How Parents Make Schools Better

The latest workshop in PEN’s Parents as Leaders series focused on problem-solving at the school site. Parents from several elementary schools and even a few incoming PUSD parents got an introduction to the school and district reporting structure, school governance and parent organizations, and budget basics. Parents learned about the role of school site councils and heard examples of parents taking constructive action to address concerns related to academics as well as school climate. PEN Program Director Susan Schwartz presented an approach to problem-solving that encourages reflection, reaching out, and keeping an open mind about possible solutions.

Participants worked in groups, using the problem-solving guide, to address specific issues at their school sites. “I greatly appreciate the organized manner to approaching [what can be] a frustrating process,” commented one participant. Several parents remarked that the workshop, or some version of it, “would be good for incoming parents.”

Presentation handouts are available below.  Contact PEN for more information about this workshop, or to find out about bringing the workshop (or a specific presentation or exercise) to parents at your school site.

Introduction: How Parents Make Schools Better (Susan Schwartz, PEN) Intro-Como los padres mejoran las escuelas

Navigating the PUSD system and budget basics (Kim Kenne, Junto Escolar del PUSD) Navegando el Sistema de PUSD y Elementos Basicos del Presupuesto

The School Improvement Process (Lydia Finkley, District Advisory Council) El Proceso para el mejoramiento de la escuela

nancy dufford