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It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right: Establishing Powerful School/Community Partnerships

Research has identified that family and community engagement are factors to student success. However schools often struggle to overcome barriers that prevent the development of relationships with families and community organizations. School leaders often partner with agencies to help remove those barriers. Unfortunately, more times than not, school leaders and/or agencies can be left feeling unsatisfied with these partnerships. This presentation will focus on sharing the tools and frameworks that Mrs. Mills and Dr. Huffman have developed to keep their partnership grounded in the right work while supporting the development of the relationship. The entire journey of the partnership will be shared, from how it began to how it got to where we are now and include all of the highs and lows. Mrs. Mills and Dr. Huffman will share how they have maneuvered through tough times in the partnership to come out even stronger and more committed to family and community engagement.

This talk was presented at:
2020 National ESEA Conference
February 2020 in Atlanta, GA
Susan Huffman

Dr. Huffman has been the principal of Alexis I du Pont Middle school for the last four years. During her time there, she has successfully improved student achievement and the overall school climate. She is passionate about the work surrounding school improvement dedicated to the success of all students.

Bernadette Mills

Mrs. Mills, M.Ed., CEO and Founder of High Impact (501c3) which is designed to educate, empower and equip students, parents and community. This is accomplished as we build capacity through proven strategies for desired outcomes.  Mrs. Mills has contracted with various local, state and federal programs including school districts, and state agencies alike.  Bernadette believes education is the game changer.  Being raised by a single parent; she thoughtfully has considered its impact and recently hosted the first Faith-Based HIGH IMPACT Parenting Summit in January 2018 where educators, administrators and community leaders attended along with parents and service providers. As a result, her program was being replicated in two of the three counties in Delaware (Kent, and Sussex in 2018) by First State of Delaware and the Delaware Fatherhood & Family Coalition. Her passion for parents and families are evidenced by her recent programming of two events contracted to increase parent involvement with the expected outcome of 100 people at AI DuPont Middle School. The first event was attended by over 300 people and the second event had 572 parents and students in attendance. Her Motto, “You must build trust before you can build capacity and after obtaining that trust, don’t abuse it”.