FHMS Recognized by Johns Hopkins for Community Engagement

Posted on 09/13/2019
FHMS FACE Team


Francis Howell Middle School has earned a 2019 Partnership School Award from the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University. FHMS was recognized for making excellent progress in strengthening and sustaining a comprehensive program of school, family, and community partnerships. This is the fourth NNPS Partnership School Award for FHMS, a notable accomplishment and good indication of the school’s commitment to continually improving its program of family and community engagement.

“Francis Howell Middle School has a longstanding commitment to continually improving our family and community engagement,” said Principal Dr. Kirsteen James. “Engaging parents, families, and community partners is critical to improving student outcomes in the areas of attendance, behavior, academic achievement, and social-emotional well-being. We are incredibly grateful for this partnership with our parents, families, and community partners, and we are honored to be recognized for the 2019 Partnership School Award.”

The Francis Howell Middle School FACE Team hosted the parent speaker series, Suicide Prevention: What You Need to Know, which was recognized as a 2019 Promising Partnership Practice. When FHMS students were asked what topics parents and families needed to talk about, suicide prevention was identified as a critical topic for the middle school grades. Speakers from Compass Health and Preferred Health presented information on identifying teen depression, the link between teen substance abuse and suicide, and suicide prevention. The FACE Team also hosted an evening activity, #HighSchool, for eighth grade students and parents. This activity addressed parents’ and students’ anxieties about the transition to high school and included a panel of students, parents, and teachers.

NNPS reviewers praised the suicide prevention activity for bravely finding a good way to engage parents and students on a critical topic in the middle grades. They liked that students suggested the topic for discussion with parents. They also commended the school and FACE Team for #HighSchool. This activity addressed parents’ and students’ anxieties about the transition to high school and included a panel of students, parents, and teachers from the high school to talk to incoming students.

“Francis Howell Middle School is applying evidence-based approaches to strengthen its welcoming climate and to engage parents and community partners in ways that improve student attendance, behavior, achievement, health, high school graduation rates, and other student outcomes,” said Dr. Joyce L. Epstein, Director of NNPS.

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