Family Learning and Support – Renton School District
Request for Investment (RFI)
After a highly successful pilot at Lakeridge Elementary, the Family Learning and Support project is ready to grow and replicate from one school to multiple elementary schools in the Renton School District. Following intensive social emotional learning at school, students become their families’ teachers! Short, interactive, evening learning events are held with families so that skills learned and practiced in the classroom can get integrated into homes. Families can also opt into deeper collaboration with their student’s teacher for tailored support.
Funding preferably multi-year inclusive of funding for evaluation and documentation of the approach and learnings.
Single gift– $100,000 annual investment for up to five years by October 31, 2022.
Three gifts — $33,000 annual investment for up to five years
Ten gifts — $10,000 annual investment for up to five years
This project was piloted in the FY21/22 school year in partnership with Lakeridge Elementary School. It offered students, educators, and families the opportunity to build social emotional skills – Emotional Regulation, Relationship, Communication, Problem Solving — together during an extremely difficult year following on from the disruptive effects of the pandemic on public education and families. Lakeridge first grade educators, students, and their families implemented an assessment tool to gauge student strengths in each area, learn new skills, and map out tailored strategies for students needing additional support.
Renton School District student body is majority Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Lakeridge Elementary identifies as 79.1% BIPOC (16.6% Hispanic/Latinx, 47.1% Black, 15.4% Asian, .3% American Indian/Alaskan Native, 1.2% Native/Hawaiian/other pacific islander, 8.2% two+ races). 34.4% are transitional bilingual or English Language Learners, 77% are from low-income households, and 15% have disabilities.
As part of the pilot, which was named “Orcas in the Cs” after their school mascot, students co-created instructional videos on social-emotional skills and self-regulation practices. These videos were used to promote the Family Learning and Support evening sessions, called Family Learning & Connection (FLC), which were well attended and very well received. After watching a Listening Skills video, a classmate told her caregiver: “That’s how I want you to listen to me!” Here are examples of the student videos:
Why This Project Matters:
Sound Discipline’s Whole School partners engage in comprehensive and intensive work with adults in the school building – educators, specialists, administrators – but has struggled to connect that work to families. Ideally the approaches in the classroom will get reinforced and used to support the whole family.
Part of the challenge has been that families face many barriers to attending evening workshops. This year, with Lakeridge, Sound Discipline tried a new approach; After working with educators to teach and model social emotional learning skills, students modeled what they were learning in teaching videos for families. Families were invited to a 30-minute Zoom call featuring their students as teachers, to learn what their children were learning and to integrate these practices at home.
It worked. Families attended in large numbers to be learners with their students as teachers. Families were offered the chance to go deeper by engaging privately with their teacher to talk about strategies for their student and ways to support them at home. Families took up that invitation. Families reported feeling more connected to their child’s school, and to the value of what they were learning for their child and for their whole family.
“I am so glad this is happening at school for my daughter. Since coming to FLC sessions, I understand what she is learning and can do it at home too. I see it making a difference with her and her sister.”
– Lakeridge Elementary parent
“I appreciated the [Sound Discipline] team sharing with us how they are teaching the students how to calm down. This is something we struggle with at home, and I would like to use the same methods that are practiced at school to really help the habit sink in.”
– Lakeridge 1st Grade Parent
“We are 100% focused on meeting students’ basic needs [through our partnership with Sound Discipline]. We believe equity begins with meeting basic needs, and relationships are a basic need. If I could wave a magic wand, the most important way for us to support our students is more caring adults working in partnership with teachers and students.”
– DeeAnn Wells, Assistant Principal at Lakeridge Elementary
Pilot outcomes are as follows. Part of what your investment finances is more robust evaluation and assessment of a variety of change factors.
- 75% of parents/caregivers reported feeling confident about practicing the SEL skill they learned at home with their 1st grader.
- 90% of parents/caregivers reported that the Family Learning and Connection sessions were useful.
- 75% of parents/caregivers reported feeling connected to the Lakeridge community because of the FLC program.
Investment Plus Understanding
In addition to donors’ financial investment, we invite your ambassadorship. To help investors develop a deeper understanding of the work and to support your ability to spread the word and advance public understanding of the purpose and benefits of this work, investors are invited to participate in workshops. We will offer and encourage investors to attend at least one of five annual learning events.
To invest in Family Learning and Support project, please contact Sarah Schieron at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-914-7636.