Parent Leader Network Meeting – May 13, 2015

Attending: Dr. Shelley Berman, Kerry, Lisa Kinser-Wehr, Tim Bruegman, Katherine DeBaun, Joy Marshall, Carrie Copeland, Rita Gillihan, Heather Sielicki, Camilla Rice, Kerry Delf, Eliza Drummond

Discussion

Districtwide parent group for students with special needs. Shelley said that this is a requirement of IDEA and we will check with Dr. Cheryl Linder. Lisa K-W said that she will determine who is leading it.

More ground up discussion and input, less top down discussion.

Allow more than two leaders per school.

Shelley’s hope is to give some guidance to the incoming superintendent and that the agendas reflect the topics discussed in the past years. Important to have the voice representing special education students in this group. Integrate as much as possible.

Shelley mentioned that there is a survey going out to all parents very soon which will
gather data about culture and climate.

Lisa shared the value of having the superintendent involved on a regular basis with a parent group, as opposed to the parent group existing completely separately. The group indicated their desire to meet with the new superintendent and collaborate. Shelley agreed that the superintendent should be involved and not delegate the responsibility to other staff.

Camilla asked how to identify special education parents to be included. Shelley said that the
groups could be joined, or at least invited to join. It was suggested to increase the diversity of the group.

There was a discussion about the schedule: at the beginning of the year, poll the group to
determine dates. There was a suggestion about having some meetings, or some of each meeting, be by region, or by level and school type (alternative vs. neighborhood). Camilla said that also adding on the layer of special education makes it complex. She questioned how they would identify with groups. Heather added that parents of ELL students might face the same
challenge.

Tim pointed out that a lot of schools were not represented and wondered how to include other schools. Kerry said that we used to compile a directory with PTO site leaders, but it was confidential. It is a lot of work, so the benefit needs to be present. Carrie suggested a password protected Google Doc.

Lisa wondered whether we could determine a description and title for the group so that it is easier to describe to potential members:

Possible Fall Reports
• Smarter Balanced results
• Budget update
• Enrollment and demographics reports

Functions of the group
• Focus group
• Liaison to deliver information received
• Two-way communication with the district
• Outreach
• Information exchange and networking

Tim suggested the structure of old business, new business, and then talk. There should be a focus, possible big update, discussion, etc. at each meeting.

Possible quarterly meeting topics:

  • More parent committees to address particular issues–for instance ELL, TAG, calendars, etc.
  • Forum on becoming a non-profit or joining the national PTA or booster club
  • How to organize and run an effective PTO
  • Collaboration and resource sharing between schools
  • Community partnerships, reaching out to neighbors
  • Recruiting and keeping volunteers
  • Site council vs. the PTO
  • Food drives
  • Collaborative, operational topics (recruitment, fundraising, communications)

Shelley’s suggestion for next steps

  1. Meet with Gustavo (the group will organize meetings, but Gustavo should attend)
  2. Organize the first meeting (who will be there, how to get names, etc.)
  3. First meeting “come meet the new superintendent and other parent leaders from your area.”

Tasks

  1. Carrie will work with Kerry and Eliza to create a Google Contact Sheet
  2. Eliza will find a date for this group in July to meet Gustavo (If you cannot attend, please have your school represented). Meet with Gustavo, and then spend another hour using what we learned to plan meetings. First choice is July 8, second choice is the 9th at the regular time.
  3. Eliza and Kerry will gather all the presentations and minutes and send them to Heather for storage on a site of some sort.