Connecticut’s Guiding Principles for Family Engagement promote full, equal, and equitable partnerships with families. The start of a new school year is an ideal time to focus on the principle of ‘Sharing information frequently with families about how their children are doing.

Danbury (CT) Public Schools’ New Promise Program is a prime example of how a school system can create equitable communication systems by ensuring that families have access to multiple communication systems.  

The New Promise Program

Danbury Public Schools created the New Promise Program to welcome families who are new to the school district and provide them with valuable information and resources to support their student’s academic success.

In order to meet the needs of their families, programs are offered in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and they provide light refreshments and activities for young children during sessions. Families are welcomed to each session by a group of trainers and volunteers such as parent educators, family liaisons, and parent leaders.

The program has seen a large early response with over 200 families registering for sessions held over the summer. They will continue to run the program monthly throughout the school year and include a virtual option for families. Below are the topics covered in the program.

Session topics

Day 1:

  • Welcome to DPS- Meet the Team
  • Connecting to Your School & Safety
  • Connecting to Your Family Liaison- Family liaisons connect with families and answer school-specific questions
  • School Attendance
  • Health Policies

Day 2:

  • Technology- Parents are given Chromebooks to use for this portion and given step-by-step instructions on how to create an email address, access free or low-cost internet, how to power on and maintain the student’s Chromebook, and how to navigate Powerschool, Google Classroom, Parent Square, and Naviance
  • Extended Learning Program
  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • Social Emotional Learning

Day 3

  • Community Resources- Playgroups, adult education, ESL classes, food & housing, health services
  • Parent and Community Leadership- Parent leaders speak about their experiences in PSEE, PEP, and PLTI 
  • Special Education
  • Life Beyond High School
  • Career Opportunities
  • Supporting Your Learner at Home