As part of our community, we are very honored that KBCS PTA was officially recognized as National PTA School of Excellence, receiving the 2015 Phoebe Apperson Outstanding Family-School Partnership Award. An incredibly proud moment for KBCS, all PTA members (including one of our Community Leaders Marina Ventura) and the dedicated Board Members who made it happen.
The National PTA School of Excellence program recognizes, supports and celebrates partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.
National PTA launched the School of Excellence program to help strengthen family-school partnerships across the country and make measurable progress in the areas of education, health and safety and arts in education. At a School of Excellence, families feel welcomed and empowered to support student success, and PTA is the key partner for con- tinuous school improvement. Schools achieving this recognition are at the forefront of engaging families through National PTA’s Standards for Family-School Partnerships.
Key Biscayne Community School (KBCS) PTA serves a K-8 culturally diverse and socio-economic school community, with more than 80% of households speaking Spanish as a first language at home. The PTA spent the school year focused on the shared goal of ensuring their students’ health and safety by promoting healthy lifestyles at school and at home with a concentration on mind and body. Together with the school, they formed a cafeteria committee to engage families in understanding wellness. The committee hosted a “Healthy Eating Week” in partnership with a chef through an interactive cafeteria presentation. Families were educated on the importance of rainbow foods to include vegetables and fruits.
Throughout the year, the committee provided recipes and tips to families on incorporating fruits and vegetables into the students’ diets.With over 60% of children whom walk, bike or skate to and from school daily, the PTA partnered with the Village of Key Biscayne and an urban planning company to develop and participate in Safe Routes to School. The PTA also collaborated with families and the local business community to make significant improvements to playgrounds through a focused fundraising effort with a specific goal of these school improvements.
The focus of healthy lifestyles did not stop here! In February, the PTA hosted a fun run for their elementary students and a color run for their middle schoolers. The PTA supported and promoted anti-bullying and internet safety presentations and informational workshops for families. Marketing for all events and presentations were shared in English and in Spanish.
Moreover, the PTA devised a novel approach to welcoming and transitioning new families to the school, specifically for parents of young children and families relocating from other countries into their school. The new parent committee met with these parents and held orientations to welcome them to the school. The PTA also supported student success by working with the school around their improvement plan to purchase computers for the classrooms and cameras and equipment for the student-run morning news, KBCS Shark Attack. That’s the power of strong family-school partnerships.
Photo Credit: Miami Dade Schools