b'COMMUNITY| SCHOOL ENGAGEMENTBuilding Powerful PartnershipsBY EMILY INLOW-HOOD,BETWEEN PARENTS AND SCHOOLSCOMMUNICATIONS OFFICER AND CATHERINE CARBONE ROGERS, HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLSD If youre a busy parent, attending an evening school event might feel like a stretch at the end of a long day. Or maybe you work nights and cant attend PTA meetings or curriculum nights. You remind yourself you are your childs best advocate but wonder if there are other ways to engage with your childs education. In Highline Public Schools, you have a menu of options for con-necting with your childs teacher, school, and district leaders. Families attend an iReadyevent at Cedarhurst Elementary. PHOTO CREDIT: HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS Building Powerful Partnerships Between Parents and TeachersEach Highline school is unique and has family engagement opportunities geared to its community. Check out your schools website and social media to find out whats happening. Your school might offer Family Art Fridays or Coffee, Tea, or Atole with the Principal. Some schools have parent-teacher organizations (including but not limited to PTA) that support school needs and provide a net-work for families learning to navigate the school system. Elementary schools have family liaisons dedicated to connecting families and schools.Take a look through Highlines Family Engagement Catalog(highlineschools.org/familyengagement), which lists different types of family engagement activities. If you see something you would like to bring to your school, talk to your teacher or family liaison about ways to make it happen. Creating a Culture of Family EngagementWe want parents to engage with schools in ways that work for them, says Lolita ODonnell, Director of Family and Community Partnerships.ODonnell and her team of family engagement specialists and family liaisons support a culture of family engagement throughout the district. Her team trains teachers in strategies for communicating and building relationships withfamilies and creates opportunities for schools and parents to partner in their childs development.One example is the districts Parent University for families of kindergarteners and students new to Highline Public Schools. The program prepares parents to navigate a new and unfamiliar school system.14 |BURIEN MAGAZINE'