CPPS: Tapping the Power of Parents

 From Community & Parents for Public Schools, Seattle (CPPS):

SEATTLE: Students win when families and schools work together, but not all parents engage equally. So Community & Parents for Public Schools of Seattle is bringing an acclaimed program to the city that strengthens ties to public schools by recruiting, placing and mentoring volunteers who might not otherwise participate.

For more than two decades, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association has pulled off what so many struggle with – meaningful connections across culture and language that result in tangible benefits:
  • Better student outcomes
  • Better school climate
  • Better teacher connections to the culture of the community
  • And for the parents, a chance to learn and hone new skills
Our co-president Yolanda Gill Masundire and two coaches will be in Chicago next week training at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association’s Parent Engagement Institute. The premise promoted at the institute is startlingly simple and one we’ve long embraced at CPPS of Seattle:  We learn from each other.

Together, parents and teachers give students more support – more eyes and ears; more time; more role models. Volunteer mentorship also builds trust, and appreciation for diversity.

“I believe volunteer mentorship is a key stepping stone to engaging the full range of Seattle Public School parents,” says Stephanie Alter Jones, Ph.D., CPPS of Seattle’s executive director. “It will help parents understand that they are welcome and important in the academic lives of their schools.”

 Through our new Seattle Volunteer Mentorship Program CPPS of Seattle will:
  • Recruit, place and mentor cohorts of 8-10 parent volunteers in two Seattle public schools.
  • Offer supported classroom volunteer experiences for the cohorts
  • Provide additional leadership training and workshop opportunities for the cohorts throughout the year.
We will be launching at Dearborn Park International School in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood and are in discussion with a second site.

Thanks to funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Satterberg Foundation, we are sending three CPPS of Seattle representatives to Chicago for onsite training; one of them will be taking the Spanish track.  We are also purchasing curriculum and a year of support from the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and we will be able to devote staff hours to supporting the mentorship program and volunteers.
This program builds on efforts already underway. CPPS of Seattle has run Parent Leadership 101 camps for several years, training parents from 20 schools and in six languages.  Last year, we certified a dozen trainers in an expanded Parent Engagement Program and we launched the Parent Leadership Corps, designed to be the next step for graduates of Seattle Public Schools’ Family Connector University, and other emerging parent leaders.

Did you know?
Parent and community ties are essential to school transformation. Of 200 schools studied for seven years, those with strong parent involvement were 10 times more likely to improve in math and four times more likely to improve in reading than schools weak on engagement. That’s more than any of the other necessary supports identified, including school leadership, professional capacity of staff, learning climate and instructional guidance. You can read more about how CPPS of Seattle’s work supports the five essential supports for school transformation here.


Disgusted said…
CPPS has gotten into the business of pushing Charter Schools.
dorainseattle said…
What will they do now?

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