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Partners in Learning Academy Strengthens Collaboration Between School & Families 

Children in preschool flourish when families and teachers form strong, collaborative partnerships. Families, as primary caregivers, possess invaluable insights into their personalities, strengths, and challenges. Teachers, equipped with early childhood education expertise, can create stimulating and nurturing classroom environments.

During the 2023–24 school year, all four Pre-K 4 SA education centers and the Gardendale Early Learning Program offered opportunities for heads of schools, teachers, families, and other staff to learn alongside each other. This series, called Partners in Learning Academy, is designed to help develop stronger school-home partnerships, create a collaborative environment, and build confidence between schools and the families they serve.

During these sessions, families and staff examine challenges and barriers that hinder communication between adults at each center — and come up with ideas to overcome them. These collaborative and interactive sessions are an opportunity for attendees to reflect on their roles, values, and practices that affect partnerships between schools and families.

Through open communication and collaboration, these partnerships unlock a world of possibilities. Families gain valuable insights into the curriculum, allowing them to reinforce learning at home and create a seamless learning experience for the child. Teachers also benefit from families’ perspectives, enabling them to tailor their approach to each child’s needs.

I have an understanding now that families may act because of what they carry from their past, and we in turn may inaccurately define their intentions,” said one Pre-K 4 SA teacher.

Families with children at Pre-K 4 SA have shared that they’re glad to have an opportunity to share their perspectives and that the sessions helped them better understand decisions made by teachers and administrators.

Partners in Learning Academy sessions that took place this school year include:

  • Elements of a Relational Culture 
  • Leadership of Self and Others 
  • Key Principles in Community Organizing

The activities and conversations are beneficial in trust-building within our Core Group,” said Manuela Haberer, principal of Gardendale Early Learning Program, “but equally as important, I appreciate us expanding our knowledge base and being more aware of creating events and programs with our families and not just for our families.

This collaborative effort doesn’t stop at academics. It fosters a love of learning that transcends the classroom walls. Open communication allows for easy exchange of information about a child’s progress and challenges they might face. This empowers both families and teachers to become strong advocates for the child’s well-being, ensuring their success in preschool and beyond.

We look forward to continuing to engage our communities, build strong partnerships, and empower San Antonio children and families through affordable, high-quality early education. 


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