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The Role of the Parent Coordinator
The Department of Education has created a staff position designed to help parents and their children. The Parent Coordinator’s first job is to create a welcoming environment in the school for all parents. One of the key objectives of the Children First reforms is increasing parent involvement in education. That begins by creating a sense of welcome in all our schools.
Parent Coordinators will be parents’ first stop in their search for information about their child’s school; the system in general; or for issues or concerns which need to be addressed at the school.
In creating this position, DOE realized that most problems involving students and their families must be solved at the school level. Unlike parent volunteers working in a school, the Parent Coordinator is a staff professional who can work with her/his colleagues to solve problems.
Another task for this person is to support existing parent organizations, such as the Parent Association and the School Leadership Team. While some Parent Coordinators are former Parent Association officers, the position of Parent Coordinator is not an extension of the Parent Association. The job of the Parent Coordinator is to work with parent groups to find ways to attract and serve a broader range of parents in each school.
The Children First reforms also address the key need to involve entire communities in improving schools. Parent Coordinators will be reaching out to community and faith based organizations to seek their assistance. Health care, after school activities, and mentoring programs are part of a broad range of issues for which Parent Coordinators will seek community assistance. The goal is to support students in the broadest sense.
Every parent should take the time to introduce themselves to the Parent Coordinator in their school. Be sure to get their direct phone number. As the school year unfolds, Parent Coordinators will be offering many opportunities for parents to learn more about supporting their children’s education.