Encourage Your Parents to Sign up with Families That Can

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February 17, 2012 As you are all aware, we are working hard to build the long term advocacy strength of our movement by developing the various resources we will need to propel charter schools to even high levels of impact in the years to come. Among the many things we are working on is growing a database of charter school parents prepared to act in coordination with Families That Can and CCSA when issues of importance to charter schools arise. We know that, if we can activate the parents of the more than 400,000 students who now attend California charter schools, we will have a far greater chance of creating a policy environment supportive of our movement.

To that end, we have started to reach out to CCSA members like you to encourage school leaders to contact their parents about the importance of signing up with Families That Can. Our goal is to sign up as many parents as possible to our parent database. This is entirely free and parents can unsubscribe at any time. Those who sign up will receive action alerts about important legislation affecting your school and invites to events and workshops in your area.

I'm asking you to please contact your parents at your earliest possible convenience using the suggested language below. While we cannot conduct detailed analytics for each school, we will track results on an ongoing basis and will know generally which schools have had higher response rates. Having that information in hand, we would then follow up with high response-rate schools so as to identify best practices, which we would then turn into suggestions for other schools about how best to generate high participation rates from parents. Please let us know if you've found a way of driving sign-ups that has been particularly effective.

I thank you for in advance for your willingness to help with this work. If you have any questions, please be in touch with the Families That Can team at contact@familiesthatcan.org.

To facilitate this process, we've provided here some suggested language for an email blast or letter to your parents. Feel free to edit as you see fit. You can find more easy ways to get out the word to your parents about Families That Can with our promotion tool kit.

Watch this video to learn more about Families That Can.

Parent Letter Template (English)

Dear (Insert Name of School) Parents,

I am writing to you today to request that you join Families That Can, a statewide parent organization working to support charter schools. A link to the organizations' website is provided below:

http://www.familiesthatcan.org/join

The purpose of Families That Can is to make sure that parents' voices are heard whenever elected officials consider issues of importance to charter schools. Too often we have found that charter school students' interests are not taken into account in the legislature and in school districts when important policy matters are decided. This has led to charter schools being treated unfairly on a range of issues including recent budget cuts that have affected charter schools more severely than traditional public schools.

Now, however, as California's charter school movement has grown to serve more than 400,000 students, we realize that we have a new opportunity to have our voices be heard. Imagine what a difference we could make if all parents of charter schools students would get involved whenever our interests are at risk. That's what you will be empowered to help make happen if you spend the few moments it will take to sign up at Families That Can. Once you have joined, you will receive calls for action anytime a charter school issue is being considered. It's totally free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

I thank you for your ongoing support of our school and for taking action that will help us be even more successful in the years to come.

Sincerely,

(Insert name of Principal)

Join now! http://www.familiesthatcan.org/join

Parent Letter Template (Spanish)

Estimados padres:

Les escribo hoy para pedirles que se unan a Families that Can (¡Las Familias Si Pueden!) , una organización estatal de padres que trabajan para apoyar las escuelas chárter. En la parte inferior se encuentra el enlace a la página en internet de la organización:

http://www.familiesthatcan.org/join

El propósito de Families That Can es asegurarse de que las voces de los padres se escuchen siempre que los funcionarios consideren asuntos de importancia para las escuelas chárter. A menudo hemos encontrado que los intereses de los estudiantes de las escuelas chárter no se toman en consideración en la legislatura y en los distritos escolares cuando se deciden asuntos importantes de política. Esto ha causado que las escuelas chárter sean tratadas de manera injusta en varios asuntos, entre ellos los recientes recortes en el presupuesto, que han afectado a las escuelas chárter de manera más severa que a las escuelas públicas tradicionales.

Sin embargo, ahora que el movimiento de las escuelas chárter de California ha crecido al grado de que sirve a más de 400,000 estudiantes, nos hemos dado cuenta de que tenemos una nueva oportunidad de que nuestras voces se escuchen. Imaginen qué diferencia podríamos hacer si todos los padres de los estudiantes de las escuelas chárter participaran cuando nuestros intereses están en riesgo. Lo que les dará a ustedes ese poder para ayudar es tomarse unos momentos para registrarse en Families That Can. Una vez que ustedes se unan, recibirán llamadas para participar siempre que esté bajo consideración un asunto sobre una escuela chárter. El registro es totalmente gratuito y ustedes pueden retirarse en cualquier momento.

Gracias por su continuo apoyo a nuestra escuela y por participar para ayudarnos a tener todavía más éxito en los próximos años.

Atentamente:

(Insert Name of Principal)

¡Únase ahora! http://www.familiesthatcan.org/join