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2018 National FCE Conference Resources

2018 National FCE Conference Resources



Building Reading Mentors with Parents and Families: A view into the Cleveland Pilot

Description: The dual capacity-building framework is applied to the pilot test introduction of the About Reading Mentoring (AARM) Program in CMSD. This program will highlight the work and outcomes of school and family mentors working with struggling readers in K through 5th gr. at one CMSD school.

Presenters: Judith Lozada, FACE Manager, Cleveland Metropolitan School District; Amy Freeman, M4RA Program Director, Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities

Parents as Literacy Coaches!

Description: In schools with 10% of parents at report card conferences, Springboard’s weekly family training workshops average 91% attendance. Through this session, we will share best practices in mobilizing parents and empowering them to be effective literacy coaches.

Presenters: Alejandro Gac-Artigas, CEO, Springboard Collaborative; Aubrey White, Springboard Collaborative; Keo Chea-Young, Springboard Collaborative

Learning through Innovation: Lessons Gathered from Pennsylvania’s Community Innovation Zones

Description: Pennsylvania recognizes the role of families, schools and communities in the development of quality early learning experiences for children. Come learn about the key findings of the implementation of 50 Community Innovation Zones. Strategies and supports that had that most impact will be discussed.

Presenters: Sarah Holland, Special Assistant on Family Engagement, Office of Child Development and Early Learning; Sherylls Valladares Kahn, Ph.D, Principal Associate, School Readiness Consulting

Early Language and Literacy – Partnerships that Matter

Description: Young children benefit from high-quality preschools. When preschool children gain reading, math, and social-emotional readiness skills, they are more likely to succeed. Attendees will examine programs that organize strategies that guide parents to support their young children’s development.

Presenters: Marsha Greenfeld, Senior Program Facilitator, National Network of Partnership Schools; Catherine Thomas, Family Engagement Coordinator, Starting Point

Co-leading with Parents and Caregivers for Community, Policy and Systems Change

Description: First 5 LA recognizes that an important part of all children’s success in life comes with increased parental involvement and an increased knowledge of early childhood well-being systems. First 5 LA also recognizes that the leadership and involvement of parents and caregivers working with community organizations and local systems to influence decision makers is critical to neighborhood and community change. This session will focus on what are the tangible, practical and equitable ways for community organizations and local systems (i.e., municipalities, public agencies, schools, etc.) to co-lead community, policy and system change efforts in collaboration and partnership with parents and caregivers.

Presenters: Rafael Gonzalez, First 5 LA; Joaquin Calderon, First 5 LA; Alejandra Marroquin, Community Relations Officer, First 5 LA

Families & Schools Together: Empowering Parents, Engaging Families & Increasing Student Success

Description: Learn how an evidence-based family engagement program helps children of all ages succeed in school by empowering parents, connecting families with schools, and strengthening community involvement. Research, case studies, and practical activities will be presented.

Presenter: Carol Goedken, CEO/Executive Director, Families & Schools Together, Inc.


Developing Growth Mindset for Families

Description: Join us to learn about our growth mindset tools for parents. Families in Schools has worked to enhance the website to increase its relevance to families and support implementation. Participate in activities, examine parent feedback, and discuss data-based program improvements with us.

Presenters: Rocio Pina, Program Manager, Families in Schools; Tina Ochoa, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Families in Schools

Building Bridges: Mapping the Powerful Impact of Parent Leaders

Description: Initiatives to develop parent leaders can be a powerful force for equity and opportunity. A dynamic panel of parent leaders will share their work, show how they bridge differences, and discuss their collaboration with a new Parent Leadership Evaluation Network to co-develop open access tools to evaluate their impact.

Presenters: Anne Henderson, Senior Consultant, National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE); Donna Thompson Bennett, Co-Director, National Parent Leadership Training Institute (NPLI); Patti Keckeisen, Co-Director, National Parent Leadership Training Institute (NPLI); Nita Rudy, Executive Director, Parents for Public Schools; Rosazlia Grillier Parent, Co-President, COFI/POWER~PAC IL/UPLAN; Wendy Perez, Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy, Research, and Evaluation at NYU Metro Center; Joanna Geller, Principal Research Associate, Center for Policy, Research, and Evaluation at NYU Metro Center

A New Framework for Family Leadership: Building Capacity from the Inside and Out

Description: In this interactive session, informed by a newly developed practical framework for supporting Family Leadership, parent leaders, school officials, and researchers from two cities will present how they strive to establish equity-driven school-family partnerships from inside and outside of schools.

Presenters: Dr. Keith Catone, Executive Director, Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education; Joanna Geller, Principal Research Associate, Metro Center – NYU; Abusana “Micky” Bondo, Coalition Parent Leader Organizer, Portland Empowered

A Strong Parent Voice + New Engagement Idea = Student Success 

Description: Parents need a strong voice to be truly engaged in the educational success of their children. Learn how Ohio PTA supports and prepares parents to have that strong voice at all levels of decision-making. New engagement ideas will be shared and explored via roundtable discussions including how to involve these empowered parents in the design and implementation of your programs. 

Presenters: Ann Bohman, President, Families Are Important LLC; Susan Hans, President, Ohio PTA; Amy Weinberg, Manager, Programs & Partnerships, National PTA

Parent Leaders of Color Organizing for Educational Policy and Systems Change: The COFI Way

Description: Chicago low-income parent leaders of color organized and won major policy changes, like the return of recess, in the school system using COFI’s five-step theory of policy and system change. This workshop will walk participants through the 5-steps, with storytelling and participatory activities.

Presenters: Kellie Magnuson, Senior Program Director, Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI); Rosazlia Grillier, Co-Chair, Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew – Policy Council

Organized Parents Amplify Power and Transform Schools

Description: Discover best practices of how organized parents at elementary school sites are leaders in transforming the school environment and instructional delivery to increase student achievement.

Presenters: Monica Scott Green, Family and School Partnership Lead, Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network; Sasha Shane, Family School Partnership Lead, Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network

Elevating our Voices and Influencing Policy: The United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN)

Description: Hear from parent leaders from across the country who are working to ensure that policy created about families includes the input of parents. UPLAN members will share about our organizing strategies, campaigns, and leadership development work. Join us!

Presenter: Erin Moore, National Organizer, United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN)


Engaging Families and Rebuilding Trust: The Power of Site-based Governance Bodies

Description: Participants will learn about the School District of Philadelphia’s experience implementing School Advisory Councils district-wide, including the challenges of obtaining buy-in from staff and families, successes from the field, and strategies to start councils in their home districts and schools.

Presenters: Shannon O’brien, Program Specialist, School District of Philadelphia – Office of Family and Community Engagement; Lauren Rowland, Project Assistant, School District of Philadelphia – Office of Family and Community Engagement

Engaging Families through Individual Plan of Studies and Family Resource Centers

Description: Kansas has recently implemented statewide Individual Plans of Study for each middle and high school student. This process provides an opportunity for schools to engage families in their student’s learning and career development at a time when families become unsure of their educational role. Painesville City Schools in Northeast Ohio created a bilingual Family Resource Center to integrate family engagement into the Ohio Improvement Plan. This district initiated solution engages families using the Communities in Schools model. The benefits and outcomes of each approach will be shared with practical strategies for implementation in each attendee’s statewide work and community.

Presenters: Amber Torres González, Site Coordinator- Family Resource Center, Painesville City Local Schools; Dr. Josh Englehart, Assistant Superintendent, Painesville City Local Schools; Dr. Jane Groff, Consultant, Director, Kansas Parent Information Resource Center (KPIRC); Dr. Anthony Pizzuti, PhD State Support Team 4

Building Organizational Capacity for Partnerships

Description: The Schlechty Center and Garland ISD have collaborated to provide a hands-on session, providing a platform for school leaders to think anew, envision new possibilities, and imagine healthy learning environments. Participants will leave the session with tools and resources for initiating and sustaining organizational capacity building for partnerships.  Come learn about the Garland ISD Raise Your Hand Texas Campus Redesign Plan created at the Harvard Family Engagement Institute and how the Schlechty Center uses it’s Images of School framework to create an engaging environment where students are scholars, families are experts, and staff and families are partners and vibrant members of the school community.

Presenters: Monica Solomon, Senior Associate, Schlechty Center; Ramona M. Aguilar, Ed.D. Garland ISD; Johnathan Armstrong, Garland ISD

A Beginners Guide to Building an Infrastructure for Home-School-Community Relationships

Description/objectives: 1. To assess your district’s or organization’s structure in supporting family engagement. 2. To create training opportunities for parent facing staff with a goal of each school campus being a warm and welcoming environment. 3. To ensure families as internal stakeholders.

Presenter: Sonya Hunte, Family Engagement Director, Atlanta Public Schools

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence and Academic Success Through Family Engagement

Description: In this experiential workshop, I will teach some of the cutting-edge social and emotional intelligence and relationship building skills that LIFE uses to engaging families. We will look at how this impacts teaching staff, parents, children, and helps families create a strong support network.

Presenter: Steve Thorpe, Director of Family Engagement, Reading Roadmap

The Lorain Promise: Partnering with Families and Communities to Drive District Transformation

Description: Learn how the new CEO of Lorain City Schools partnered with thousands of students, families, teachers, and community members to co-create the Lorain Promise, a strategic plan that reimagines what’s possible for the students of Lorain, Ohio.

Presenter: Kenya Bradshaw, VP, Community Engagement, TNTP


Taking Steps for Success: Developing Effective Family-School Partnerships within Rural School Districts

Description: Lao Tzu once stated, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This session will provide state educational agencies and county-based agencies with food for thought as they begin their journey to develop and sustain family-school partnerships within rural environments.

Presenter: Jennifer Geibel, Educational Consultant, PaTTAN

Parent Power to Push for Safe and Inclusive School Climate for ALL Children

Description: Students in schools across the country face unwelcoming school climates due to heightened racial tension, divisive political rhetoric, and exclusionary discipline policies. This session will focus on the parent’s role in advocating for safe and inclusive school climates for their children.

Presenter: Natasha Quiroga, PREP Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Building the Capacity of Elementary Classroom Teachers to Engage Families in Student Learning

Description: This workshop shares two Australian case studies of interactive professional learning experiences for elementary school teachers working within culturally and linguistically diverse suburban communities, to enhance their family engagement practices.

Presenter: Gillian Baxter, Cluster Engagement in Learning Leader and PhD student, Deakin University, Australia

Supporting Student Leadership In and Out of the Classroom

Description: Students placed at the center of decisions involving their own education are more engaged and take more ownership of their own academia. In this session, participants will reflect and draw on their experiences as students and leaders, to explore strategies for engaging students in and out of class.

Presenters: Steve Desrosiers, Family Engagement Coordinator, Boston Public Schools; Abraham Osorio, BSAC Student Engagement Coordinator, Boston Public Schools

Building the WE Engaging Students Families and Communities

Description: Building the WE means getting rid of the barriers that become disparities for a few ‘themes’ and creating pathways of success for more than a few ‘us-es’ by creating a community mindset and leveraging our brain-to-brain connections to build relationships and the capacity to trust. This engaging and interactive workshop presents a refreshing approach to family and community engagement: brain-to-brain. Basics of neuroscience that inform and impact how we were designed to engage each other; what went wrong; and how to reset ourselves to improve lives through student, family and community engagement will be presented.

Presenter: Brittany Pope, Coordinator of Applied Clinical Sciences, Ohio GuideStone

Coaching Our Children to Academic Success

Description: Family-schools-community engage as partners to Coach Children to Academic Success. Learn strategies to address opportunity gaps present in suburban schools. Understand how the district used data to create initiatives: Minority Scholars, mentor/tutor programs, parent advocacy, Equity Framework/institute

Presenters: Cynthia DeVese, District Coordinator, Minority Student Achievement, Westerville City Schools/Client Impact, LLC; Sharon Butler, Former School Administrator (Cleveland Metropolitan Schools District, Columbus City Schools, and Dayton Public Schools)


Don’t Be Afraid of Data – Getting Started with Evaluating Engagement

Description: Family and community engagement efforts often seem difficult to quantify or measure, but this workshop will encourage participants to ident sources of data that they may already have or could easily collect to begin reflecting on and evaluating their work of supporting families and communities.

Presenter: Amanda Klein, Owner/Consultant, Structured Solutions, LLC

Analyze This: Learn how to break down challenges & benefits of data collection in the world of FE

Description: Identifying district or school-level family engagement area of needs and the strategies for collecting program analytics for future success and improvement (student information system and technology integration tools)

Presenters: Natalie Hutchins, Supervisor, Title I Program, Cobb County School District; Njeri Fulwood, Cobb County School District, Title I Parent Facilitator


A Path Toward Partnership: Reimagining Family Engagement in Racine Unified School District

Description: Racine Unified School District’s North Star Vision is to “Educate Every Student to Succeed”. The District’s commitment embodies a renewed focus on family and community engagement and the belief a home-school connection is paramount for student success. Session participants will learn about approaches, strategies and lessons learned to redefine family engagement and partnership opportunities at the school and district levels.

Presenters: Dr. Chrishirella Sutton, Manager, Office of Family & Community Engagement, Racine Unified School District; Felicia Howell, Specialist, Office of Family & Community Engagement, Racine Unified School District; Rosalind Hardy, Specialist, Office of Family & Community Engagement, Racine Unified School District

A Systems Approach to Parent Community and Leadership Development

Description: At DCPS we have new systems work in the design shed. Now that we’ve established strong systems for building educator capacity for family engagement, we’re broadening scope to nurture school- and district-level parent community & leadership with a first focus on people furthest from opportunity. In this session we’ll norm on what we mean by “systems,” we’ll learn how DCPS has successfully leveraged systems to advantage in the past, and we are very interested to get expert feedback from some pros (you!) while this new project is in an early stage of development.

Presenter: Vincent Baxter, Deputy Chief, Family Engagement, DC Public School

Cultivating Relationships, Partnerships and Building Community among Stakeholders

Description: This presentation will share lessons learned through Hawaii’s statewide initiative to build parent, family and community engagement across culturally diverse communities. Participants will gain an in depth view of their existing community networks through a collaborative lens.

Presenters: Steven Vannatta, Program Specialist – Community Engagement Office, Hawaii Department of Education; Dr. Polly Quigley, Educational Specialist, Hawaii Department of Education; Lani Solomona, Community Relations Specialist, Hawaii Department of Education

Addressing Absenteeism and Reading Achievement through Family Learning

Description: This presentation will share a collective impact approach to family engagement that improves Hispanic children’s reading achievement and chronic absenteeism in Detroit. Led by the United Way of Southeastern Michigan in partnership with the National Center for Families Learning and others.

Presenters: Kim Jacobs, Senior Director, Education and Curriculum Development, National Center for Families Learning; Lynn McGregor, NCFL Family Literacy Specialist, National Center for Families Learning

Breaking Down the Silos – District Family Engagement Collaborative

Description: Looking at federal, state and local requirements for family engagement, the Albuquerque Public Schools developed a Family Engagement Collaborative among all departments in order to break down silos and better assist schools to engage families. This workshop will show how to break down those silos.

Presenters: Kristine Meurer, Executive Director, Student, Family, Community Supports Division, Albuquerque Public Schools; Tanya Campos, Director, Office of Equity and Engagement, Albuquerque Public Schools

Leading by Convening: The Power of Authentic Engagement

Description: Leading by Convening: The Partnership Way is a philosophy, a framework, an approach to leadership, and a set of training, tools, and resources for state, regional and local leaders (“conveners”) to use in their work to engage stakeholders in systemic improvement initiatives. The toolkit helps organizational leaders who lead groups understand the difference between technical skills and the adaptive/personal/relational skills needed to engage diverse stakeholders in quality improvement. Leading by Convening is intended to equip government and professional agencies with the knowledge, skills, and tools to more effectively and meaningfully engage diverse parents and other stakeholders at all levels. It is the state agency/leader and professional agency training that will help prepare them to be “more ready” for the deep engagement of the diverse family and youth leaders who want to have a more meaningful and impactful voice in quality improvement.

Presenters: Diana Autin, Executive Director, National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, & Community Empowerment (National PLACE); Patricia Linehan, Project Director at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education and a team lead for the Communications and Collaboration Team of the National Center for Systemic Improvement

Family Engagement Strategies to Reduce Chronic Absence

Description: High chronic absence levels can be a sign that a school needs to invest in stronger family engagement strategies. Learn how you can use tools such as the Attendance Works’ Online Teaching Attendance Curriculum to equip school staff to reach out to families and create a culture of attendance.

Presenters: Cecelia Leong, Associate Director for Programs, Attendance Works

A Regional Look at Systemic Practices in Family School and Community Partnership

Description: A Regional Look at Systemic Practices in Family, School and Community Partnership, hosted by a funder and five urban school district leaders from Connecticut, will provide an understanding of how these Connecticut districts are both impacting student success in their communities and how they plan to sustain these new practices. 

Presenters: Jackie Coleman, Education Investments Officer, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Veronica Marion, East Hartford schools; Cynthia Zingler, Vernon schools; Kristen Wiegand, Windsor Locks schools; Latasha Turnquest, Manchester schools; Christina Morales, Bloomfield schools

What does Family Engagement Mean? Co-creating a Definition and State Framework with Families and Communities

Description: “Family engagement” has dozens of definitions. After Connecticut funders challenged the State Dep’ts of Education and Early Childhood to craft a universal definition, state officials collaborated with parents, educators and community leaders to co-create a definition and a framework to make it work.

Presenters: Anne Henderson, Senior Consultant, National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement; Judy Carson, Program Manager, Family, School and Community Partnerships, CT State Dept of Education; Carol O’Donnell, Director, CT Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, a project of CT Council on Philanthropy; Anne Mead, Director of Family and Community Engagement, Danbury Public Schools; Donna Thompson Bennett, Co-Director, National Parent Leadership Training Institute (NPLI); Deborah Watson, Project Manager for Family & Community Engagement, Preschool Development Grant, Connecticut Office of Early Childhood

Building School Capacity through Planning Workshops

Description: Come learn about School Training for Engagement Planning (STEP) workshops (scaling to 50+ schools) where school teams learn about family engagement best practices, assess their school’s practices and leave with concrete action plans. Teams are then supported with site based technical assistance.

Presenters: Daphne Strader, Director, Coordinated School Health Department, Albuquerque Public Schools/Student, Family, Community Supports Division; Kristine Meurer, Executive Director – Student, Family and Community Supports, Albuquerque Public Schools