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Corner CAFE #7: Tweens to Teens: Partnerships with Families to Support Secondary Transitions

Corner CAFE #7: Tweens to Teens: Partnerships with Families to Support Secondary Transitions

Date of the Event: July 06, 2023 | Kailanya Brailey, Nikevia Thomas, Jessica Webster
Show Notes:

Our seventh and final session in the Corner CAFE series was “Tweens to Teens: Partnerships with Families to Support Secondary Transitions” with Kailanya Brailey and Jessica Webster.

In this session, we learned about the developmental needs of adolescents and strategies to strengthen home-school connections to ensure their transitions are positive experiences.
Revisit previous sessions in the Corner CAFE series:

Nikevia Thomas:

Welcome. Thank you for joining our Corner CAFE Community of Practice for Family Engagement Professionals in Maryland and Pennsylvania. We’re delighted that you’re joining us for our final Community of Practice for the year. Please come in. Come in, come in. Quite the topic today, Tween to Teen Transitions. If I didn’t introduce myself, which I probably didn’t, I will tell you who I am now. My name is Nikevia Thomas, and I’m...

Nikevia Thomas:

Welcome. Thank you for joining our Corner CAFE Community of Practice for Family Engagement Professionals in Maryland and Pennsylvania. We’re delighted that you’re joining us for our final Community of Practice for the year. Please come in. Come in, come in. Quite the topic today, Tween to Teen Transitions. If I didn’t introduce myself, which I probably didn’t, I will tell you who I am now. My name is Nikevia Thomas, and I’m a senior specialist at MAEC, and I work on the CAFE team. CAFE, if you don’t know, stands for the Collaborative Action for Family Engagement, and we are the statewide Family Engagement Center for Maryland and Pennsylvania. In fact, we are probably the only statewide family engagement center that serves two state, but I am the facilitator for today’s Community of Practice, and I am joined today by my esteemed colleagues who will be facilitating… oh, who will be guiding you all through the Tween to Teen transition presentation.

Okay. So let’s go over the agenda. So we are doing welcomes and introductions. We’ll learn about the adolescent brain. We’ll learn about what do families need during transitions. We’ll look at welcomes to middle school, we’ll look at welcome to high school, and then we’ll look at our Paving the Way to College and Career, and then action planning, and then some closing reflections.

So, MAEC is… We are a champion of innovation, collaboration, and equity. So here are some tips for enabling and disabling live caption. Live caption should show up on your screen already by default, and to enable it or to disable it, turn it off by using the webinar control panels at the bottom of your Zoom window and select “Live Caption” or “Closed Caption.” That button. To hide the subtitles, you can… Oh, sorry. To add them again, you would only need to repeat the same steps again and select “Show Subtitles.”

Oh, here’s our Zoom etiquette. So please use the chat box as you have been using already to engage with the other participants and our presenters for the day. We recommend that you click on the chat icon at the bottom of your toolbar or top of your toolbar of your screen. We will not be using the raise hand function. There will be a Q&A throughout the Community of Practice, but you are so encouraged to place your questions in the chat and in the “What I Wonder” section of your Padlet. If you happen to place it in the chat, we will try and move it over so that it’s captured in the “What I Wonder” section as well.

So let’s go a little bit over about the purpose of the Community of Practice. So the Corner CAFE Community of Practice is intended to be a cross-state collaboration initiative. We are taking professionals and resources from Maryland and Pennsylvania, and providing a space for practitioners from both Maryland and Pennsylvania to participate. Now, we do see that there are people who are here outside of Maryland and Pennsylvania, but that is the intent behind the Community of Practice. We see this as a networking opportunity to share resources and strategies across the states, and this is a community of practice that was developed for practitioners by practitioners. There is a steering committee of practitioners from multiple levels in education that were instrumental in putting together this Community of Practice, and the emphasis of this Community of Practice is on strategic, integrated, and comprehensive family engagement using the priorities from the Maryland State Department of Education and the Pennsylvania State Department of Education with a focus on equity and inclusion.

Now, it is my pleasure to introduce to you Kailanya Brailey, who is a colleague from… Kailanya is another colleague at MAEC, and Jessica Webster, who is my colleague, you’ve seen her a bunch of times. We’ve put together these Community of Practices. They are presenting to you today on Tweens to Teens: Partnerships with Families to Support Secondary Transitions. Uh-oh, something is wrong. Oh, something is wrong. I can’t view my notes. That’s okay. Jessica and Kailanya, would you please introduce yourselves?

Kailanya Brailey:

Happy to, happy to. Thank you, Nikevia. Good afternoon, everyone. I am Kailanya Brailey. I’m a senior education equity specialist here at MAEC. I am also working with our statewide Family Engagement Center in Maine. So I’m very excited to be here with you all today. Jessica and I like to say that adolescents are our people. We’re both former middle school principals. So, again, just really excited to have this conversation with you all today to delve a bit into this work and to engage with you on our tweens to teens. Jessica, would you like to take a moment and introduce yourself?

Jessica Webster:

Sure. So I come today bearing two hats. One is as a former middle school teacher and administrator, and the other is as a parent of two teenagers in my house, which totally rocks your world when you think you know it professionally, and then you have to actually raise them. So this presentation really came about because while I was working on my doctorate in education, I decided to do my dissertation on transitions for families going into middle school, and part of that was through my work, I thought I was a great communicator. I’m supporting families. I’m really helping them. I think I have an open-door policy, and I am doing all these programs with my staff, and we’re doing a great job. Then, you would hear parents talk about how they didn’t feel like schools were communicating with them. It feels a little personal, and you want to make sure you’re doing it right.

At that same time, I had a daughter going into a middle school in a different district, and the light bulb started to go off to say, “Actually, I think the parents are right. We are missing the boat on some of that.” So the question was, really, what are we missing? What do parents actually want us to communicate about? So we’re really excited to dive in and really get started on trying to help answer that question and untangle this full adolescent development piece for you. So, with that, I’ll turn it back over to Kailanya.

Kailanya Brailey:

Thank you, and let’s get started. Nikevia, you can go ahead and move us to the next slide. You can just keep tapping. I think two more. There we go. So we want to begin with having a conversation about what is family engagement. What does effective family engagement look and sound like? Our president, Susan Shaffer, says that family engagement needs to be more than a series of random acts. It requires a systemic, integrated, and comprehensive approach to working with families in support of children’s learning. So that is Susan’s stance. It is one that we subscribe to here at MAEC, but we also want to hear from you. So we want you to use the chat feature, and just in your experiences either as a practitioner, educator, as a parent, what does effective family engagement look like? What does it sound like? You can use your chat feature to put in those answers. We’ll give you about a minute or two.

Right. I’m seeing, “Great open communication.” “Open, honest two-way communication and collaboration.” “Partnership linked to learning.” Nice. “Flexible dates and times.” “Flexible dates and times.” “Follow-through on what they say they will do or want to do.” “A dream is just a dream until they act.” “Thought partnership with families.” “Parents participating in the planning and implementation of student events.” “Open communication.” “Working together for the benefit of their students.” “Teacher education on partnering with families.” “Open, honest communication and understanding.” “Involvement with intentional connection to hear, see, and value the perspectives, cultures of those with whom we serve and partner.” “In-person and Zooms.” “Positive communication.” “Relationship building.” We’re getting some really great responses. “Staff are approachable and will sincerely consider alternative practices.” Jessica, I agree. I love that one as well.

In the interest of time, of course, not seeing any that we would disagree with. Great responses. Thank you so much. As you continue to have thoughts, you are encouraged to add those to the discussion in the chat, but we’re hearing a lot about non-biased, open, positive, approachable communication, working with families as partners, and we would wholeheartedly agree, and that is a lot of the messaging around our presentation. So we are going to move into some core beliefs in order to have that open, honest communication, in order to have that partnership and follow-through. There are some beliefs that we believe need to be established, especially from the school and practitioner level, and so we’ll move to the next slide.

So we want to ground ourselves in what we feel are the core beliefs around family engagement that are necessary for those successful interactions. So these beliefs are that all parents, all families have dreams for their children and want the best for them. We have to believe that all parents have the capacity to support their children’s learning, that parents and school staff should be equal partners, but you’ll see that we’ve got this last note in bold print because it’s really, really incredibly important. The responsibility for building partnerships between school and home rest primarily with school staff, especially school leaders. This is incredibly important. School leaders should not make assumptions about what parents have the capacity to do, or what they have the capacity to contribute, or what they should be able to do. The primary work as a school leader, the primary work of school staff is to extend those opportunities for partnership to families. We can go to the next slide.

So when we consider those best practices, we’re mainly looking at Dr. Karen Mapp’s Dual Capacity Building Framework and that we notice that openly acknowledging those challenges, but then working toward alleviating those barriers. That’s where we get our attentional focus on building those relationships that lead to those positive outcomes. So we have our family engagement strategies anchored in those six essential process conditions and four C policy and program areas, but those lead to more effective partnerships that support student achievement. When you look at process conditions, you want to make sure that your relationships are built on trust, that they’re culturally responsive and respectful, that they’re asset-based. Again, we’re not making any assumptions about what our families can or cannot do in the efforts to engage them for student success. Next slide, please.

So I’m sure that you have, in some capacity, seen a version of this slide or this picture in particular. We just want to be sure that we know that when we’re talking about equity, we’re not using that term interchangeably with equality. Equal does not necessarily ensure equity. Often, equality ignores the diversity of real students in real communities and the experiences that they’re bringing. Equity, in contrast, actually acknowledges those different characteristics of students that we have to take into account regarding how these students are going to access curriculum programs, how these students are going to access supports, and how they’re going to access other opportunities in educational settings. So the goal for all learners is to ensure that they have excellent opportunities and outcomes that meet them according to their needs versus grouping them all together in the hopes of saying that we’re being equal. So just one thing for us to note.

Jessica Webster:

All right. So let’s dive in then to the adolescent brain. Quick, using your reaction bar on the Zoom, thumbs up or thumbs down if you would be excited to return back to your young adolescence. Thumbs up or thumbs down, or put it in the chat. I see a couple thumbs down. Well, Shaneese must have had a really good experience in middle school. Yeah, and I bet if you have any interactions with adolescents, that there are times that it makes you cringe a little bit because there’s a heck of a lot going on in that brain.

So, the next section, we’re going to talk a little bit about what the research says about brain development and about puberty, but I do just want to say with the caveat, thinking about that equity approach, that we’re really talking in generalizations here. But like everything else, this experience is going to be on a spectrum for students, and some students and children, you’re going to find, are going to be way in the weeds on some of these things and really, what I like to say, on the struggle bus, and some of our students are going to coast right through. So we want to figure out ways that we can support families to get kids closer to the coasting through part, understanding some of the challenges that they’re going to hit along the way. So, next slide, please.

All right. So what we’re really trying to recognize here is that in the beginnings of young adolescents, we are moving from a time where the parent is the leader of the child’s… their whole world, their first teacher, the person who they are spending their most time with and who they’re most eager to please to friends and peer groups being extremely important to them. So if you are a parent, there’s a really great book by Lisa Damour, which I will put in the chat later, and she describes this feeling of the parent being the sides of a pool and your child is swimming. When they’re younger, they stay really close to the side, they stay really close to you, and they’re afraid. As they get a little bit older, they start going out into the deep water.

What you see in adolescents, the way she describes it, is they’re in the deep water treading water until they get tired, and then they come back to the side of the pool, and the sides of the pool as a parent, you’re like, “Oh, this is great. They’re back.” Then, as soon as they’re rested, they push right off you again, and that physical feeling of pushing off and going back into the deep water is really what we want to help our parents understand and how to navigate that. So, next slide, please.

All right. So, from the research, the thing that stood out for me the most and the thing I talk to parents a lot is that we’re really focusing on the brain growth that occurs between the ages of about 10 to about 15. So we think about that. The first thing that that makes me realize that I want to recognize and maybe even as low as nine for early adolescents is that this starts well before students are going into middle school. We’re talking about these changes occurring in fourth and fifth grade for most kids, the beginnings of that. So when we talk about transition… Kailanya and I will repeat this a number of times and emphasize this. The transition programming has to start well before the spring of eighth grade or the spring of fifth grade going into sixth grade or eighth grade going into ninth grade. We’re really talking about making sure that we’re preparing parents ahead of the curve with their students.

The most powerful piece for me was one of the research articles said, “The brain growth that’s happening between these ages of 9 to 12 or 10 to 15 is happening at a greater rate than when children are from birth to two.” So think for a second about all the things that a newborn baby learns until they’re two years old. Language, movement, communication. Right? All of those pieces and how much your brain has to grow in order to become a toddler. Now, think about those 10, 11, 12, 13-year-olds and their rapidly changing brains that are happening.

So what we see is there’s a possible loss of impulse control. How many times are you like, “What were you thinking when you did that?” Right? Heightened sensitivity. I always said you could look at a kid the wrong way, and they might burst into tears or get really defensive with you. My favorite, which I have to remind myself on a regular basis, is that misinterpretation of social cues and dynamics 40% of the time, which is why my 12-year-old says to me all the time, “You didn’t tell me that.” Right? So we’re really looking at that area of the brain that controls executive functioning, decision-making, and we know it’s not fully developed in adolescence. So what you have is this inconsistent application of organizational skills and focus. Next slide, please.

That doesn’t even account for puberty, right? So, now, we’re adding into the mix that there are emerging interests in intimate relationships, a developing awareness of your own sexuality, sensitivity to how peers are viewing each other. In early adolescence, you begin to question, “Who am I, and how do I fit in with other people?” This is due now to neurochemical changes that are taking place in the brain, and so this also leads to a vulnerability for multiple risk factors including depression, violence, alcohol and drug use, and eating disorders. Next slide, please.

So it is no wonder then that when we look at the research, that schools who are measuring school climate across the board from K through at least eighth grade are seeing a dip in their measures of school climate when students leave in elementary school and head into a middle school setting. So you can imagine all the reasons this might be happening that have nothing to do with the school itself, but rather the internal processes or struggles and the social things that are happening with students, and at the same time, we see a dip in academic process, in our academic progress.

What we find is that kids who are starting a new school in grade six or seven, that tends to have the most negative impact on their confidence and academic success, but I will say that we do still see this in K through eight schools. So it may not be to the degree that it is in changing from an elementary to a middle school, but there still is a dip in school climate and academic progress, and those academic declines are not always… They’re not rebounding back up for students when they’re entering high school, so we want to keep that in mind as we continue the conversation. Next slide, please.

Then, we think about moving into that high school transition where there’s going to be higher academic demands. We’re not on teams, and so students may have a number of teachers, which means that becomes more of a student responsibility because teachers are not connected with each other as well across content areas. They’re navigating a new structure from the bottom, and they’re still in adolescent development. Next slide, please.

So one of the things I just want to point out here is that the reason that this is an extremely important topic for us as practitioners and parents is that what we’re finding is that up to 40% of ninth grade students in cities with the highest dropout rates are repeating ninth grade. But if students are repeating ninth grade, only 10% to 15% of the repeaters are going on to graduate. So we need to make sure that we’re understanding what’s happening because the consequences here are dire for student success, and we also want to point out that ninth grade attrition is far more pronounced in urban or high-poverty school districts. There’s 40% dropouts in low-income high schools leave after ninth grade. So when we’re looking at this big picture of adolescent development and we’re looking at the supports that we need, we can see why this is so important that we’re wrapping around those supports and that we’re bringing families into the conversation as early as possible. Next slide, please.

Now, one of the things that we talked about at the beginning was that transition from the parent as the primary teacher as they are their first and primary teacher in their households to becoming more of a facilitator and a walk-beside guide, guide on the side as students get older. One of the things that we also need to capture is that we’re making sure that we are amplifying our student voice throughout these transitions. So that means that in addition to family feedback, that we’re making sure we have feedback mechanisms for our students. Middle school students are responsible enough and eager enough to be part of student advisory committees, that there are places where they can have roles in decision-making, that they should be able to share their perspective in safe spaces. Right? We can do surveying, focus groups, full climate measures, and town halls to address concerns and answer questions.

I’m just going to pause right here to say that I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful experience in a middle school where we had teaming, and we had some issues that were coming up in our school where the teachers were uncomfortable with the way that some of the students were treating some of our students that had disabilities, and they brought us to a town hall, and we had a conversation about it. From that conversation, their question was, “As eighth grade leaders in the school, what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do? What is the decision? How can we problem-solve this?”

I was extremely shy individual. I took a moment, and I raised my hand, and I said, “I feel like we don’t ever interact with students who are in wheelchairs or in the special needs classroom, and maybe if people got to know each other, they would be taking care of each other instead of not being nice to them.” I remember specifically, my teacher looked at me and said, “Great idea. Get a committee together and do the work.” We did, and we started a Best Buddies Program. It wasn’t a formal Best Buddies Program, but a similar situation in our school. So middle school students are absolutely eager and willing, and they have a great sense of justice and needing for things to be equal. So they know all that.

We also see a drop-off in secondary participation in parent conferences. So what better way than to make them student-led because parents will come if their students are there doing the presentations, right? So making sure that students are talking about their learning, their challenges, and that they have a say in their growth and their own dreams along with their family is important. Using journals and portfolios so they can see their growth across time, right? Making sure that we do college and career workshop and networking. So how are we doing student-led panels to help them understand college and career preparation? How do we bring in alumni and current students who are going through the process to help mentor other students through the process which goes into mentorships?

Eighth graders are always eager to show their leadership skills and flex their muscles with their sixth grade peers. We have lots of examples of high schools that have mentorship programs for their ninth graders where they have ambassadors and they do activities with them to invite them into the school. Then, we also want to make sure that we really prioritize student voice when we include families in the exploration process for college and career counseling. We want to make sure that those are regular and open communication channels, and that we are understanding what their student voice is as it relates to their own interests and skills. Next slide, please.

So, family engagement. There’s a survey that was done in 2012 for teachers prior to the pandemic, obviously, and what we’re finding on the research is that educators consistently talk and express that they value partnering with families in order to build their strong homeschool partnerships. But on the other end of that, they know it’s important, but they also say it’s extremely difficult work. If you look at the Dual Capacity Framework, that’s what you see. You see the challenge being, really, a lack of skillset and understanding how to do the work in an equitable way. Next slide, please.

At the same time, as all this is happening, we also see parents declining… that there is a real decline in communication between home and school. What is alarming about that is that it affects different demographic groups differently. So parents of color or lower socioeconomic status are reporting that they are perceiving less preventative communication than white or more affluent parents in grade seven. So keep in mind that’s in the midst of what we are talking about here. All right? So one of the reasons that might be is on the next slide.

If you are not familiar with the work that Learning Heroes does, we’ll place those links in the chat for you, but they did do a report in 2019 that shared some interesting and what I would say is startling information about family engagement. They were focused mainly on high school, but if you look here, the one thing we wanted to point out is that parents are saying they’re perceiving a decline in parent communication, and we have a report that you can see what percent of parents teachers are communicating with during the school year beyond parent conferencing, and the job expectation that parent engagement is part of the job expectation declines in middle and high school.

So what Kailanya and I want to really call out here is when all of these things are happening in adolescents, that is not the time for declines in middle and high school communication with parents. While we recognize that students need to have a more… they’re more responsible for their learning as they get older, we’re going to talk about ways that we can support parents into those pathways so that they still feel that they’re part of the community. So, with that, Kailanya, why don’t you kick us off with what parents need during transitions?

Kailanya Brailey:

Absolutely. Thank you. We can go to the next slide. What do families need during transition? As our families are trying to support these tweens to teens as they move from middle school to high school, as they move from high school into college and career, what do the experiences need to be like at the school level and how we are helping them support their children and youth at home? We can go to the next slide.

One focus is definitely on creating welcoming schools and understanding the importance of the customer, that most important visitor on our premises. Imagine if you go into a store. That store actually depends on your presence, you patronizing their efforts, but you go in, and you’re not made to feel welcome. It’s hard for you to find things. When you ask for help, people act like you’re bothering them. You don’t feel welcome in that space, and you really don’t want to engage in that environment anymore.

We don’t want that to be the case for our schools, so we want to consider, “What do our entry procedures look like? What do our community-facing spaces look like? Do they cater to new families, but also established families? Do they cater to families that speak other languages or families that have members with disabilities?” It is incredibly important that we consider all of this when we’re scaffolding the welcoming experience of a school. If you’re dealing with feeder patterns and you have families that have multiple children, it’s so different to navigate entering the middle school versus the high school. What are some ways that we can actually streamline the process for our families?

Think about a procedure as simple as buzzing into the school building. Several families didn’t have that experience when they were growing up and coming through school, so that’s new to them. Is it fairly standard throughout the district how you would buzz into the building? When you walk into the main office, is there someone there to physically greet you, or is there a way for you to get some attention? If you don’t speak English, is there someone who’s able to communicate with you and not make you feel like you have created a challenge for them instead of you being able to help them get what they need in order to help their child or their older student be successful? We like to say children and youth, especially when we’re thinking about this perspective. We can go to the next slide, please.

We just want you to remember that access to information is equity. If your information is only available on the website, if it is only available on a paper copy in the front office, that is not an equitable practice, and so you need to be mindful of there being multiple modes of ways for your families to get communication and information for what’s happening at school. Next slide, please.

So we know that our families have three basic categories when it comes to knowledge that they’re going to need in order to support their students’ learning experiences. So their concerns are going to fit into one of these three categories. It’s going to be academic. Meaning, “Are there changes to expectations in the curriculum? How do I help my child with homework? What are school workloads? What should I expect if I need support for my child or if my student is experiencing difficulty?” Those are going to be some concerns that you may be approached with. “What about procedural concerns? Do you have lockers, locker combinations? What if my child rides the bus? How do I navigate going into different buildings in addition to school rules?” Then, of course, there are our social concerns. “How do I approach supporting my child socially and emotionally, making new friends, navigating changes to existing friendships?”

Jessica, I’m sure you can attest to the fact that when fifth graders come into sixth grade, one thing that we really see at the middle school level is a shift in friend level or a shift in friends. You were with the same group all through elementary school, and then you get mixed in with new students. You meet new people. You start grouping up according to interest. How do we support students in navigating those new social spaces? How do we help them navigate potential peer pressures? In essence, the curriculum of schools and how we do schools shouldn’t be hidden, and these are going to be the three categories that we are going to support families in context. Next slide, please.

Learning Heroes tell us that our parents deserve an accurate picture, and we thought that this information was really interesting because what we’re finding is that as the stakes get higher for kids, we end up losing our parents, and parents tend to believe that their child is performing at or above grade level, particularly in reading and math in K through eight, despite there being national data that shows that barely a third of our students perform at grade level. So you have these three questions to ask, “What is the perception of parents of middle and high school children in understanding achievement? How does this perception shape their behaviors and their attitudes toward their children’s success? Is there a different or bigger role for the education community in serving parents of middle and high school students, especially in understanding and gaining a more accurate picture of student achievement and performance?” Next slide, please.

So you look at two different types of engagement for families. We have home-based engagement supports and school-based education supports. Our home-based. How are we helping our parents or how are we supporting our parents in supporting their students at home? How can we assist them in being involved with schoolwork, taking their children to events, knowing about events, establishing a learning environment in the home versus school-based where we actually need them to engage with what’s happening on campus or in the school community? Are we making engagement opportunities actually visible? Do they know to attend certain events? Do they know to participate in school governance committees, volunteering, creating communication lines between parents and school personnel?

It’s important to remember that not every parent or not every family leader has the ability to engage in school-based activities. So what do we do? We have to make sure that we are providing the information for them to support their students at home as well. We’d like to make an assumption. Well, I will rephrase that. There have been assumptions that a parent who is not coming to PTA meetings or not coming to open house doesn’t care, and that’s not a safe assumption to make. We should still be providing information and engaging our opportunities for families to support their students at home because not everyone has the ability to engage in school-based activities. Next slide, please.

If we look at academic socialization, so moving from those school-based to home-based behaviors, academic socialization, that’s a parent engagement strategy that includes parents communicating their academic expectations for their children. So how can we empower them to discuss the value of education to link schoolwork to current events and strengthening the conversations that are happening at home? Research tells us that academic socialization as a form of parent involvement, that has the strongest positive relationship to student academic achievement, particularly moving into middle school because it’s a developmentally appropriate approach as students get older. So what are some ways that we can communicate between home and school? We can move to the next slide please.

So how we engage is incredibly important. So schools and teachers need to be able to analyze the content determined and what items are being pushed out or pulled from the website. Do parents have access to bell schedules? Do they have contact information? Who to call for what? Are our parents just always calling the front office because they don’t know who to reach out to for a particular service that might be more appropriate for the counseling department, or are they just asking to speak to the principal when really, we need to open the lines of communication with teachers? What are the school hours? Where is the information for the student handbook, and is that information available in multiple ways? Do they have access to lunch menus, to supply lists? Most importantly, is this information interactive, or is there just one way for families to gain access to this information? Next slide, please.

So we also want to, again, encourage that interactive communication, so not just, “What did you do in school today?” We want to make sure that we are making our first contact with family a positive one and that we are providing parents with opportunities to strengthen those conversations at home. So, asking for feedback, “Tell me about this particular lesson. Show me.” Actually encouraging families to have a student teach them how to do something. We will discuss later perhaps the divide in parents feeling like they have access to the curriculum or that they even understand student homework. So it could be a powerful opportunity to encourage families to have their students or to have their children actually teach them elements of the curriculum. Sharing your hopes and concerns. Actually making an effective plan of success as a family, creating vision statements, previewing the week ahead. Next slide, please.

One of our partners, ParentPowered, we actually partner with them through CAFE and with our other statewide Family Engagement Center in Maine, CEFAM. They have really highlighted the most accessible technology through text messaging with families. We found that parents prefer communication that’s direct, that it’s in electronic format, and that’s not necessarily done effectively through social media, but we’ve learned that 97% of American adults under 50, they have cell phones, and they send and receive text messages. So text messaging is a very effective way to get valuable information out to families, and tell them about services, and keep that information right at their fingertips, and the response rate is a lot higher. Next slide, please.

So one key thing to remember is that we want our families to know that we do not swim alone, that open dialogue is encouraged. Again, being mindful of cultural differences, making sure that your families know that their advocacy is welcomed, that their involvement is important, and we want to be sure that when we get them into the building or when we’re sharing this information, that we are, again, encouraging that open dialogue, but we aren’t overusing PowerPoint presentations or we aren’t overusing screens that have so much language that isn’t accessible. They want opportunities to be able to network and talk in community, and so it’s our opportunity to give that to them. Next slide, please.

So, just briefly and because we know that that was a lot of information, but it was an opportunity for you to think about structures that you already know to be in place or that you may already be employing in your work, so we want to give you about one to two minutes to think about what structures do you already have in place as it relates to engaging families and what might you want to add or adjust in order to engage those families. Of course, if we were in person, that would be a good opportunity to talk to a neighbor, but we do want to learn from the collective. So, in the chat, if you would take a moment to specifically name what structures do you currently have in place and what things might need to be added or adjusted in order to engage families in your current work. We’ll let that time start now.

Parent meetings, virtual meetings, in-person texts, calls and emails. Yes, we’d agree. Parents do want this. Parents share that they definitely see this as a need. Yes, Remind, Holly. Yes. We used Remind at my former middle school. Calling parents directly, especially those positive phone calls. Who doesn’t love to get a positive note about their child? Professional learning for staff. Actually supporting staff and knowing the importance of family engagement. Home visits. We’ll give a couple seconds just in case there are any additions to the chat. Thank you, all. Parent cafe. Monthly meetings, virtual and in-person. Yes, effective strategy, giving staff time at a staff meeting to text or make personal phone calls.

Jessica Webster:

I love that.

Kailanya Brailey:

Yes, yes. Consistently checking in. Wellness activities. Again, development of resources for staff to share with families. Thank you, all. Again, if you have any additional thoughts, please add them to the chat, but I am going to pass it back to Jessica to look more into what our parents need.

Jessica Webster:

All right. So we’re going to talk a little bit about some of the topics here. We’re going to go through them pretty quickly because we’ve hit on a few of them as we’ve gone through, but just a reminder as we move into our next phase. But one of the things I want to stress is we need to make sure that we’re bringing parents into these conversations when we talk about these things. So we may know what topics we need to hit because we understand the brain research, and we understand what’s happening during puberty, and we know what’s happening for most of our students going through, but as Kailanya said, we want to make sure that we’re having times for parents to work with other parents on these skills and that we’re listening to make sure that we’re focusing and prioritizing what parents need us to prioritize based on what their experiences are with their adolescents in their communities, right, because, again, putting that equity lens on it, when we’re doing a webinar, we have to be pretty general about how we’re talking about it, but we want to always emphasize that each district or each community may be going about these things or prioritizing different pieces of these things based on their experiences. So we want to make sure that we’re supporting families with social-emotional support, that we’re helping them understand how to encourage self-advocacy, why we do that.

One of the things that I often see is schools talking about, “Well, we have to amplify student voice, and students need to be responsible and be practicing self-advocacy,” but I’m not sure that we always put in place the pieces to get there or ask families to join us in that, right? So, instead, what ends up happening is if we don’t teach parents what that looks like and sounds like, and how we can support each other and why that’s important, we have to be careful that it doesn’t sound like the school saying like, “We just don’t want your parent, you as a parent here.” Right?

Also, recognizing that all students are going to be on that self-advocacy journey at different places because this, again, is not a one-size-fits-all. Kids are going to be going through these skills and be ready for skills at different times through the journey. So we can’t say all seventh graders need to be ready to self-advocate, but we need to talk to parents about how do we do that. So I think about like in a classroom setting where sometimes teachers will have rules that will say, “Ask three before me,” so the kids aren’t automatically asking them. You could easily build in a policy where you’re saying, “We want to hear from you, but we want to have you encourage your child to talk to the teacher first.” You can send an email saying, “My child came home with these concerns. He’s going to talk with you tomorrow about it, and then I’ll follow up with you after I talk with them, but I’d like you to help us by encouraging your child to talk first, if that makes sense.”

We also want to make sure we talk about that academic support. We want to make sure that we are vertically explaining how the curriculum changes and we’re not just talking about middle school with our elementary parents, but we’re giving them a bird’s eye view of what to expect even through high school because there are decisions that are made academically in middle school that absolutely in some cases affect high school requirements. So one of the things I like to say is in my school district, middle school requirements for who can take an honors class were very, very much based on academic data. But when you get up into the high school, students have a much easier process for self-selecting themselves into AP. There’s no gatekeeping is my point, that students get to choose whether they want to take on an honors class or an AP class.

We can have a whole philosophical argument about which of those programs is right, but as a middle school parent, it would’ve been nice for me to know that the decisions that were made for my child’s academics in middle school would not then impact whether they got into an honors course in high school, that there was still a chance for them to do that when they got into high school. That would’ve caused me a lot less anxiety. So, again, I think that those are important things that we think about as it’s a full continuum. It’s not just, “Let’s talk about middle school, and then let’s talk about high school.” So those academic supports are important for all to know. Next slide, please.

We also know that as students are really focusing on those peer groups, encouraging opportunities for extracurricular and co-curricular offerings are extremely important. We want to make sure that we’re also sharing opportunities in the community that are low-cost, and that we’re helping families network with each other, and providing opportunities for them to get to these places, and encouraging them to allow their students to explore new interests so that they can continue to grow socially. That’s a great way to keep kids on the right path in their peer opportunities and have them feel connected back to the school. That’s a great way to do it.

Then, we also want to make sure that we’re supporting that engagement. So, one of the things, “How was your day at school?” “Fine.” Right? But giving parents a cheat sheet of sentence starters or ways that they can communicate, learning restorative practices for how they can navigate those complex, intense moments that they’re going to have with their students, and understand that it is absolutely frustrating, but also to be expected that there’s going to be times where there’s going to be some headbutting and some resistance to parental control, and helping parents understand ways that they can communicate and how they can stay involved in building a positive relationship with their students through these years without being a helicopter parent and giving their kids that opportunity to slowly walk across the street without them holding their hands. Next slide, please.

We also want to make sure that we’re talking about financial supports for parents, especially when we start thinking about college, and how we are teaching kids, when should they begin with an allowance or budgeting, and how we can do that in the school setting, how we have families talk to their children about finance, how we talk about financial aid for college with our families, and make sure that we’re helping them navigate a very, very intimidating process, especially when we think about our families who are first generation college-goers themselves, what that might look like. So we want to do that, and along those same lines, we want to make sure we’re starting early with those interest inventories, career assessments, that we’re talking about career pathways in middle school and involving families in those conversations so that when we get to high school, we’ve already begun that college and career readiness piece. Next slide, please.

Finally, whether we like it or not, test prep is a huge part of adolescents, especially as we move into high school. So we’re talking about PSATs, and SATs, and ACTs, and which ones do you take, and which ones don’t you take. Do you take the AP exams? Are you doing dual enrollment opportunities, that we’re offering test prep sessions in a lot of different access modes for our students, remembering that it becomes even more inequitable when some kids can pay for an SAT prep course and other people can’t? I know in the school district where my students go, anyone can take the AP class, and everyone takes the AP test, and the district pays for it.

So we’re really talking about breaking down barriers so that there’s no excuse or boundary for kids to not be able to participate and access those things, which in the end, you get college credit for and saves you money. Same thing for dual enrollment programming, so that we’re making it accessible for students to be able to do what they need. For our students that are going into career tech centers, they also have significant requirements for testing, that they need to meet the testing to be certified in their areas of expertise, and so we want to make sure that we’re talking to parents about this early and giving them ways to work with their students and help them get ready for those test prep.

I think we talked a little bit about that in terms of career and college pathways, making sure that we’re talking early about all the different careers that are out there for students as much as possible, knowing that our students are leaving us with careers that haven’t even been designed yet as we move into this next crazy phase of AI and all that other stuff. Right? So how do we prepare students, and how do we make sure that we know what they want to do and that their parents know how to talk to them about those things? Remember what Kailanya said about academic socialization? What are the hopes and dreams of the family, and how are we making sure that those conversations are happening between the three?

Then, finally, last slide. There is no better or more important time other than, I would say, early mothering and fathering or grandparenting where networking is not essential as it is in middle school and high school. We need to help families connect with each other so that they’re not feeling like they’re going through this alone, that they can learn about what is something that all adolescents go through at some point. When should they be worried about something? What are some resources? What are some things that other parents have tried that have worked?

It can be a very isolating time to be a parent when your child, one minute, is your best friend, and the next minute, they’re pushing off you to go into the deep end, and they’re not always nice about it. So we want to make sure that we’re building up those networks through advisories, through parent cafes, through opportunities not just to come and listen to a speaker, but then to dissect it, talk with each other, and build those networks and pathways for our parents. Then, we also want to make sure, as we think about leaving high school, that we’re talking about housing. How do we help parents think ahead about, “How do you help your child do laundry? Do you need help with that?” How do we help them? We talked about budgeting and financial aid.

When we talk about that transition into college then, that’s a whole another shift into thinking about housing options, orientations, campus resources and how students can access those, peer mentors, and ambassadors. I used to do a lot of this work with my families that had students with special needs. How do you navigate not having an IEP anymore, and what college supports look like? Right? How do you access the Writing Center? Why would you go for learning support needs at college? How does that look different? How do you access mental health? How do you access the Medical Center? Those sorts of things are all super important as we move forward. Next slide, please.

All right. So we talked a little bit about this, but I think there are specific parenting skills and knowledge that we want to make sure that we’re accessing with our families. So if you would take a moment in the chat and write down from your experiences what do you think some topics are that parents might need to navigate with their students or with their children and young adolescents? Yeah, social media. Amen. Amen to that one. Yeah, the importance of sleep. I mean, what we know about sleep, and we know that kids are already experiencing all this tumble in their brain, right? Kids that are between 6 and 12 should be having 9 to 12 hours of sleep, and teens should be having 8 to 10. We know that’s not happening for our teens, right? So we really need to talk to parents about the importance of how to set… tips and tricks for setting up a sleep schedule with their children and talking to their children about it because that absolutely exaggerates a lot of the effects of adolescents if we don’t do that.

Mental health strategies. Absolutely, and I think about the mom that’s clearly there with her teenagers, how to navigate all the tensions that come with new arguments about things that are happening. Yeah. Yeah, nonverbal communication. Right? When we talk about that 40% of misinterpretation of cues, a lot of that comes down to body language, and so how can we keep neutral? Yep, yep. Hard to break habits here. Yep. Yep, and I think that’s right, Holly. How to set up boundaries with our children, and have them be part of the process of understanding what their schedule should look like, and making sure that they have time to decompress and all of that is super important. How to make sure that they have set up for organization skills and how we do that, and we need to do it well before… Again, before they get into middle school, we need to be talking about those things. Yeah, keep them coming. Next slide, please.

Just want to give a quick caveat that one of the biggest dangers that happens when we have these conversations is that we don’t want to assume that parents from culturally diverse backgrounds need parenting skills and that that’s what’s going on with their students, right? We want to really understand that deficit-oriented approaches would obviously and understandably generate a lot of resistance, especially around our families of color, and so we want to make sure that we are actually… Before we begin these parenting skills, there are things that we want everyone to know. We also need to make sure we’re talking to families to understand how their communication styles, and their rules, and their families work, what their concept of family is, what their concept of fairness and justice is. What are their approaches to specific things? How does religion play a part in how they raise their children? Right? How does their culture play a part?

Understanding that when we talk, I can talk about my experiences as growing up as a white female, but that is very different than some of my friends who were from Latina families who were like, “We weren’t allowed to go to boy-girl parties when we were in middle school.” Right? But I was. That wasn’t a big deal as long as parents were there. So if we assume that everybody is doing something the same way, we’re going to lose a lot of our parents along the process. So one thing I wanted to share is the resource on the next page, and what I like about this is BRYCS, which is Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services, has a number of these guides for welcoming new families into the American culture.

Remember at the beginning, Kailanya said we really don’t want to make the curriculum hidden, right? We want to make sure everybody understands what to do. They have a wonderful resource called Raising Teens in a New Country, and I actually think, reading it, that there were some helpful tips that even though my children… I’m not coming to a new country, I was born here. There were things in there that I was like, “Oh, yeah. I could even have these similar conversations with my own children.” So there are sections on there for parents, and then there’s also sections for teens to talk about how to navigate things like dating, like sharing your customs with your peer groups so that they can understand who you are, understanding how to navigate those tensions or how American children might act differently culturally than students from other places. So we like to share resources for things that work for us as well. Next slide, please.

Then, inside of that parent learning piece, again, ParentPowered has a really great framework for curriculum that they talk about, and we’ve talked about this a couple of times, so I won’t spend much time on that, but all the different things that you have mentioned in the chat that we have mentioned before, that if you build out a curriculum for what you’re sharing with families, that can be a text tip that you’re sending out to them, or you can partner with a company that is doing that work already and has it laid out, but it really just demystifies what is happening with our kids at this time and ways that parents can help them. Then, the next piece in this whole is really supporting student learning at home. So, on the next slide, you will see… Next slide after that. We’re going to just show a couple minutes, a couple seconds of this brief video because I think it’s pretty funny, but it really does highlight what’s happening with families as children enter adolescence. So, I don’t know. Nikevia, it doesn’t look like it’s coming up. Is that up there?

Nikevia Thomas:

I’m here. One second. Let me stop sharing my screen to see what’s going on. One second, everybody.

Jessica Webster:

I can do it if you want.

Nikevia Thomas:

Oh, it’s here. It’s here.

Jessica Webster:

Got it? Okay.

Nikevia Thomas:

It just-

Jessica Webster:

Technology. It’s just.

Nikevia Thomas:

Yeah. Fun times, everybody. Hold on. Let me go back. Okay. I’m going to share my screen again this time with the sound. Okay. Here we go. Ugh, it’s there. Here we go.

Speaker 4:

What causes dark spots?

Nikevia Thomas:


Speaker 5:

Those little dark blotches on your skin aren’t caused by the sun or your liver.

Nikevia Thomas:

Here we go. We’ll see.

Speaker 6:

Just more on science about dominant alleles.

Speaker 7:

Dominant? What?

Speaker 6:

This is algebra.

Speaker 8:

Okay. Now, we’re done with graphing.

Speaker 6:

So let’s make a Punnett square.

Speaker 7:

What square?

Speaker 6:

We need to… So if Sally had…

Speaker 8:

Sally? (Singing).

Jessica Webster:

Thank you. So we won’t watch the whole thing. If you’d like to watch the whole thing, it’s the Holderness Family, and they do a bunch of videos like this. They have quite a few on… Actually, he has ADHD, and he does a lot of videos on ADHD, Pride, and all the amazing skills that go with it, but they’re pretty funny. But as I was watching that, I thought, “Oh my gosh, this is exactly what families are going through.” Right? So if families think that they’re supposed to sit there and help with their middle-schooler and high-schooler with homework, we’re not doing our jobs right. Right? But what can we make sure that families know how to do and give them the skills for?

So the next slide really talks about a resource that MAEC has called Adelante! Moving Forward! It really was a resource that we built specifically for families of English learners, but I think that these things are important for us to talk to all parents about, what our expectations are and what we expect them to do with that academic socialization and the learning. Right? The supports that we don’t see. We want to make sure that we tell how… We explained that, talking to your child about school, why it’s important, what you want to know about it. Make sure that they’re eating balanced meals. What does a balanced meal look like? Right? Because it does change as kids go through adolescence.

We want to make sure that they’re eating, and caloric intake, and all of that. Making sure that we’re talking about structured appropriate learning environments for home. What does that look like, and how can you do that in your home even if you’re sharing space? What can schools provide for homes that need that to help them with that? Then, making sure that they understand the importance of routines, especially around sleep and high expectations, so that we’re really talking about, again, that academic socialization piece and that we’re helping families through that. Next slide.

So, in middle school, there are a few programs that we just want to highlight very quickly that we’re seeing as evidence-based programming. We really want to talk about making sure that we’re providing transition programs, that we’re starting events at the elementary into middle school or the middle into high school to welcome families, that they’re happening in their home schools first so that they’re getting to know like we’re passing off, we’re physically passing off to the next group, and that we’re building those relationships ahead of time.

Obviously, tours of school building, summer programmings to prepare students, especially those that are going to need some more transition time, and then maybe most importantly, workshops for families. Again, remembering that point of letting families have time to network with each other that are going to share academic programs, options, engagement strategies that can be run by parent leaders, alumni, financial planners needing pro bono hours, et cetera, all of that, that we want to make sure that we’re providing these opportunities for families by Zoom, in person, that we have them in multiple languages, and that we have them in multiple ways to access this information.

We also want to make sure that we have very strong advisory systems. So having middle schools that have an opportunity for one advisor when they start. Kids have so many different teachers. Who is the one person that families could call? Then, that really should be a process that sticks with you all four years that there’s one person or one team of people that know your child and can serve in that advisory role with them, and that we’re making sure that that person is able to share out information to their families that they’re getting to know, and that that’s also your designated point of contact, which goes back to Kailanya’s point about, “Who do I call for what?” Right? So we want to make sure that we do that for families. Next slide, please.

We talked about that post-secondary and college information. We want to make sure that we have strong parent organizations because, again, there is no reason for schools to do this all on their own. We need to make sure that we’re bringing in our communities who are trusted. We have community brokers. We have community leaders that are trusted. We have parents who have been through this with older students. It’d be really great to make sure that we have these organizations and some leadership opportunities, and that we’re also listening. We’re listening to what they want and that we’re talking about issues that parents have and what they need to support their families as we move forward.

Then, we also want to make sure that we continue. We do this very well in elementary school. How are we showing/displaying student work, and how are we talking to parents about data to help adjust the program plans with our advisees and their families? We’re looking at them, and we’re saying, “Okay. What do we need to do to get you to those hopes and dreams?” or, what do we want to do to modify the hope and dream because we need to work on this right now?” or, “Wow. We didn’t know we took this class, and now we think we want to be a welder. We didn’t know we wanted to do that before. We thought we wanted to be a teacher.” So how do we make sure that we’re continuously progress monitoring with our families, and sharing that data, and talking about it in different ways? Next slide, please.

All right. So this is all super important because if we don’t have this vertical alignment, what we’re finding is that out of 18 million students who enrolled in college in 2008, almost close to a third of them dropped out in their first year because they’re coming in overconfident, under-prepared, and lacking realistic expectations about college. So the majority of the students that are leaving in those first years are doing so within the first six weeks of a fall term because they’ve not been able to make a successful transition. So, Kailanya, I’m going to turn it over to you very quickly to talk about that college prep piece to highlight a little bit of that.

Kailanya Brailey:

Thank you. We are going to do a brief overview of our Paving the Way to College and Careers: Families and Schools Together. It’s a curriculum guide, and we are actually in the process of updating and reworking this piece. We’re going to make a quick adjustment though. We were going to give you some time to actually give some feedback to the tool, but we’re going to make an adjustment for time, and we’ll revisit that opportunity at another date. But we did want to let you know what we are thinking as we consider supports that families need as their students transition through the different school levels, but particularly as they are preparing to move into college and career. So, we can go… Yes, that’s the cover. We can move to the next slide.

So, again, we are currently in the process of evaluating and updating this tool. It was written in 2012, so you can imagine that in 2023, it would be imperative that we make some necessary changes to ensure that this tool remains relevant, and so just a brief overview of the curriculum guide goals. The goal of Paving the Way is to ensure that families understand the important role they play in establishing post-secondary goals with their students to understand high school as a launchpad, and that’s actually College Summit language. This was a partnership with College Summit, so using high school as a launchpad to their post-secondary options, and lastly, also, to help familiarize families with the college preparation process, including things from how to build a strong academic record portfolio, how to write a resume, how to network, how to get internships, make community connections, and things of that nature. We can move to the next slide.

So, again, because this was a partnership with College Summit, you initially see language like college-going culture. We also understand that that would be a shift in 2023 as well for students. However, the last bullet on this slide says, “Schools, families, and communities give students the same message of high expectations for their future.” So while we may not be creating a college-going culture anymore, there is still room and opportunity to communicate the message of high expectations and supporting students as they pursue and lift their own skills for their future.

So, again, this is really wordy, so we’re not going to read all of this to you, but we addressed that third element that I just read to you by forming a bridge, by involving families in those communications, involving families in setting those high expectations. Note that post-secondary education does refer to traditional four-year colleges and universities, two-year colleges, one-year tech schools, and certificate programs. Just as in this presentation, we do use the words “families” or “parent” interchangeably, but any adult who’s charged with the welfare, health and safety, and development of a child would be identified as a parent. We also want to note that the term “families” pertains to all types of families. We want to be sure that even as we update this work, one thing that will remain the same is our commitment to acknowledging the diversity and types of families, and that will continue to be lifted through this implementation. So we are going to look at how it is structured, so we can go to the next slide.

So the original guide serves grades 9 through 11, and they are five to six lessons per grade level. Most of these are facilitated as school-based family nights. So families come in, and they have conversations and receive supports around post-secondary efforts and readiness communication, looking at GPAs. What does communication and support look like? How to ensure that your student is organized? How can you help them set goals, that vision statement or vision planning? Again, career days, looking at financial planning, toolkits, and even celebrating at the end in order to look at your transcripts and prepare for the following school year.

What we originally had… We can go to the next few slides. We can actually skip about, I think, six. So this was how each grade level was outlined, but here is what we are thinking, and there’s rose, thorn, bud. That’s what you all were going to be able to do in your groups where you look at what’s working, what challenges could you see, and what has potential with the work, but this is what we are proposing at this point. So we can move to the next slide.

So, currently, we’re looking at, of course, shifting from a college-going culture to college and career. As Jessica and I have talked about throughout this entire presentation, the transitions with middle to high are also important, and so including grade eight and individualized graduation plans in addition to serving grades 9 through 11 would also be an impactful strategy, shifting to multiple modes to allow families. So while this curriculum guide serves for family nights, again, we’ve acknowledged every family can’t come to a school-based family night, but they still deserve equitable access to this information. So how might we make adjustments to ensure that all families receive access to this information, and lastly, how do we amplify student voice at the school and at the home level? So that’s where we are in this work. We just thought it would be important that you know that not only are we sharing this information out, but this is work that we’re doing internally as well as we grow in our practice.

Jessica Webster:

So let’s wrap up real quick with a couple questions that we want you to take with you when you think about action planning for the work that you’re doing with our families based on the information we had. I apologize that we rushed through some of it. No matter how many times Kailanya and I have this conversation or talk through it, it’s such an intense topic. It’s really hard to do an hour or an hour and a half on it, so thanks for sticking with us, but next slide, please.

So the Dual Capacity Framework focuses a lot on that idea that things need to be linked for learning. One of the takeaways we just want to leave you with today is that linked for learning isn’t just academic, right? As we think about adolescent development, learning is also part of their developmental needs here, and so we have four questions that we want you to use as a tool to reflect upon as you move forward in this work whether it’s about adolescent development or at any point your family engagement practices.

The first one is, “When we are engaging with families, are they able to take home new ideas that they can use to support their child’s academic and/or developmental needs in the classroom and at home?” “Do the experiences that we are creating, whether they are events, newsletters, text messages, whatever those experiences may be, do they provide concrete ways for families to support their child’s learning at home through conversation starters or activity materials or event and opportunities for them to connect? Do the experiences provide a way for them to share their understanding, family understanding of their child’s learnings with educators? Again, it goes back to getting feedback from families. What are they seeing and experiencing? How are they perceiving what’s happening with their children? Is school staff acknowledging that families are capable of learning as part of the teaching team for their child? So we ask that you take those questions back and use them as your action planning to think about how we can continue to do this work to support our families, especially through this difficult time.

The next slide after this questions one is, really, our survey, and so we’d like to ask you to take our survey for us and give us some feedback on the work that we’re doing. I know I speak for Kailanya when I say this is a topic that is near and dear to both of our hearts, and so feel free to reach out if you have questions or resources that you would like us to know about and share. We’re always open to sharing out great evidence-based practices, and we do a lot of work with school districts, and so we’re constantly sharing what we’re learning and taking it to other people. So if you could take a minute and complete the survey, and I just want to thank you for spending a summer afternoon with us.

Kailanya Brailey:

Yes. Thank you very much.

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