Ways School Liaisons Can Help Families Advocate
School Liaisons can play a critical role in empowering parents to advocate for their children’s education. Here are some ways that School Liaisons can help families do this successfully.
The amount of information about and from schools can be overwhelming and confusing for families. School Liaisons can play a key role in helping families digest this information, understand the ways that schools are held accountable for ensuring that all students are being provided with a quality education, and understand the various ways they can get involved in their student’s education.
School Liaisons can direct families to local Parent Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs). PIRCs were established by ESEA and are funded to assist families in understanding accountability data and the availability of school choice and supplemental services options. The centers also provide resources for parental involvement in schools and strengthen partnerships among parents, teachers, principals, and other school personnel to meet the needs of children. Under the law, PIRCs must use at least 50 percent of their funds to serve areas with high concentrations of children from low-income families and 30 percent of their funds for early childhood programs.
Provide Information to Parents and Commanding Officers on the Performance of School Districts and Schools
School Liaisons can play a critical role in providing information to parents and commanding officers on the performance of school districts and schools. Understanding how schools are rated by ESEA and the state accountability system (if one exists) is important information to provide to individuals inquiring about the quality of schools in the area. It is very important for School Liaisons to provide data on schools and help families understand how schools are performing, but they should not advise families on where they should enroll their children. The role of a School Liaison is to provide unbiased information on schools and allow families to interpret and make schooling decisions that will best meet their needs.
- Inform families in the beginning of the school year, or when they enter the installation, about the key contacts in the local schools and staff structure.
- Inform families about local PTA and parent groups.
- Help families understand performance data on schools.
- Help families choose appropriate schools based on their child’s needs.
- Provide dates for upcoming events and functions.
- Provide a list of tips on ways families can become advocates.
- Share the list of tips with your school officials.