Office of Student & Family Services


Family and Community Engagement

NBFA values collegial, mutually respectful relationships with caregivers and community partners. As students' first teachers, parents are invaluable to the ongoing education of their children. Active engagement in and advocacy for their children's  learning may include regular attendance at parent teacher conferences or PPT meetings, chaperoning class trips, reading with and to children at home, checking homework, serving as classroom parents, etc. Community partners supplement the home-school partnership through mentorship, scheduled volunteer reading and classroom buddies. 

NBFA's Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Coordinator helps to facilitate these critical relationships through parent and community outreach, advocacy and new family recruitment. These partnerships further the school's mission by allowing NBFA to share best practices with other caregivers and providers.

The FACE Coordinator also helps build internal and external capacity for NBFA's emotionally responsive, whole-child model through coaching for teachers as well as workshops for parents and community partners. A sample list of NBFA's strategies and techniques are below.

Restorative Practices

The central hypothesis of restorative practice is that human beings are happier, more cooperative, productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them.  The aim of this approach is to develop community and manage conflict by repairing harm and restoring relationships.


Developmental Milestones


At NBFA, we use knowledge about children’s developmental milestones (the motor, cognitive, and social skills that most children achieve by certain ages) to inform our teaching practice. We also understand that development and experience work together, and that every child is unique.  Sometimes, when children bring unresolved developmental stages into the classroom, teachers may serve as attachment partners for delayed milestones.


Inviting vs. Containing


Inviting techniques encourage self-expression within safe and consistent classroom practices. These strategies inform the way we set up classrooms’ physical environments, curriculum, routines, procedures and daily interactions. Inviting techniques, when combined with reflective listening, are especially helpful in stimulating communication around difficult issues.


Story Gathering


This is a process that all teachers at NBFA engage in throughout the year. The most intense story gathering phase takes place in September, when teachers are first getting familiar with students and their backgrounds.  As the year progresses, staff members continue working with each student and adding to his/her story. Story gathering enhances teachers’ ability to facilitate student development. It helps teachers assess children who display confusing behaviors in different ways.


Reflective Techniques


Reflective Techniques help children improve communication and develop empathy by mirroring the feelings, concerns, and experiences of others in a way that makes them feel understood.  Reflective language can be used in social interaction, books, drawings, photos, songs, and throughout the curriculum as a way to enhance children’s sense of social and emotional cause and effect.