Develop Your Action Plan
Now is the time to work with your Excellence Team to develop your School of Excellence action plan, prioritize your work and access all resources available to you. Be intentional with the feedback you have received from the field to identify a school improvement goal that will continuously enhance school programs, policies and/or practices.
Using your focus area, your job will be to create an action plan that will move the needle to the ALWAYS category in any areas of need in your Final Survey. Be sure to focus on at least one National Standard for Family-School partnerships and one of the Four I's for Transformative Family Engagement in your work.
As you build your action plan visit PTA.org/Programs and PTA.org/Grants to find National PTA programs and grant offerings that can enhance your work. Given the impact of COVID-19, consider utilizing different program models (real-time, at your own pace and tech-free) to ensure you are best catering to your community.
There is no perfect formula for developing a School of Excellence action plan. However you choose to create your action, your priority should be creating something that uniquely serves your community. Check out these sample action plans and resources as you create your own action plan:
Use the Roadmap to Excellence
Using the online Roadmap to Excellence, the Step #5 Training as well as additional local/state resources and community partnerships, your Excellence Team will build an action plan that will have the greatest impact on increasing family engagement and achieving results. Meet with your Excellence Team regularly, hold each other accountable, document your progress and celebrate your accomplishments along the way.
Work with your Excellence team to develop other resources and partnerships that apply to your specific goals. As you develop your plan, make sure that your work is aligned with feedback from the field for continuous school improvement. You will later be asked to explain the measurable outcomes produced as a result of this work in your Final Application (Step #7).
Best Practice in Family Engagement
As you move through your action plan, make sure that your work is based in best practice for family engagement. You will later be asked to explain how you incorporated this information into your action plan for improvement in your Final Application (Step #7).
The foundation for building successful family-school partnerships start with the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Embedding the standards into your efforts in the School of Excellence program ensures that your efforts are cultivating family engagement and community involvement. The National Standards for Family-School Partnerships are as follows:
- Welcoming ALL Families into the School Community - create a climate that is welcoming for all families and build/develop a respectful, inclusive school community
- Communicating Effectively - keep families informed about important issues and events and make it easy for parents to communicate with all school personnel
- Supporting Student Success - ensure families know about their child’s academic progress and how well the entire school is progressing, engage families in classroom learning, promote after-school learning opportunities
- Speaking Up for Every Child - empower families to advocate and support their own and other children’s success in school and beyond
- Sharing Power - strengthen the families’ voice in shared decision making, address issues in your school and/or community, work with the school to amplify the parent voice and cultivate parent leadership
- Collaborating with the Community - work closely with community organizations and/or businesses to strengthen the school, make resources available to students, school staff and families and build a family-friendly community
The Four 'I's of Transformative Family Engagement, as presented by PTA’s Center for Family Engagement, outline how your PTA can become more effective in its approaches to family engagement. The Four I’s help your PTA become more:
- Inclusive. When PTAs are inclusive they embrace and value diverse perspectives. Strategies include: inviting diverse perspectives, questioning assumptions, intentionally building relationships
- Individualized. When PTAs take an individualized approach to family engagement they meet the unique needs of every family and child. Strategies include: personalizing invitations, tailoring experiences, being responsive
- Integration. When PTAs have an integrated approach to family engagement they connect and align their efforts with the broader educational system. Strategies include: linking to learning, putting the "T" in PTA, going beyond one-time events
- Impactful. When PTAs are impactful they empower families to support their children’s success. Strategies include: developing knowledge and skills, providing opportunities to practice and interact, measuring success
Learn which for the Four I's for Transformative Family Engagement current School of Excellence participants are focusing on and how they plan to create meaningful change in their community here.
Recommended Trainings (optional)
- Step #5: Following Your Roadmap to Excellence (slide deck): This training covers using your Baseline Survey results to analyze perceptions in current family-school partnership trends, creating an action plan that is rooted in best practice, and a few helpful resources and tips to ensure you excel in the program.
- Family Engagement in a Virtual World (slide deck) training with Tracie Potts, NPTA Family Engagement Fellow
- Transformative Family Engagement (3 min. video) with Tracie Potts, NPTA Family Engagement Fellow
- Q&A with Ni Kal Price from Mark Twain Elementary PTA, 2019 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Winner: As you start to develop your School of Excellence plans, check our this informal Q&A session to learn from the expert! Ni Kal shares how she built an inclusive Excellence Team and worked with her team to deploy the School of Excellence surveys and develop a plan of work to address the greatest need in the school community (Steps # 1-5). View the chat log.
- Excellence Chat I (12/09/2020): School of Excellence and the Four Is for Transformative Family Engagement: Review the optional survey responses collected from School of Excellence participants prior to the session and/or the session notes to learn more about how other School of Excellence participates are working towards Excellence.
- Excellence Chat and Q&A Session II (1/14/2021): This optional School of Excellence Q&A session allowed participants to touch base about progress in the School of Excellence program. Notes from the informal session can be found here.
- Excellence Chat III (2/23/2021): This optional School of Excellence Q&A/chat session to touch base with program participants about their progress in the School of Excellence program. Check out this collaborative document created by session participants!