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Renton School District

Family and Community Engagement (FACE)

Ensuring families and communities are better connected with their local school is a priority for Renton School District. It’s important for many reasons, and for many people throughout the district. As he prepared to step into the role of Superintendent this school year, Dr. Damien Pattenaude heard from many parents, students, staff, and community members who said better communication between school and families, and more opportunities for family and community engagement, were needed. Responding to that need, Dr. Pattenaude immediately included improved family and community engagement as part of the district’s core values of Service, Excellence, and Equity.

One of the ways the district is working to meet those needs is through the Family And Community Engagement (FACE) initiative. The work includes listening to parents, community members, students, and school staff to better understand their definitions and desires for what it means to be connected and engaged with schools. A workgroup of these stakeholders has begun to meet to review research that supports the impact of family engagement on student achievement; developing a common language and hallmarks of quality family engagement to frame their work; and to identify shared themes and principles to assist with setting goals.

“Through our district FACE initiative, we will open opportunities to examine our beliefs about what engagement means and how best to involve families and communities in their schools,” said Linda Hoste, the district’s Director of Categorical Programs.

The working group will continue to involve many more voices in the work by creating a district-wide survey for families, students, and staff, and conduct listening sessions across the district.


Family and Community Engagement Vision

We believe family engagement has a positive effect on student achievement and supports the District mission that each student graduates with options and is prepared to fully participate in our democracy. We will know we have achieved authentic family engagement when students and families feel their cultures are valued and when all families experience trusting and respectful relationships, meaningful communication, and collaborative partnerships.

Trusting Relationships

Respect is at the root of trusting relationships.  Building trusting relationships is ongoing, two-way, and starts from day one. Trust is fostered by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, listening, transparent communication, and valuing the background and culture of families. Honoring the dignity and expertise of families creates understanding and connections. Trusting relationships should be consistently apparent in every engagement.

Family and School Culture

Culture fosters a sense of belonging. Everyone exists within multiple cultures. Culture influences our day-to-day actions, values, beliefs, and interactions. Cultural respect, understanding, and dialogue are essential for positive student sense of self and academic achievement.

Meaningful Communication

Effective communication is our effort to respect and understand one another. It is essential for all voices to be heard. Active listening is necessary for mutual understanding. Communication must be ongoing, two-way, and accessible for all in languages and forms that reach each member of the community.

Collaborative Partnerships

Collaborative Partnerships occur when all voices (students, staff, family, and community) respectfully plan together to support student achievement.  We seek diverse perspectives, input from those impacted, and we create priorities together.  Conversation is connected to action and leads to meaningful solutions.  Expectations, responsibilities, and accountability are shared.  Collaborative Partnerships play to everyone’s strengths.

Expanding Current Activities

  • Latino literacy classes;
  • a series of classes for Highlands Elementary families to learn about Sound Discipline tools to improve communication, reduce discipline challenges, and build social-emotional skills at home
  • establishing the African American Parent Engagement Team, to help families become school leaders, build relationships and improve school engagement;
  • partnering with Renton Police Sargent John Awai for Spanish-language presentations to help with relationships between police officers and our Latino families; and,
  • partnering with Highlands Elementary specialist teachers in PE, music, and library to incorporate family fun learning activities including dance and music lessons and getting to know how to use computer software as well as parenting classes for all families in the areas of math and reading support.

Engagement of Families and Communities

  • The Natural Leaders program: A training program for parents to help them develop skills and learn to navigate their school system, find and share resources in their communities, and help their children and others realize college and career dreams. The program is supported by the Washington Alliance for Better Schools.
  • District-level professional development to build capacity of staff in best practices including student-led conferences; home visits; academic parent-teacher teams; and other models of family engagement including:
    • Honey Dew Elementary’s Parent Teacher Teams;
    • Highlands Elementary’s expansion of the Renton Parent University;
    • Benson Hill Elementary and McKnight Middle School’s Community Café evening events; and,
    • Dimmitt Middle School’s Student Led Conferences.

Family Engagement Workgroup


We believe family engagement has a positive effect on student achievement and supports the District mission that each student graduates with options and is prepared to fully participate in our democracy. We will know we have achieved authentic family engagement when students and families feel their cultures are valued and when all families experience trusting and respectful relationships, meaningful communication, and collaborative partnerships.


For the 2019-2020 School year, a workgroup will be convened for the following purpose:

  1. Providing input and feedback on effective family engagement practices.
  2. Contribute to a creation of a Family Engagement Toolkit that will help teachers, schools, and the district more effectively engage families in their children’s education.

Workgroup Membership

The committee will be composed of up to 30 members. To ensure the committee reflects the diversity of Renton Schools, we will recruit family and staff members who represent a variety of backgrounds including:

  • Ethnicity/race
  • Language
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Socio-Economic Status
  • Type of Family (single parent, foster care, kinship)
  • Geographic locations with the district
  • Grade levels (preschool, elementary, middle, high)
  • Student programs (general education, Special Education, ELL, Highly Capable, McKinney-Vento, Native American Education, etc.)

Workgroup Qualifications

Must be a parent, family member or guardian of a Renton Schools student, or a staff member at the district or building level.

Term of Commitment and Meetings

The term of commitment is one school year.  Meetings will be held monthly January-May 2020, on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, from 4:00-5:30 at the District Administration Building.

  • Tuesday, January 14
  • Tuesday, February 11
  • Tuesday, March 10
  • Tuesday, April 14
  • Tuesday, May 12

Now Seeking Applicants for FACE Workgroup: Apply by December 13, 2019

Complete this application and submit to Michele Starkey or by mail to 300 SW 7th St, Renton, WA 98057. For further information email or call Michele Starkey at 425-204-2295

Grupo de Trabajo de Participación Familiar


Creemos que la participación familiar tiene un efecto positivo en el rendimiento estudiantil y apoya la misión del Distrito de que cada estudiante se gradúe con opciones y esté preparado/a para participar plenamente en nuestra democracia. Sabremos que hemos logrado una auténtica participación familiar cuando los estudiantes y las familias sientan que sus culturas son valoradas y cuando todas las familias experimentan relaciones de confianza y respeto, comunicación significativa y asociaciones de colaboración.


Para el año escolar 2019-2020, se convocará un grupo de trabajo para el siguiente propósito:

  1. Proporcionar aportes y comentarios sobre prácticas efectivas de participación familiar.
  2. Contribuir a la creación de Herramientas de Participación Familiar que ayudará a los maestros, las escuelas y el distrito a involucrar más efectivamente a las familias en la educación de sus hijos.

Membresía del Grupo de Trabajo

El comité estará compuesto por hasta 30 miembros. Para garantizar que el comité refleje la diversidad de las Escuelas de Renton, reclutaremos miembros de la familia y el personal que representen una variedad de orígenes que incluyen:

  • Origen étnico/raza
  • Idioma
  • Género
  • Orientación Sexual
  • Nivel Socioeconómico
  • Tipo de Familia (monoparental, cuidado tutelar, parentesco)
  • Ubicaciones geográficas con el distrito
  • Niveles de grado (preescolar, primaria, secundaria, preparatoria)
  • Programas para estudiantes (Educación General, Educación Especial, ELL, Altamente Capaces, McKinney-Vento, Educación para Nativos Americanos, etc.)

Requisitos del Grupo de Trabajo

Debe ser un padre/madre, miembro de la familia o tutor de un estudiante de las Escuelas de Renton, o un miembro del personal a nivel del distrito o plantel.

Plazo de Compromiso y Reuniones

El plazo de compromiso es un año escolar. Las reuniones se llevarán a cabo mensualmente de enero a mayo de 2020, el segundo martes de cada mes, de 4:00 a 5:30 en el Edificio Administrativo del Distrito.

  • Martes, Enero 14
  • Martes, Febrero 11
  • Martes, Marzo 10
  • Martes, Abril 14
  • Martes, Mayo 12
Ahora solicitantes para el grupo de trabajo FACE: solicite antes del 13 de diciembre

Complete la solicitud y envíela a Michele Starkey o por correo a 300 SW 7th St, Renton, WA 98057. Para más información envíe un correo electrónico o llame a Michele Starkey al 425-204-2295