Presenter: Barbara Boone, Director, Office of Family and Community Support, Ohio Department of Education; Melissa Ross, Project Director, College of Education & Human Ecology, Ohio State University; and Tyrrea Byrd, Program Manager, Parents for Public Schools.
- Boone introduced the services of her office, as well as two Race to the Top-funded projects for increasing student achievement through family involvement and community support. These two grant-funded projects are for schools that are in the lowest five percent of the state’s accountability system, regardless of whether they are receiving the State Improvement Grant.
- Boone’s office provides support to districts in these areas: safe and supportive learning environments; health and wellness; family engagement; and the after-school education program made possible through the federal 21st Century Community Learning Center program.
- Ross presented a series of free Community Engagement services to assess school climate and identify needed improvements. An enhanced school climate can positively influence student attendance and achievement, as well as staff morale. The program includes online surveys for students, parents and school staff; summaries and presentations of survey findings; planning sessions to integrate findings into school improvement plans; and community engagement coaching for building partnerships to meet students’ needs.
- Ross also discussed how to build a collaborative culture and how to engage enthusiastic parents to remove obstacles such as disconnected parents.
- Byrd described the free Pathways to Parent Leadershiptraining program for parents that she can facilitate for identified districts. Pathways is presented in four modules (some divide each one-hour module into two sessions). The four sections are:
- Understanding Ohio’s School System (Common Core, student accountability, community resources);
- Collaboration (working on a team, understanding leadership roles);
- School Improvement (Ohio Improvement Process); and
- Call to Action (advocacy).