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Parents, Families of PPS High School Students Invited to Celebration

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Parents, Families of PPS High School Students Invited to Celebration
Posted on 02/24/2016
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Parents and families of students in Portland’s public high schools are invited to a Parent Engagement Celebration on Friday, Feb. 26. The event – a conversation with schools and families – will focus on setting a new standard for parent and family engagement across the city's high schools.

The Parent Engagement Celebration will run from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at East End Community School, located at 195 North St. Dinner, interpretation and childcare will be provided.

Portland Interim Superintendent Jeanne Crocker encourages high school parents and families to attend. “Parents’ and students’ voices are critical components in envisioning Portland’s high schools as the best in the state,” Crocker said. “Please join us in this very important conversation with schools and families about the future of parent and family engagement in our high schools.”

Crocker will participate in the event, along with Chanda Turner, the district’s Coordinator of Family & Community Engagement, and the principals of Portland, Deering and Casco Bay high schools.

The event is a time for the Parent Engagement Partners to celebrate all the work they have done in the community to identify ways that parent engagement could be improved across the city's high schools.

The Parent Engagement Partners is a component of Portland Empowered – a project of the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service that works to reduce barriers and create opportunities to support emerging student, parent, and community leaders to have more voice in public education in Portland at the high school level. Portland Empowered focuses on those who are historically underrepresented in decision-making and represents many immigrant or refugee families for whom English is not a native language.

The Parent Engagement Partners is a group that has been meeting for several years representing parents of students at Portland's high schools, especially those who have faced challenges to becoming engaged in the schools such as not speaking English or balancing multiple jobs.

The group has met regularly and also has held events and conducted outreach to engage parents and families of Portland high school students in many different languages. As a result, the group has collected a variety of ideas and information from families and created a "Parent & Family Engagement Manifesto" outlining a set of standards for how parents would like Portland's high schools to engage parents and communities. To read the manifesto, click here.

The manifesto will be discussed at Friday’s event.

With generous support from Nellie Mae, Portland Empowered serves as a vital community partner to the Portland Public Schools in working toward improving educational outcomes for all students.

“We're really proud and happy to be partnering with Portland Empowered to celebrate the culmination of their work,” Turner said.

Emily Thielmann, Policy Associate, Youth and Community Engagement Programs, Muskie School of Public Service, said, “The Portland Public Schools has been a gracious and willing partner and Friday's event is also an opportunity for the high schools and the school board to share changes that are already underway in response to what Portland's parents are requesting.”

Parents and families are asked to RSVP. For more information, contact Pious Ali at ali.pious@maine.edu or 207-807-4283 or Emily Thielmann at emily.thielmann@maine.edu or 207-780-5868. To access a registration form, click here.