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Public Invited to Jan. 17 Workshop on Family Partnership Policy

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Public Invited to Jan. 17 Workshop on Family Partnership Policy
Posted on 01/15/2017
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Portland Public Schools families and other community members are encouraged to attend a Portland Board of Public Education workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 17, to discuss a proposed new School and Family Partnership Policy. The workshop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Lyseth Elementary School, located at 175 Auburn St.

A Parent Partnership Policy Ad Hoc Committee has been working throughout the fall on developing a new family engagement policy for the Portland Public Schools, and recently submitted the draft policy for the school board’s review. The school board is slated to hold a first reading of the policy at its business meeting immediately following the workshop.

The board created the Parent Partnership Policy Ad Hoc Committee in August to assist in enhancing the district’s engagement with families. The board charged the committee with reviewing and revising the district’s current Parent Involvement Policy.

The committee also was directed to prioritize integrating elements of the Parent & Family Engagement Manifesto into the revised policy. The manifesto, developed by Portland Empowered, is a document that outlines how the Portland Public Schools can better engage with parents and families. Portland Empowered is a project of the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service that works to champion parent voice to improve educational outcomes for students.

The draft policy directs district staff to use a set of  “policy values” as guides in working with families. Those policy values, adapted from the manifesto, are the following:

1. Value and encourage face-to-face relationships.

2. Create safe spaces where everyone is welcome and valued as an expert in their role.

3. Encourage families, schools and communities to work together to improve student success.

4. Enable a range of voices to be heard by decision-makers.

5. Are accessible to parent and community leaders from diverse backgrounds.

6. Devote sufficient resources to parent engagement and community outreach.

The draft policy also calls for the establishment of a Family Partnership Advisory Committee made up of a wide variety of stakeholders that could include parents/guardians, a board member, multilingual/multicultural representatives and families, school and district staff, community partners, students and alumni. That committee will support, monitor and report on the implementation of the School and Family Partnership Policy.

To read the draft policy in the school board’s meeting packet, click HERE