In the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, we believe that a parent is the student’s first teacher, and that positive relationships between families, teachers and students will help students to be successful. Family Advocacy is the vehicle that the district uses to strengthen relationships with parents. The district recognizes that students need support at home to be successful in school. So, KCKPS has created the Family Advocate System to create a home-school connection. Each professional and support staff person is assigned to approximately 12 to 17 students and their families. The staff/family relationship last the entire time the students attend the school. This means that the key adults in each student’s life have ongoing contact with one another, communicating about the student’s academic and personal needs. The district has implemented the Family Advocate System in all of its schools.
- Meet at least 30 minutes each week designated for Family Advocacy time.
- Family Advocates facilitate prosocial skills during that time using Second Step, Pre-K through 8th grade and School Connect at the High Schools.
- Meet and orient new students to the small learning communities.
- Work with students and families to identify interests, build strengths and head off problems.
- Support students’ academic and behavior progress using a continuous stream of information from other teachers, the school and the district.
- Plan and lead at least two meetings each year with each student and parents or guardians.
- Get in touch with each family at least once a month.
- Help other faculty and staff work effectively with the student.