Partnering With Communities, Part 3: Focus Groups

by | 10.7.19

Xavier Reed is an educator in Minnesota. Follow him on Twitter @XavierReed_.

There is so much we can learn from parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents and any guardian. They’re in our students’ homes, and they have a perspective that is not always seen in the curriculum.
We’ve had families come in for focus groups, and we’ve gathered feedback in person about how they feel about our school and what we can improve. In those settings, families will often express appreciation for the work we put into communicating with them. They’ll also often raise larger, big-picture issues they are facing, such as struggles to find child care over winter break and extra snow days.
Hearing directly from families allows us to take a step back and ask, ‘What can we do about these larger challenges? What can we put in place, and what role can we play to support this community we’re a part of?’
We want our students’ family members to feel comfortable walking into the building and seeing themselves as part of our school. We value families giving feedback and helping us educate their children. If that’s not happening, then we’re not doing our job, and we’re not going to be as effective at what we do. The better we can know our kids, the better we can build a school community where they want to show up, every single day.

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