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Klein High Parent Orchestra Named Statewide Family Engagement ‘Best Practice’

Klein High Parent Orchestra Named Statewide Family Engagement ‘Best Practice’

Klein ISD and the Klein High Parent Orchestra have been named one of four statewide “Best Practices” in Family Engagement by the Texas Education Agency.  

Every year, the TEA selects school districts that are examples of innovative best practices that support building partnerships with families to support student achievement. 

Since the inception of the parent orchestra, Klein High has seen the project’s positive impact on multiple levels within the program. Parent volunteering is at an all-time high. Student participation in private lessons and orchestra leadership positions also increased with students who have parents participating in the orchestra.

Klein High Orchestra Director Creston Herron served as founder and director of the parent orchestra. He invited parents and family members to participate, organized rehearsals, directed rehearsals, and followed up with families every week.

Parents used their students’ instruments for rehearsals and received private music lessons at home from their children. Creston saw the opportunity to build strong connections within families through music.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for parents to connect with their students and the orchestra program,” said Herron. “Every year, parents would approach me about how they wish they had an opportunity to perform in an orchestra when they were in school. The most exciting part about this orchestra is seeing both the parents and students laughing and learning together! These are moments they will never forget.”

Recognized as a model school district by the Texas Education Association (TEA) in 2018, Klein ISD’s Family Engagement program continues to lead the way in promoting student success through strong family-school partnerships. Klein ISD is an active member of the Texas Council on Family-School Engagement, and in partnership with the American Institutes for Research, has significantly contributed to documentation highlighting best practices in family engagement for TEA to implement across the state as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  

“Building impactful relationships with our students’ families are the strongest partnerships we have for ensuring the success of every student,” said Dr. Jenny McGown, Klein ISD Superintendent. “I’m so proud of Mr. Herron and the success of the Parent Orchestra. I am honored that the work we do in Klein ISD to engage families in their children’s learning has been featured for others to learn from and implement in their communities. We are incredibly thankful to our family engagement team who intentionally support families in staying connected with their children in our excellent schools.”

All the parents participating in the orchestra graduated from our Klein ISD Parent University with a Master Distinction in Fine Arts.

“We are so very thankful that Klein ISD has educators like Mr. Herron who creates spaces for families to engage in student success through practical learning experiences,” said Maria Ovalle-López, Klein ISD Director of Family Engagement. “The families in the parent orchestra have the opportunity to express their love for music with their students while building a community of forever learners. This orchestra is the evidence that families can engage in all areas of learning to support student success.”

In the award announcement from TEA, Title l, Part A Parent and Family Engagement Statewide Initiative Coordinator Terri Stafford remarked how impressed everyone on the review panel was with Klein ISD’s entry. 

“The review committee was impressed by the outstanding work Klein ISD is doing in the area of parent and family engagement,” said Stafford. “The Texas Education Agency and the Title l, Part A Parent and Family Engagement Statewide Initiative are proud of Klein ISD’s strong commitment to creating a school culture that includes and values ALL parents and families.”

Klein ISD has a long history of excellence in Fine Arts, receiving the TAEA District of Distinction for several years in a row. The benefits of engagement in fine Arts for HS students, such as fostering creativity, persistence, patience, and creative expression, are now extended and shared within the family unit.

Klein ISD will be honored virtually at the TEA Best Practices Expo on February 24, 2021.

Best Public Schools in Texas
Klein ISD has an established 83-year history of excellence and innovation in education with unique pathways for EVERY student in our care to ensure learners are college, career, military, and life ready. With recognition for STEM, athletics, fine arts, and academics from highly-esteemed organizations, it is clear that Our Shared Vision of every student entering with a promise and exiting with a purpose is a reality for EVERY student who walks through our doors.

About Klein ISD
Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 87.5 square miles and serves more than 53,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.

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