Probably no one in the state has worked harder to boost parent involvement at schools than Adie Simmons, who helped found the family engagement office at Seattle Public Schools, and was the first education ombudsman in the governor’s office.
Now she’s launched a new nonprofit — one she hopes will help her use all she’s learned in the past 28 years to build the kind of parent-school relationships she’s always dreamed about. It’s called the Washington State Family and Community Engagement Trust.
Simmons envisions schools where working with parents is part of the day-to-day routine, not a perk offered in some places but not others. She also wants to build a bigger cadre of parents ready and willing to voice their views on education and child welfare in Olympia, as well as in their school districts and cities.
That’s similar to the goals of the Logan Square Parent-Mentor program in Chicago, which we wrote about earlier this year.
For years, Simmons said, she’s heard parents say “we are just parents, nobody listens to us.”
“We need to change that paradigm.”More