Parent Leadership Institute
In keeping with our goal to support parent advocacy, the Parent leadership Institute (PLI) continued its monthly meetings with parents in Central Brooklyn. ASI wants to transform the quality and effectiveness of school-parent interactions by preparing a core group of parent leaders. This core group will conduct parent outreach using nationally recognized strategies and approaches. The major outcome of the PLI isa cadre ofwell-informed parent leaders who are: aware of policies, practices, legislation, and school data that affect their children’s education and life choices from infancy to post-secondary experiences; sensitive to the requisite behaviors that make school success a reality for their children; mobilized to support a network of parents from preschool through college who represent an educational corridor for information sharing andassistance; and confident, motivated, and empowered to collaborate with community-based organizations and city/state agencies to access resources and quality educational programs.
The Institute meets the second Saturday of each month, 8:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at Boys and Girls High School, and encourages all parents to join. Sessions are held from September through June, the ASI program year.
Surveys are used to identify parental interests and concerns; the results inform the selection of content for the program. Parents complete evaluations at the end of each session; the feedback measures the effectiveness of the Institute. Breakfast is served and metro cards are distributed. Parents receive books and materials for use at home with their children, such as, “Preparing Your Child for Success in School and Life” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Parents.”
During 2015-2016, the parents participated in ten monthly meetings and two conferences that focused on curriculum, college admissions, and parenting skills. The workshops were all grade appropriate; the unique feature is that parents and their children attend the same sessions. The parents and students also read educational books and make periodic reports on their findings/reactions. Parental feedback indicates that parents have grown in their awareness of strategies and approaches on how to help their children at home.
For the first time, PLI collaborated with the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a result, additional training for parents was provided in the area of educational rights. The parents learned how to collect data on the educational resources currently available in their children’s schools. The parents participated in mockinterviews with elementary, middle and high school principals who volunteered for the activity. Parents were then able to engage school personnel in similar interviews for the purpose of identifying how the school’s instructional program was aligned with what state law mandates for public schools. “Knowing Your Educational Rights Series” resulted in parents becoming cognizant of the availability of required educational opportunities in their children’s schools.
In the coming program year, parents will form teams to present educational rights information at local community meetings, such as community education councils,community planning boards, resource fairs, and other public forums. High school students will also join these teams. Their outreach will help empower other parents and build a critical mass of well-informed families who hold educational officials accountable for delivering excellent and equitable educational opportunities to all children in accordance with New York State law.
The following is an overview of the parent information session held during the 2015-2016 program year.
SEPTEMBER 12 OPENING SESSION TOPICS: A Right to Learn – Educational Opportunities Guaranteed by Law; Selecting a High School/Middle School for Your Child; Preparing for the Specialized HS Exams; Selecting the Right College; Lifting Up Our Young Males Where They Belong; and Let’s Look at the 2015 New York State Test Results in ELA and Math
OCTOBER 10 Review of the Results of the New York State Reading Tests: Grades 3 through 12 Workshops: Elementary, Middle, and High School
NOVEMBER 14 Review of the Results of New York State Math Tests: Grades 3 through 12 Workshops: Elementary, Middle, and High School
DECEMBER 12 Know Your Educational Rights Workshop
JANUARY 9 1. Presentation: The New Federal Education Law 2. Know Your Educational Rights Workshop
FEBRUARY 13 Science Workshops: Elementary, Middle and High School
MARCH 12 1. Mock Interview with High School Principal led by Parents 2. Workshops: Preparation for the New York State Tests in Reading (ELA) and Math 3. Presentation by Natasha Scott, author of THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS BIBLE
APRIL 9 Social Studies Workshops: Elementary, Middle, and High School
APRIL 23 The Joy of Parenting Conference: Resources for the Challenges of Grandparents as Caregivers; The College Admissions Process; Stress Release; Teens, Technology, and Relationships; Can’t We All Get Along; and Parenting and Weight Issues
MAY 14 1. Report on Parenting Skills Booklets by Parents 2. Know Your Educational Rights Workshop: Reports on Data Collection by Parents of Availability of Educational Resources in Schools
JUNE 11 1. Presentation: Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Children 2. Small Group Meetings for Parents’ Summation of Know Your Educational Rights Workshop Series 3. Presentation: Antoine Cassidy – No More Gun Smoke