Creating Meaningful Relationships

We’ve been giving you a look inside Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy and introducing you to the Nebraska Advisors who are guiding the 20 members of cohort 2 through the academy. Read on to learn how Kim Flanders, Principal at McDonald Elementary, is leading her group through their capstone projects!

Kim’s group has chosen to focus their learning on the competency — Developing and Fostering Partnerships with Families and Communities. This competency spoke to her group, “Because families are our students’ first and most important teachers, our partnerships with families positively impact student achievement. When we are intentional with creating meaningful home-school relationships and opportunities for families to be collaboratively and actively engaged with their child’s learning, we foster the conditions necessary for students to be successful.”



Putting Knowledge Into Practice

Kim’s group has been able to apply all of the knowledge and skills they have gained during the leadership academy to their capstone projects, which were self-selected and based upon each educator’s interest. The culminating capstone project allowed them to integrate early childhood best practices and research by addressing a current problem of practice.

  • Kerra Robinson
    Assistant Director of Special Education Birth to 5 & Preschool Principal
    Hastings Public Schools
    Capstone Project: Fostering Partnerships with Families Through the Use of ReadyRosie®
    Getting families involved in their child’s education is an important aspect of making sure students are successful. Through school-to-home partnerships, ReadyRosie® is an enrichment learning activity outside the school day that fosters family engagement. This researched-based parenting curriculum uses video playlists to promote school readiness. Because there were no programs in place to provide frequent and ongoing educational resources for families, Kerra’s project focused on creating a shared sense of purpose and partnership between teachers and families to create a meaningful home-learning environment.
  • Melissa Jantz
    Preschool Principal
    Little Panthers Preschool, Norfolk Public Schools
    Capstone Project:  Effective Transitions for All Kids
    By strengthening the transition process for all students from early care and educational programs within the Norfolk community, Melissa’s goal is to increase the collaboration and mutual respect amongst all early childhood programs ensuring that all children are afforded a smooth and successful transition into kindergarten — regardless of which early care program or preschool they attend. A streamlined kindergarten enrollment process will support families at all of the elementary buildings within the community.
  • Sarah Sell
    Assistant Principal
    Crete Elementary
    Capstone Project:  Engaging Parents
    In addition to supporting families during home visits and conferences, Sarah implemented ReadyRosie®. Teachers can build and share customized video playlists, communicate with families, and measure outcomes with this program. ReadyRosie® provides another way for teachers to collaborate and connect with families.