Engaging Families to Be Our True Partners
Dear New Yorkers,
I hope this message finds you all surrounded by warmth and community spirit. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to share my gratitude to our families for choosing NYC Public Schools, and to our NYCPS staff for their dedication to our families.
I believe our shared vision for our children—Bright Starts and Bold Futures—is deeply rooted in the collective strength of our families and school communities. That’s why engagement is the cornerstone of everything we do. Families: your involvement is not just important; it’s essential.
Consider NYC Reads, our initiative to transform the way we teach reading. In our Phase 1 districts, we’re excited to partner with families through local literacy events, and in Phase 2 districts, which will implement NYC Reads next school year, family and community voices are shaping critical curriculum decisions. We’re also sharing activities and resources with families across the city to bolster reading skills at home. This past summer, over 1,000 families joined us for sessions on our new Early Childhood curriculum, and these sessions are continuing throughout the school year.
In our work on college and career pathways, parent leaders have been instrumental in guiding the launch of FutureReadyNYC and our Modern Youth Apprenticeships. Our Family and Community Engagement team and Office of Student Pathways have also led family focus groups to ensure our resources, like the college and career page in NYCSA, are helpful and meaningful.
At NYCPS, we value parent leadership at both the school and citywide levels. Did you know every parent or guardian is automatically a member of their school’s Parent Association or Parent Teacher Association? Families: your voice matters! I encourage you to connect with your school to get involved and to learn about other school-based engagement opportunities, such as School Leadership Teams, School Wellness Councils, and Title 1 Representatives.
At the citywide level, the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council (CPAC) and our 36 Community and Citywide Education Councils (CECs) also offer platforms for family voice. (We even have CEC seats available for our high school seniors, who can apply here.) I’m always inspired by the engaging and insightful discussions at our CEC Town Halls, and I warmly invite you all to join our upcoming CEC and CPAC meetings this winter.
I want to again thank each of you—families, staff, and community members—for your deep commitment and partnership. Together we are building bright starts and bold futures for our students, so every child can meet their full potential. I am honored to do this work alongside you.
David C. Banks
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