The Board of Education was informed of the rationale for the reorganization of the student services and family engagement offices during the FY 2017 Operating Budget Work Session held on January 21, 2016, that outlined sustaining a community that supports student, health, safety, social and emotional development as well as family and community engagement.
At the April 19, 2016, all-day business meeting, the Board was presented with the plan for the coordinated supports for student and families and the structure for the Office of Student and Family Support and Engagement (OSFSE) for the 2016–2017 school year. Guided by our core values and strategic priorities, the Office of the Chief Academic Officer (OCAO) engaged with stakeholders and staff about the mission of the OSFSE to create and maintain a seamless infrastructure of support for students and families through a coordinated program of services focused on student wellness and family engagement.
The conversations with stakeholders and staff served as a catalyst for reevaluating and reimagining the delivery of family and student services for a rapidly changing population and toward a more integrated approach.
On July 1, 2016, the Student, Family, and School Services Division (SFSS) within OSFSE brought together under one office 10 parent community coordinator (PCC) positions from the former Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships, 13 English for Speakers of Other Languages PCC positions from the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs and 14 newly-funded PCC positions. The PCCs for the past two years have served in a cluster model and provided services to assigned base schools. This structure collaborates with the pupil personnel workers (PPWs) and school counselors, and serve on cluster teams that engage in ongoing collaborative planning and problem solving for family and student needs.
The SSFS Division has 37 PCC positions. These 37 PCCs currently serve in 57 elementary schools, determined by the Free and Reduced-price Meal System rankings, 22 secondary schools with Multidisciplinary Education, Training, and Support (METS) programs, and 1 PCC serves students and families in the Students Engaged in Pathways to Achievement (SEPA)
and Career Readiness Education Academy (CREA) programs at the Thomas Edison High School of Technology. Additionally, requests from both parents and school staff for parent outreach support from schools without a PCC, are assigned to a PCC in the respective school cluster, or are handled by one of the 7 PCCs who provide system-wide support in Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese languages. The 4.0 PCC positions
and 1 parent instructional specialist position that serve secondary schools with METS are funded through the Title III grant.
PCCs are assigned in one of the following ways:
- Serve two elementary schools:
- Serve one elementary school and two secondary schools with METS program; and
- Serve one elementary school and provide system-wide support in multiple languages.
Under the direction of the SFSS Division, PCCs collaborate with school administrators, school staff, PPW), community members, partners, parent organizations and families to plan and implement parent outreach programs and activities, with the goal of reaching families that are underrepresented because of social, economic, racial, and/or language barriers.
PCCs participate in monthly professional development sessions and cluster meetings with OSFSE colleagues. Principals guide the work of the PCC in the assigned school(s). The majority of the work in schools is assisting parents to understand school system information and programs, help parents advocate for their children, serve as a liaison between the parents and school staff, and connect families with community resources for basic needs. PCCs conduct parent workshops and meetings, collaborate with school teams on family events, and serve on school committees. Additionally, PCCs support system-wide family engagement programs such as Parent Academy, the parent sessions for the George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy Saturday School, and other community meetings as appropriate.