Making Parents and Grandparents Feel Welcomed at a New School

Grandparents Jaime and Lorenza Vargas* sat among the 85 parents and guardians who flooded into the cafeteria of Brightwood Education Campus (DCPS) for the first Parent-Principal Chit Chat of the year on September 26, 2014. The Vargas family has two grandchildren in grades 5 and 7 who had arrived in the United States from the […]

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Family Partner Series Offers D.C. Schools a Fresh Start on Family Engagement

This year, bilingual school counselor Senovia Hurtado has been entrusted with the mission of revitalizing family engagement at Brightwood Education Campus (DCPS), a pre-K through eighth grade school in Washington, D.C. It’s her 15th year in DC Public Schools, but her first as a parent coordinator. With a reopened parent center, a supportive principal and […]

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Principal Meeting Launches Tellin’ Stories Family Partners Series

“Of the many hats I wear, one of those hats is that of the community organizer,” shared Thomson Elementary Principal Carmen Shepherd. “As principals, we are really here to serve and work with families.” On July 30, 2014, Ms. Shepherd, principal of Thomson Elementary (DCPS), joined principals from six other DCPS schools and one Prince […]

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Does Family Engagement Matter? The Truth and Half-Truths about Parent Involvement      

By Karen L. Mapp, Anne T. Henderson, and Nancy E. Hill Ever since a new report claiming that parent involvement is overrated was released to a flurry of media coverage last month, people have been asking us for a response. We hope you find our analysis helpful in responding to questions about why our work […]

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The Shapes that Shape Our Lives

A spaceship representing the United States and El Salvador. The church from a small pueblo (village). The “Birthday Party Express” bus. These are a few of the family projects proudly on display in the hallways of Thomson Elementary (DCPS) this spring. The first graders at Thomson Elementary (DCPS) are learning all about shapes, so in […]

Listen Up! Professional Development for Family Engagement Practitioners

Teaching for Change was honored to present at the National Family Engagement Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 8, 2014. Hosted by the  Institute for Educational Leadership in conjunction with the Coalition for Community Schools National Forum, the conference focused on the intersection between family engagement and educational equity. In our workshop we modeled some of the […]

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Parents Tell Councilmember Catania: Our Children Deserve Classrooms

Orr Elementary School (DCPS) parents invited David Catania, Councilmember and chair of the Education Committee, to hear their stories and tour the building which badly needs modernization. Nearly 30 parents attended with their children, along with teachers and members of the local community. Parents expressed their concerns about the safety of the playground; stagnant air […]

No Place to Hide: Orr Elementary Needs Modernization Now!

Students in a photo provided by Orr Elementary. Isaiah Lyles was shocked as he watched his daughter Da’Vonna and her pre-Kindergarten classmates attempt to hide in plain sight from an “active shooter” during a safety drill. This day in January, Orr Elementary (DCPS) was among the schools participating in a safety assessment after the anniversary […]

Parents and Teachers Swap Stories About What Children Can Do

Maria Lopez* listened intently as the interpreter shared the meeting with her in Spanish. The mother of a student who loves to read, Maria came to the 3rd grade’s parent-teacher Grade Level Dialogues to find out more about what her daughter is learning in the classroom. The third grade team at Thomson Elementary (DCPS) planned two […]

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Parent Organizer América Calderón Wins Dedication Award

For many parents in Washington, D.C.’s Latino community, América Calderón is the person who inspired and pushed them to speak up for their children. In her five years of organizing in D.C. schools with Teaching for Change, Calderón has built a reputation for going above and beyond for the parents and schools she serves. On […]

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