What is Family Partnership?

Family Partnership refers to collaborative relationships and activities that involve students’ families, school staff, and community partners. These relationships are based on mutual trust and respect, and on a shared responsibility for the education of each and every student. Partnerships exists when all the adults work together to support the social, emotional, and academic growth of all the students in a given school community. These relationships are built on trust, through honest and open communication where all input is honored and valued; where shared visions and actions grow from shared understandings about what is real and possible; where power dynamics are openly articulated; and where stakeholders know where they stand and what they can achieve together.

What does the Family Partnerships and Empowerment Office do?

The SFUSD Family Partnership and Empowerment Office offers capacity-building opportunities through our Family Partnership Planning and Implementation Process and Tools (link) and resources, SFUSD Partnerships Academy (link) , and site-based consultation.

How can you help us with our Balanced Scorecard (BSC)?

When we provide support to school site teams through our Family Partnership Planning and Implementation Process (link). During that process we help the site team review their BSC goals and help them revise and refocus when needed.

Who and what are Family Liaisons?

The Family Liaison is an individual at a specific school, selected and supervised by the school’s principal, who focuses on strengthening family partnership at that school in support of student education.

Does my school have a Family Liaison?

The best way to find out is to contact your school office.

How do I hire a Family Liaison?

Any school can hire a Family Liaison out of its own funds by contacting HR, which will create a job code and commence the hiring process. There are also centrally funded Family Liaison positions, which are allocated based on the Multi–Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

How do I contact all the Family Liaisons?

You can contact them through our office by emailing familypartnerships@sfusd.edu, and we will help you share the information.

How do we support Family Partnerships without a Family Liaison?

Our philosophy is that Family Partnership is everyone’s job and not just a family liaison’s job. Some ideas for supporting this include: (1) identifying potential Family Partnership Team makeup; (2) reaching out to the FPE Team for site support, assessment tools, tips, resources, and referrals; (3) devising a plan and choosing a focus; and (4) embedding Family Partnership goals into Grade Level Team Meetings, Instructional Rounds, etc.

What tools are available for me?

The full toolkit is maintained at this URL: sfusdfamilypartnerships.org/family-partnership-tools-and-resources

How do I request help at my school site?

[Insert FP&E Team request link]. There is also an email address (familypartnerships@sfusd.edu) and a phone number ([insert later]).

Where do I look for training opportunities?

What do I do if I have a complaint?

If you have a concern related to your child’s class, you should first request to speak to the teacher to address the concern. If the teacher cannot address your concern to your satisfaction, you should request to speak with the school principal. If the concern has to do with something or someone outside of your child’s class, you should request to speak with the principal. If your concern is not addressed to your satisfaction by the principal, you should contact the Office of Family Voice, so they may investigate your concern/issue and facilitate next steps to help you find resolution.

How do I find out about school choices and enroll my child?

Visit the Educational Placement Center in person at 555 Franklin St., Room 100 (no appointment necessary), or go online (EPC webpage) and consult Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco (PPS-SF Website).

What if I need help or support around special education?

The Special Ed teachers at your school are your first contacts and resources. They, in turn, have Content Specialists who support them. If you feel you need additional support and/or advocacy, the following contacts/links may be of use:

What does a school social worker do?

School Social Workers are mental health clinicians who work at schools throughout the District to assist school site staff in achieving academic excellence and improved attendance, by decreasing risky behaviors and creating safe and healthy school communities.

Who are the support staff at my school?

This depends on grade range, size, and specific needs of the school as determined by established criteria. Learn more about the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS Explained).

What are the most common acronyms used in SFUSD?

AAPAC: African-American Parent Advisory Committee

ARTIF: Academic Response to Intervention Facilitator

AtoG: California State University entrance requirements

CELDT/ELPAC: California English Language Development Test/English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC replaced CELDT as the tool to assess students learning English as a second language)

EED: Early Education Department (preschool)

ELAC/DELAC: English Learner Advisory Committee/District English Learner Advisory Committee

EPC: Educational Placement Center (SFUSD centralized enrollment office)

FIT/FYIT: Families and Youth in Transition (homeless)

IEP: Individualized Education Plan (for students with special educational needs)

IRF: Instructional Reform Facilitator

K2C: Kindergarten to College investment program

PAC: Parent Advisory Committee

PTA/PTO: Parent Teacher Association/Parent Teacher Organization

RSP: Resource Specialist Program (for students with IEPs in general-education classrooms all or most of the time; often refers to the teacher providing the supports)

RTI: Response to Intervention

SAP/CARE Teams: Student Assistance Program (site-based multidisciplinary support team)

SART/SARB: Student Attendance Review Team (site-based)/Student Attendance Review Board (district-level)

SBAC/CAASPP: Smarter Balanced Assessments/California Assessments of Student Performance and Progress

SBRC: Standards Based Report Card

SDC: Special Day Class (an old term used for Separate Classrooms providing supports to students with IEPs who require a more restricted environment for part or all of their school day)

SEL: Social Emotional Learning

SSC: School Site Council

SST: Student Success Team Meeting (collaborative meeting to provide individualized academic and/or behavioral supports for students who do not have IEPs; attendees include family, teacher[s], administrator, relevant support staff)

Who can help me at a school site?

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What leadership opportunities are there, for me as a parent or guardian, what are the requirements for helping, and how can I help?

There are many opportunities to take on leadership roles in your child’s school and at the district level (please read the next question for a list of councils and committees). Some opportunities to volunteer in school include: school clean-up days, gardening, preparing Wednesday folders, photocopying for classroom teacher, reading to students, and helping to organize field trips and celebrations. To find out how to volunteer at your school, check in with teacher, school secretary, PTA/PTO, Family Liaison, and school principal. Sign up for school’s Yahoo or Google groups to keep informed about what is happening in your school community.

What district-wide and site-based parent advisory boards are there?

  • School Site Council (SSC)
  • African American Parent Advisory Committee (AAPAC)
  • English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC)
  • Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
  • Bilingual Community Council (BCC, Board of Education Appointed)
  • Community Advisory Committee for Special Education (CAC)
  • African American Parent Advisory Council (AAPAC)
  • District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC)
  • Public Education Enrichment Fund Community Advisory Committee (PEEF CAC, Board of Education Appointed)

What training and workshop opportunities exist for me to best help my kid?

Link to the SPA calendar and have them contact our office so we can connect them to resources.

How do I understand school-site planning or student-assessment data?

The School Site Council (SSC) and principal draft the Balanced Scorecard (BSC, the school site plan). There is a wealth of resources and information about SSC planning and understanding school site data and budgets, and setting school priorities on the SFUSD Website SSC page. Also, talk to your principal and your school’s current SSC members to find out more specifically about your school.

How do I support my kid's transitions between grades and schools?

Transitions can be stressful. When we take the time to think about and plan our children’s transitions and include them in the process, we can make a huge positive difference. Unaddressed transition stress can lead students to behave in counterproductive ways and can have long-term consequences. Make sure to talk to your student and take advantage of any tours, shadowing, orientations, meet and greets, and step-up programs (at the secondary level) that your child’s school may offer. Visit the campus with your child before school starts. If there are people known to you and/or your child, reach out and connect informally beforehand, as well. Find out about your student’s teacher(s). Get to know them. Tell them about your child’s personality and learning style. These strategies can make your child’s transition to a new school and/or grade much smoother.

How do I understand "A through G" requirements?

Look at the SFUSD Graduation Requirements webpage, and request to sit down with your child’s counselor (Middle and High School) to review these requirements, or with your child’s teacher in elementary school.

What do I do if my child is experiencing bullying?

Similar to the handling of complaints, you should begin by checking in with your child’s teacher(s) to find out the context, and how the conflict between your child and the other student(s) is being addressed. If needed, then reach out to the principal. Ask if students receive support from a school social worker, and if there has been a restorative conversation. If conflicts aren’t resolved by collaborating with the school-site team, contact the Office of Family Voice for further support.

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