district leaders. This initiative aims to foster a supportive network where leaders can share best practices, challenges, and innovative solutions focused on family engagement, particularly for newcomer and multilingual families.

School Finder Program: Recognizing the importance of a smooth transition into the school system, our School Finder program is dedicated to supporting newcomer families in navigating the intricacies of school systems. This resource empowers families to make informed decisions, ensuring a positive and seamless integration into our educational community. We’re here to help any Massachusetts family, regardless of your child’s needs, language, background, age, or ability. We speak Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, French, Chinese, Vietnamese, and English. Phone interpretation is available in 250 more languages at (800) 208-2242.

Strengthening Partnerships Framework Trainings: We are excited to continue our trainings on the MA Strengthening Partnerships framework. These sessions spread valuable information about family engagement and highlight available resources. By equipping both families and schools with essential tools, we hope to build lasting partnerships that contribute to the success of every student.

Co-designing an Action Plan: FCSN’s APPLE (Advancing Parent Professional Leadership in Education) Institute takes place each Spring. The APPLE Institute is a free, virtual training program to help parent leaders, administrators, and school community members build collaborative leadership teams to increase parent and family engagement in their school districts. During the APPLE Institute, school district-based teams work together to develop an Action Plan while building trusting relationships, better communication, and increased family engagement. We welcome team members from the SEPAC, ELPAC, PTO, District Administration, Staff, School Committee, Site Council, or Family Engagement Specialists. Research shows that when families and schools work together, students do better. Stay tuned for registration details!

Navigating the New IEP Form: In the realm of special education, we are committed to supporting families through informative workshops about the new IEP form. These sessions will introduce the new form and feature interactive workshops where families can practice the skills needed to participate actively in the IEP process. We aim to empower families with the knowledge and confidence to advocate effectively for their children’s unique needs. We are already presenting to SEPACs about the upcoming changes in the IEP process and will soon roll out workshops for all families!

We are excited about the possibilities that 2024 holds for our educational community. Through these initiatives, we aim to build capacity, foster collaboration, and create an environment where families and educators can navigate the year together, hand in hand.

Thank you for your continued partnership and commitment to the success of every student!

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