Woodward Elementary of the DeKalb County School District has been named a 2016 Georgia Family-Friendly Partnership School by the state Department of Education.
The award honors Title I schools for exemplary customer service that leads to partnerships with families, thereby improving student achievement. Just six schools in Georgia earned the award this year. As an award winner, Woodward Elementary will be designated as a Family-Friendly School by the Georgia Department of Education for five years.
Winning schools are recognized for welcoming families, communicating effectively, supporting student success, speaking up for every child, sharing power and collaborating with the community.
“One of the ways we are Building TRUST with our community is through improved customer service. We are pleased that Woodward Elementary has been recognized for leading the way in being family-friendly,” said Green. “We are redoubling our efforts with our other campuses so this level of service becomes the standard.”
According to the Georgia Department of Education, Family-Friendly Partnership Schools are selected after submitting an application, a review by respected educators, and a site visit. During the site visits, judges conduct surprise walk-throughs and interview school staff and visitors to assess each school’s welcoming environment.
Woodward Elementary was honored for developing a routine around parent engagement. Judges noted the following examples:
- “Parents know that STAR, or Students Taking Academic Responsibility, folders which serve as a daily two-way communication tool between home and school…”
- “The bilingual monthly calendar with school updates are provided in that folder the week before each month begins, and instructional parent meetings are held on the last Wednesday of every month beginning at 9 a.m. like clockwork.”
- “(The school) has also educated parents on reading student data and given them support with questions to use during conferences which their students lead them through. Students review their data notebook, with assistance from their teachers, with their parents; this process allows the entire family to take responsibility for each student’s learning.”