The Power of Parents
Your insight matters. Family and community ties are essential to school success, so at CPPS of Seattle we cultivate engagement and nurture advocacy.
Our early days: In 2004, the Seattle School District proposed closing a number of schools. The plan didn’t make sense to a lot of parents and community members, so they spoke up, worked together, and shelved the plan.
That core group of advocates saw clearly how a diverse, organized, constructive group of parents can bring about positive change, and over the course of a year Community & Parents for Public Schools of Seattle was born. We started as Communities for Public Education in 2005 before joining the national Parents for Public Schools network in January of 2006.
In the years since, we’ve focused on bringing more voices into the mix, moving to a training and mentoring model. We want family engagement in schools to reflect the beautiful diversity of our students.
Today: Our members bring expertise, passion and energy to the table. Families are the most powerful advocates for children, and we work to give them the skills and grounding – the confidence and the comfort level – to participate fully in their public schools.
A PROVEN MODEL
CPPS of Seattle is a chapter of Parents for Public Schools®, founded in 1989, with chapters across the country strengthening schools by educating, engaging, and mobilizing parents. PPS elevates the role of parents from passive consumers to active participants. PPS parents demand excellent public schools and have the skills to make it happen.
IN THE NEWS:
- DIGITAL EQUITY: City of Seattle awards $320,000 to programs bringing technology to underserved communities … including our Parent Volunteer Mentorship program!
- COLLECTIVE ACTION: In 2014, Social Venture Partners, Seattle invested $170,000 in collective action for children and livable communities — including CPPS of Seattle. Read about it here.
- PROMISING RESPONSES: Education Lab is a project of the Seattle Times to spotlight promising responses to problems that have long bedeviled our public schools. In September 2014 the lab featured our Volunteer Mentorship Program.
- MODEL PRACTICE: Hawthorne Elementary lies in one of the most diverse zip codes in the nation, and more than a third of its students are learning English. To engage their parents, the school’s family partnership team contracted with CPPS of Seattle to create Parent Leaders University. It was a hit — and is featured in the 2014 collection of promising practices from the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University. Read about it here: Hawthorne Parent Leaders University
- REAL CONVERSATIONS: The Elephant in the Room: Why can’t Seattle keep a school superintendent? This conversation started with administrative leadership, but quickly delved into community building and issues of race, class and opportunity for Seattle children. Our 2014 co-president Yalonda Gill Masundire joins fellow panelists Zithri Ahmed Saleem of the Technology Access Foundation and Kimberly Mitchell of Inquiry Partners in this Crosscut podcast series.
- PUBLIC DECISION-MAKING: Parents want say in district decisions — before they are done deals or become nasty fights. In spring of 2015, we launched A Better Way: The Charles Rolland Initiative for Public Engagement to explore the use of dialogue and deliberation in school governance. Seattle is beautifully diverse, and that means we need to take care to listen and learn from each other, and deliberate together.