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Back-To-School Block Party

Starting the school year off with a festive ‘welcome back’!

The parents on the team, and others, recognized a lack of trust between parents or with school staff. We thought a fun event would be a draw and would create a safe environment for connecting. By gathering outside in the community we hoped to foster organic conversation and relationship building amongst our families and staff. Hopefully, this would be a first building block in creating trust.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

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Target group
January 2024
Concerns about safety can be a powerful motivator to bring people together to talk and problem solve. Whatever the core issue, bringing parents into the conversation with school staff, especially those parents whose experience is not or has not been positive, is essential to finding meaningful solutions.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Our team wanted to promote connections between home and school and kick off the school year with an intentional effort toward relationship building. The empathy interviews helped us see parents’ reluctance to engage with the school, safety being a big issue. Trust is central to the parents’ concerns and a big reason that our efforts toward relationship building must be full-on and ongoing.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

We tapped into community partnerships, school leadership and school staff to make the event happen. Our goal was to get everyone excited and feeling positive about the start of a new school year and to promote positive relationships amongst parents and between parents and teachers. Many teachers, the principal and assistant principal volunteered at the event and mingled with families. We had music, food and games – it was lively!

As far as we know, this was the first time the school held a block party in the community to kick off a school year. We chose to hold it in the community rather than on school grounds to meet everyone where they are and to promote a comfortable environment. While we did not see the turnout we had hoped for, it was a festive environment and a number of families came out to celebrate.

How has it been spreading?

The school staff has discussed holding a kick-off block party each school year to bring the community together. Other events are also drawing in families - a talent show for example. These are drawing numbers of families to the school and that's a big win for us.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

The support of community partnerships, the school leadership and the school staff all help to make an event an easier lift. Hosting our event on a Saturday afternoon in the community also made it easier for families and helped to promote a comfortable environment. Likewise, having teachers and administrators reaching out and mingling with families sends a really positive message.

Spread of the innovation

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