Voices from the field: Building relationships with families

Two mothers sit together at an afterschool training

Disclaimer: This initiative initially was launched and coordinated by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation, which in 2022 merged with and became the Charles Butt Foundation.

Our Voices from the Field series features students, teachers, and school leaders who make an impact in Texas public schools. In this blog post, a parent from Constance Hulbert Elementary School, in Ysleta ISD, reflects on the growth of family engagement opportunities and efforts at the campus. As part of the Raising Family Partnerships Fellowship, the leadership team at Constance Hulbert receives training and coaching to help develop a cohesive family engagement strategy.

Author: Gbenga Asedeko, a father at Constance Hulbert Elementary School

Constance Hulbert Elementary School is under the leadership of Principal James McIntyre and Assistant Principal Mrs. Sophia Fierro. The leadership team, teachers, and the entire staff strive to build strong community bonds with parents and community partners through various activities and their positive, consistent communication.

The school was opened in 2003 and was named after Mrs. Constance Elizabeth Hulbert, a lifelong advocate for bilingual students. It serves over 400 students with parents from different backgrounds and financial statuses. The leaders of the school strategically find ways to get parents and community partners engaged in the affairs of the school and have grown these efforts with support from the Raising Family Partnerships Program.

One of the ways Principal McIntyre engages families is through Meet The Teachers Day, which is held at the beginning of the school year. Parents are invited to meet their child’s teacher, visit their child’s classroom, interact with the teachers, staff, and leadership, and explore the campus to see new additions to the school. This year’s Meet The Teachers Day was the most successful yet—we had a great turnout from parents and it was very informative.

Another way the school gets parents involved is through their Random Acts of Kindness event, which focuses on addressing bullying. The students participated by demonstrating random acts of kindness to fellow students, and parents were invited to campus for information on bullying.

Additionally, the school introduced Literacy Night to get parents and grandparents more engaged with the school community. Teachers used this opportunity to train parents and grandparents on reading skills and strategies they can use at home to teach reading to their child.

The school involves parents in their Campus Education Improvement Committee and Parents Advisory Council at the district level. They genuinely seek the input of parents and community partners in these meetings. Parents and community partners have direct input regarding any major decisions by the school.

Watch the touching video above to see how Constance Hulbert Principal James McIntyre builds meaningful relationships with the families and students he serves.  When McIntyre visits students and their families in their homes and tells parents “we want to work together,” he means it. “Once we have those conversations, the parents understand we truly are here for them.” 

Finally, the school hosted different workshops ranging from parenting, bullying, finances, mental health issues etc. for parents and community partners. The workshops are taught by professionals and are very informative.

Constance Hulbert Elementary School, under the leadership of Mr. McIntyre, prioritizes parent and community engagement and they do everything they can to get parents and community partners involved. I am proud to be a parent at Constance Hulbert Elementary School.