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MCPS expectations for the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships continue to grow. The Office is being asked to build and manage growing partnerships as well as continue to provide support to an increasingly diverse student/family population. How have the demands on staff increased over time? What are the plans, if any, to increase the capacity of this Office?

Question#: 26

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: 7-3

ANSWER:

The Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships (OCEP) are currently composed of three staff: the chief engagement and partnership officer, an administrative manager, and an assistant.  OCEP also includes the Department of Family and Community Partnerships (DFCP), which has 17.5 FTE staff positions.  Demands on OCEP staff, particularly those in DFCP, have increased in the following areas:

  • In FY 2012, in response to requests from schools and other organizations, DFCP staff provided 548 Parent Academy and other workshops in English, Spanish, and Korean to more than 15,000 parents. This was an increase of 385 workshops provided to 9,302 parents in FY 2011. The number of requests from schools and organizations continued to increase this fall along with the time needed to tailor presentations to the needs of local school communities.
  • Nine parent community coordinators provided direct support at special education meetings, parent-teacher conferences, suspension and expulsion hearings, and other school-related meetings to 1,342 families in FY 2012. 
  • The ASK MCPS call center handles an average of 1,200 calls per month.  The overall calls for FY 2012 were 10,829, up from 8,561 calls in FY 2011. From July through December 2012, 7,480 calls were received.
  • Staff responded to more than 1,400 e-mail queries and requests sent to the ASK MCPS e-mail address, an increase of ten percent over FY 2011.  From July to December 2012, DFCP staff responded to 1,149 inquiries.
  • DFCP staff support systemwide and community events, such as Listen and Learn, Community Day, town hall meetings, Board of Education Community Conversations, NAACP Parents’ Council meetings, and others with ASK MCPS information, resources, and facilitation.  Additionally, the number of requests for information and resources from community organizations requiring staff participation in meetings, conferences and fairs has continued to increase.  
  • Staff connects with over 200 community partners for the annual Back-to-School Fair, including gathering donations for the backpack and school supply give-away and coordinating their distribution. As the needs of county residents have grown, the demand for backpacks and school supplies also has grown.  At the August 2012 Back-to-School Fair, 8,133 backpacks were given away; 7,002 were distributed in August 2011. 

Additionally, OCEP staff continue to provide human services referrals, partner with nonprofit organizations, and collaborate with principals and other administrators within their assigned schools.

Work is underway to identify positions and resources in other parts of the organization that are currently used to provide services to the community, parents, and families.  It is anticipated that these resources will be aligned with the mission and work of this office.

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