Bloomfield Public Schools’ fourth priority area is Parent & Community Engagement. The district and every school within it make clear that they view families and community as integral parts of the school system.
Bloomfield has a high degree of transparency regarding the work that is going on. For example, Bloomfield’s website contains specific information about the district and each school. Parents and community members can easily access School Accountability Plans and School Climate Survey results for information about school activities and community events. Parents are also able to track their students’ progress using an online Parent Portal that provides information about their children’s attendance, grades, and homework completion in real time.
In addition to their websites and online information, schools are finding many different ways to engage the community.
At Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School, parents are invited to visit the school for a “Second Cup of Coffee” on Thursday mornings. The principal and social worker station themselves in the school lobby to meet and greet parents, providing an informal opportunity for discourse and building relationships.
Laurel School participates in the National Watch D.O.G.S.(Dads of Great Students) program, in which fathers or significant men in a child’s life volunteer to participate in assorted school activities, as assigned by the school principal or other administrator. This school-based family-involvement program encourages dads, grandfathers, and uncles to help out in the classrooms, assist with program monitoring, and even eat lunch with their child in the cafeteria. Participants need to undergo specific training before they can begin their work at the schools. Laurel School has been delighted with the success of this initiative.
At Metacomet School, there is a great emphasis on involving the community in schoolprogramming. A number of local businesses and organizations come to the school to enrich the curriculum. For instance, Farmington Bank sends employees to Metacomet for a financial literacy day. Financial literacy has been woven into the existing curriculum, and students can also visit the Farmington Bank to open a $5.00 savings account or exchange their change for bills. Other community partners such as Home Depot and the Bloomfield Police Department send employees to visit the school and speak to the students about various topics.
Carmen Arace Intermediate and Middle schools build partnerships with their local communities, as well. They sponsor career days and field trips to local universities, and have also developed a STEM Day in which students learn about pre-engineering concepts and robotics.
Bloomfield High School involves families throughout the year with events such as honor roll dinners, which usually attract over 300 people.
This year, the Bloomfield Public School district is also trying something new: a software package called Parent Tracker, which allows each school to log parent visits and participation every day of the school year. This information will provide a more accurate picture of parent involvement throughout the school year. Since Bloomfield has made parent and community involvement such a clear priority, we anticipate they will see great results with this tracker, as well.
Click on the buttons below to learn about Bloomfield’s three other priorities, or to return to the overview page.