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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: parent involvement

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February 7, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Power of parents: Event hosted by Education Lab and Road Map fosters ideas on engagement

Joanna Brown (left) and Tami Love of the Logan Square parent mentor program address the audience. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

Joanna Brown (left) and Tami Love of the Logan Square parent mentor program address the audience. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

About 150 parent leaders, educators and school administrators gathered Thursday evening at Foster High School in Tukwila for a community event hosted by Education Lab and the Road Map Project.

The event focused on the topic of parent engagement and featured a panel of five speakers: Joanna Brown and Tami Love from the Logan Square parent mentor program in Chicago; Jenn Ramirez Robson, director of strategic partnerships at Southwest Youth and Family Services in Seattle; Emijah Smith, a member of Seattle Public Schools’ School Family Partnership Advisory Committee to the Superintendent; and Edward Lee Vargas, superintendent in the Kent School District.

The Logan Square program was featured in a Dec. 8 front-page story by reporter Linda Shaw, who facilitated the panel discussion. The presentation was followed by a 45-minute Q&A session.

Much of the conversation centered on what educators and parents alike need to do to help more families feel welcome and part of the school community. Ramirez Robson, who is also involved with the Highline Public Schools Parent Advisory Committee, emphasized building a partnership takes time and sustained effort.

“Parent engagement doesn’t just happen in a meeting or two,” she said. “It takes time … and it has to be both sides.”


0 Comments | More in News | Topics: events, parent engagement, parent involvement

January 31, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Many parents feel they have little say in school decisions, poll finds

A new telephone poll of parents in seven school districts suggests that most feel welcome at their schools and have the knowledge they need to support their children’s learning.

But when it comes to influencing school and district decisions, fewer than half believe they have those opportunities.

The pollsters questioned a representative sample of 2,051 parents in Seattle Public Schools and six districts in South King County about their relationships with their schools. The poll was sponsored by the Road Map Project, an effort to significantly increase the number of students who go to college.

The districts and community groups involved in the project want to work more closely with parents to help them reach that goal.


0 Comments | More in News | Topics: parent engagement, parent involvement, parent participation

January 16, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Parent class grads will tackle academics, bullying, cultural awareness

As one way to increase parent participation, Seattle Public Schools offers classes aimed at nurturing parents’ leadership skills.

The classes were among a number of Puget Sound parent programs highlighted in a recent Education Lab story that focused on an exemplary program in Chicago.

Last week, 24 parents successfully completed the most recent session, a joint effort of the school district and the Seattle Council PTSA. In a ceremony at South Shore K-8 in southeast Seattle, the parents presented ideas they will now carry out in their schools.


0 Comments | More in News | Topics: Family University, parent engagement, parent involvement

December 26, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Your voices: Readers share local examples of parents and schools working together

Earlier this month, we asked readers to share their examples of parents and teachers working together in the Puget Sound region. The request was tied to our Dec. 8 story about a renowned parent mentor program in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. We tried something a little different with this Question of the Week, using the  More

0 Comments | More in Question of the Week, Your voices | Topics: Logan Square, parent involvement

December 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Rewind: View a replay of Tuesday’s chat on parent engagement

Did you miss our live chat on family engagement and the Logan Square parent mentor program? Scroll through below to see a recap. Our participants: Joanna Brown, lead education organizer for the Logan Square Neighborhood Association Monica Espinoza, former parent mentor and current mentor coordinator at Burbank Elementary in Chicago Pachomius Schmidt, Federal Way teacher Linda Shaw, Seattle Times…


0 Comments | More in Your voices | Topics: Chicago, Joanna Brown, live chat

December 7, 2013 at 4:35 PM

How have you seen parents and schools working together?

We’re trying out something new with this Question of the Week.

Education Lab has partnered with the Public Insight Network (PIN), a division of American Public Media, in an effort to better engage our readers. PIN’s industry-leading online platform enables journalists to connect directly with potential sources in an effort to produce more meaningful coverage.


0 Comments | More in Question of the Week | Topics: parent involvement, question of the week

December 6, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Video: Chicago mentor program benefits parents and students alike

A community group in northwest Chicago has turned hundreds of hesitant parents into capable classroom helpers, role models and leaders by tapping into strengths many don’t realize they have. Check out the video below to see the Logan Square parent mentor program in action. On Sunday, pick up a copy of The Seattle Times or More

0 Comments | More in Video | Topics: Logan Square, parent involvement, video

December 4, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Guest: How a summer club got Seattle kids and parents reading together

reading thermometer dayna provitt

A reading thermometer the Summer Reading Club created to track student progress (Photo by Dayna Provitt)

Something magical happens when a child reads out loud, to an adult or around his or her peers. There’s a sparkle, a pride, a joy. Many parents haven’t experienced this, and we all absolutely need to.

This is the thought that kept me up late one night in May last year. I was thinking about some of the children in my first-grader’s class, the emerging readers whom I worked with weekly.

Could I impact their reading this summer, even though I don’t have a connection with their parents? Many work full time and can’t go to school functions. How can I share this experience with them? I had seen their kids grow so much this year. Many now read with confidence, and I was rewarded with lovely, toothy (and toothless) grins. Yet summer was coming, and their days may not include such joyful reading and proud smiles. Could I change that?

Thus the Summer Reading Club was born.


0 Comments | More in Guest opinion | Topics: parent involvement, reading