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Fairview Family Night

Kicking off the school year with something for everyone

Our school team wanted to reach beyond the parents who are dependably active in the Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO) and other volunteer roles and broaden the engaged community, as well as, open new lines of communication between families, school and the community. Our hack aspired to help us create new relationships and opportunities for teamwork.


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

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Target group
January 2024
It is well-reasoned that making the school experience fun and valuable to students helps their parents view school in a positive light too. It is also a plus to create opportunities for parents to connect with one another. Further, the chance for younger siblings to join in helps them feel a sense of community and belonging to the school that will soon be theirs.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

We had learned from a survey that parents wanted to be more present in our school. To find different ways for parents to be involved, we organized “Fairview Family Night” to draw parents to the building. Information on many fronts was easily available at different stations, and this design also provided an easy way to talk and connect with one another, parent to parent or parent to teacher.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

The new fall event we hosted was a back-to-school gathering aimed at improving overall engagement between families, school, and our community. Families were invited to mingle with school staff, visit informational booths, and enjoy food and activities. A fun movie was available for the children to engage them while their parents visited with teachers, support staff, special area teachers and PTO representatives. There were also stations to access desired information like community sports and organizations, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and family resources. We even had a booth to get clearances, which removed another known barrier for families hoping to be involved in the school. We held the event on a fall night. Overall, it was well attended and was a great way to kick-off the school year with a positive community vibe.

How has it been spreading?

Perhaps the best evidence of spread is that Fairview Family Night will become an annual event. Part of that will be offering it as a free event, and not fee-based as happened initially. We will also find and develop roles for parents who want to be engaged, but in different ways. This will truly get to the heart of family and school engagement. Importantly, we will also find opportunities for families to meet informally to help them lower the barriers that limit their reach to teachers.

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

There are always people whose perspectives we are missing. We expanded our reach through a needs assessment and distributed our survey to third grade families. We asked about their priorities (academic, social-emotional, economic, civic), what we needed more of, and what event we should add to the calendar. We believe our excitement about parent participation inspired others to join in!

Spread of the innovation

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