CEI Launches Future Ready Families Website
September 27, 2021
Effort Aims to Empower and Engage Parents and Caregivers as Partners in their Child’s Education
Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) is excited to announce the launch of FutureReadyFamilies.org, a robust website with proven tools, resources, and strategies to empower parents and caregivers as engaged partners in their child’s education and development.
Conceived and curated by CEI President and CEO Rebecca Holmes, the mother of two, former teacher, and education system leader brings a unique vantage point into the home, classroom, and school. With insight into the stress and challenges both parents and educators face, Holmes and CEI aim to provide parents with a greater sense of agency in their child’s education.
For many families, the disruptions to learning caused by COVID surfaced awareness that parents do not get information they need to understand, support, and advocate for their student’s learning. Family and community partnership has been a key CEI Design Commitment since 2019, in response to both demand by school and district leaders who value the benefits of authentic partnership and what we know from research about the critical role of delivering on family and community value in managing complex change.
While CEI is dedicated to partnering with schools and districts in designing and building capacity for their work, many families seek guidance and a safe space to network about similar issues that CEI supports in schools. For example, at the intersection of relationships and social emotional skills; understanding and applying a personalized approach to learning needs; accessing and advocating for meaningful, timely, and actionable data; navigating the impact of and influence in local and state policy decisions. Future Ready Families was born in response to this need.
“As we begin the school year, parents and teachers alike face the ongoing challenges and uncertainties of the pandemic, a return to in-person learning and how best to prepare our kids for an increasingly complex world. We designed Future Ready Families as a valuable resource to move parents from a place of fear to a place of purpose and positivity this school year.”
Future Ready Families prepares parents and caregivers as advocates in their child’s education. The website arms families with tailored information and tools on how to best partner with teachers to ensure a pathway to success uniquely suited to their child and their needs. In developing the site, CEI partnered with Learning Heroes and Seek Common Ground to provide readiness resources in English and in Spanish that help families get a sense of their child’s current learning level, better understand what’s ahead in their child’s school year, and have critical conversations with teachers.
For example, the Parent-Teacher Planning Tool helps parents share important information about their child with teachers including areas where children are doing well and where they need help, topics children are excited about, and changes parents have noticed in children important for teachers to know. The tool also helps parents find out from teachers what’s expected of their child so they can form a plan to help at home.
“Teachers may be the experts when it comes to classroom learning but we as parents are the experts on our kids,” Holmes said. “We know schools can do great things for our kids, but they can’t do it alone. As parents and caregivers, we can step up as Future Ready Families to help our teachers and support our child’s learning development and well-being.”
CEI is supporting Future Ready Families to enable these conversations across schools in Colorado, including through additional resources and events for parents and caregivers in the coming months. CEI hopes this will be a helpful resource for district and school leaders to share with their families and those partnering to support family and community engagement in local communities.
For more information, contact FRF@coloradoedinitiative.org.