November 17, 2021 | Laura Beard, Prichard Committee

[00:00:00] Kellie Smith: Welcome everyone, uh, to Kentucky SPIN’s Family Engagement Celebration. We really thank you for being with us, uh, this afternoon. We do not take it lightly. We know that, uh, most of you have a million other things you could be doing, so we really appreciate you spending this time with us.

[00:00:00] Kellie Smith: Welcome everyone, uh, to Kentucky SPIN’s Family Engagement Celebration. We really thank you for being with us, uh, this afternoon. We do not take it lightly. We know that, uh, most of you have a million other things you could be doing, so we really appreciate you spending this time with us.

[00:00:24] Uh, Kentucky SPIN Family Engagement Celebration actually is following right in line with the Prichard Committee, uh, Family Engagement Week. So it was a perfect timing for us to invite Laura Beard, the Senior Family Engagement Coordinator for the Prichard Committee to come and present for us. I’m (unintelligible) allow Laura to introduce herself and give you some information about herself and kind of, you know, who they are or whatever. But I wanted to take just a minute to cover some, uh, light housekeeping.

[00:00:55] Um, so to the right of your screen, if you’re not [00:01:00] familiar with Go to Webinar, um, you are going to see, you know, like a- a box. And in that box you’re gonna find, um, either a chat box or a questions box. I think maybe, depending on the system that you have, you may only see one or the other, or you may see both.

[00:01:20] Um, and, uh, so you can type any questions, technical issues or anything like that. You can type all those into one of those boxes and we definitely will respond to you. Uh, we also have other Kentucky staff on here, if I don’t see you, who can- who can also help to assist or troubleshoot any problems as needed.

[00:01:43] We would ask that, uh, you just give us grace as we go through this next hour and a half, uh, because we all know that, uh, dogs probably are going to bark or something’s gonna freeze up or not go exactly quite right. Um, [00:02:00] and so I’ll be sharing the slides. So also just give us grace if there is, uh, you know, a slide delay in, um, sharing, you know, in switching from slide to slide.

[00:02:11] Um, also, on your- in your box, you’re gonna find a handouts tab. There are handouts provided, uh, for you that you can download or if you wanna just wait, all the- that great information is gonna be sent to you in a follow-up email when this presentation is over. Um, and I believe you should have that email, I think, uh, within 24 hours.

[00:02:41] Uh, so Laura, can you hear me?

[00:02:45] Laura Beard: I can, can you hear me?

[00:02:47] Kellie Smith: I can, I hear you perfectly. All right. So you take it away.

[00:02:50] Laura Beard: All right. Thanks Kellie for having me. I’m Laura Beard. I’m the Senior, uh, Family Engagement Coordinator at the Prichard Committee. And, um, I’m not new to [00:03:00] family engagement, um, although I’ve only been working at the Prichard Committee since 2019.

[00:03:05] Prior to that, I worked at the Department for Public Health as a family consultant. And, um, before going to the Department for Public Health, I worked, um, at a non-profit and we focused on, um, family, um, family voice and um, family advocacy. And so the world of family engagement is really important to me.

[00:03:25] I’m a parent of three children. Um, my oldest is actually an adult in- in his first year of teaching this year. Um, he teaches freshman algebra, so it’s been a real challenge this year, um, for him. But, um, excited to have him as an educator.

[00:03:41] And then I have, um, two daughters who came to me via the foster adoptive system in Kentucky. And, um, both are in, um, are both our freshmen actually in high school.

[00:03:52] And so my education journey has looked quite different between, um, my son’s time in- in [00:04:00] public education and the- and then my daughters for a multitude of reasons.

[00:04:03] Um, some of those reasons have to do with their- their own academic performance. Um, but then we’ve also got, um, the situation that COVID has presented with public education as well. And so, at the Prichard committee, we have worked, um, since the days of the Kentucky Education Reform Act to really bring Kentucky to the top tier in education. And we’re right now around the middle.

[00:04:30] We used to be 49th out of 50 states. And so we’ve made great progress, but we’ve got a ways to go. And what we know is that, um, we have to have families engaged and involved in order to have student success. And so the Prichard Committee has long held a Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership.

[00:04:49] Um, the first class actually happened in, um, 1999 and um, we have been, um, really [00:05:00] bringing folks into that institute and helping them to better understand the Kentucky education system and how to involve themselves in their- in their local district. And so, we recently received a grant to further those efforts called the Statewide Family Engagement Center Grant.

[00:05:19] We have three main partners in the grant. We have Bria Partners in Eastern Kentucky, Learning Grove in Northern Kentucky, and the National Center for Families Learning that’s, um, headquarters in Louisville. Among our, um, partners that have joined the collaborative work, uh, Kentucky SPIN is one. And so we’re grateful that Kentucky SPIN is celebrating this week with us, uh, to highlight family engagement and excited that they’ve asked me to come to talk to you today about what meaningful engagement can look like in public education.

[00:05:54] And so, Kellie, if you wanna go ahead and advance the next slide.[00:06:00]

[00:06:06] Our goal- our goals and objectives. Um, we- we have about an hour and a half together, and so I’m gonna go through a lot of information, but just kind of wanted to break it down that we’re gonna become familiar with levels of engagement. You may have seen some versions of different leadership ladders, but I wanna show one, um, today that- that we utilize a lot, um, and then understand the research behind student success that’s linked to authentic family engagement.

[00:06:34] And if you see there, um, it’s not just family engagement, it’s authentic family engagement. And we’ll talk about what the difference is. And then, um, number three is just to, um, provide you with opportunities to serve in your local district. And- and some opportunities you might not be aware exist. You can advance to the next slide.

[00:06:56] So I’m gonna do an opening question and, [00:07:00] um, I’m gonna encourage you, although I know that- that, um, this platform might not be as familiar as others, and so you might need to look over on the right-hand side where it says chat. And I’m just gonna ask you to, um, drop in the chat some things you think about when you’re thinking about your child’s education.

[00:07:21] So, um, I put there in quotes like, “keeps you up at night.” So what are your concerns? What is it that you’re thinking about when it comes to your child’s education? And I’ll give you guys a few minutes to add that in the chat.

[00:07:50] Amber says “his future.”

[00:07:57] Jennifer says, “I was sharing earlier that I used to stay awake at [00:08:00] night wondering if my son is safe at school.” Um, the fact that he is getting passed on without mastering content.

[00:08:24] I’m gonna kind of build on what Amber mentioned about the future and just say that for me, um, it can kind of become overwhelming because the future entails a lot of things, but we know that education is the foundation for what sets us up for our future. And so that can be very overwhelming to parents.

[00:08:40] And I think for some parents, um, it actually causes them to disengage because it’s- it’s a lot to take on, right? And so, um, I’m not seeing any others in the chat right now, so we’ll go on to the next slide, but once you- even if you didn’t- yes.

[00:08:56] Kellie Smith: I’m- I’m sorry, Kathy, put in the [00:09:00] questions box-

[00:09:00] Laura Beard: Uhhuh?

[00:09:01] Kellie Smith: Uh, “will he find a way to connect with his peers?”

[00:09:04] Laura Beard: Okay, great. Yes. So those social skills.

[00:09:13] Yeah, and if you think of any, you could just drop them in the chat at any time. Um, but if you- if you didn’t put anything in the chat, but you have something in mind, I would encourage you to just kind of think about that through this presentation. Um, because hopefully I’ll be able to provide some strategies, um, that you can try and some strategies that we know work.

[00:09:32] But, um, I do wanna talk about some inequities that exist, um, for parents and what really caused that- it can cause that breakdown of communication in the school. So oftentimes parents worry that school staff will criticize their parenting and that really undermines their confidence. And there could potentially be people on those call today that have had that scenario happen.

[00:09:57] And so it’s just a- one of those [00:10:00] times where, um, if that does happen to you- you tend to throw up your hands and say, you know, I’m done. Um, I’ve been there, I think most of us have. But, um, Josie says, “The pandemic, how well is he following along in the classroom?” Thank you.

[00:10:15] Um, lower income families worry that their students are likely to fall away behind in school. So how do we keep up if we don’t have the same access to resources than others or to access to extracurricular activities? How do we make sure that our students keep up? Families who have children with special needs worry that their children are not getting critical supports. My youngest, um, does have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and struggles in reading.

[00:10:40] She also, um, struggles with impulsive behaviors and, um, being a freshman and right in the middle of adolescent transitions- transitions and changes, um, it’s a really, um, tough time for her right now. And so, um, sometimes I worry that she’s [00:11:00] just kind of fallen through the cracks and that she’s not getting the extra support that I know she needs that would really help her, um, perform at grade level or do the very best that she can.

[00:11:12] And then school staff have their own, um, negative biases sometimes about families. And, um, I’ve been in rooms where school staff have said parents don’t want to be involved or parents don’t come to anything or make general statements that they just feel that parents are disconnected. Um, and so we have to break down all of these biases that we all may have, um, because we really want children to be able to succeed.

[00:11:38] And so you can move to the next slide.

[00:11:48] I wanted to show you, um, this spectrum of engagement. So many of you have probably seen, um, the latter of engagement for parents. Uh, this is [00:12:00] something that our evaluation team uses and I really liked it. And so, um, I’ve been using it in presentations as well, but this is thinking about community engagement, but you can really just, um, think of it in terms of family engagement in a- in a school or in a community.

[00:12:16] And, um, there’s the ignore, inform, consult, involve, collaborate and defer to. And so I think a lot of decisions get made and the community or parents can sometimes be left out of the decisions. And so that would fall in that ignore category.

[00:12:36] There’s the inform, which is really just a one-way communication. Like, we’re gonna tell you what’s happening, but you don’t necessarily have a way to communicate back your thoughts on that.

[00:12:47] And then consult. Um, that’s where you’re gonna see a lot of surveys. You’re gonna see schools that send out surveys and they ask you about things, but you never really hear back on what those [00:13:00] surveys resulted in. So sometimes they’re consulting.

[00:13:03] When they start to involve parents or involve community members, um, it becomes that two-way communication. Like we’re asking, we’re consulting, we’re informing, and we’re making decisions, but we’re involving you in some of those processes. And then, um, collaboration is really where we start to see the shared power.

[00:13:24] So we’re not just involving at that point, but we’re actually bringing them in to- to help formulate ideas, um, make decisions, um, and- and show that true shared responsibility.

[00:13:37] And then defer to is when the ownership is given to parents or to the community. And there’s equal participation and we see a partnership really develop.

[00:13:49] Um, and that’s when we can really use that capacity to make, um, strategies work and see transf- um, transformative [00:14:00] solutions. And what we’re really talking about today is solutions. It’s tough. I lead a group of parents in- in the institute who have long struggled with their engagement in the school, and we can all go there.

[00:14:14] Um, we can get real negative about what’s- what’s going wrong, but that never gets us to a place where we’re actually working through solutions. And so I always ask people to think about- think about your work, um, in engagement as helping find solutions. You’re there to help find solutions. And so as we go through some of this, I want you to think about how you can start to be a part of the solution instead of like, um, finding all the things that are going wrong.

[00:14:45] And I- and I say that because I tend to be that person who’s like looking at all the things that are going wrong. And when I shift that lens and I think about how I can jump in and be a part of the solution, more gets done and I’m more motivated to engage and [00:15:00] get things done. You can go ahead and switch to the next slide.

[00:15:08] I do wanna just share that there is, uh, also some work that’s been done by Dr. Joyce Epstein. She’s with John Hopkins University. I had, um, a- the privilege to actually go and learn from her when I first started in the position. And she’s been doing the work for, um, 30 some years. And so she’s really gotten, um, a comprehensive, um, parent-school partnership curriculum established. She’s helped schools increase their family engagement strategies, and she’s published several books, but I wanted to just share with you today, um, how she defines some types of parent involvement. And so we’re gonna look at these six types on the next slide.

[00:15:59] I know it’s a little [00:16:00] tough to read here, um, but you will be able to get these slides and I think it’s a little bit easier, um, in the handout, but there’s parenting, right? So all of us are- we’re- we’re our fir- our child’s first teacher. And so there’s learning that happens at home. Um, but parenting is our- our main responsibility.

[00:16:17] We are, um, keeping our child safe. We are navigating through their developmental stages. Um, when we jump out of the parent role and we are sending our children off to school, and we’ve now got the school involved there becomes this communication that’s needed between us and the school because they have our child for a part of the day and now we’re doing things together.

[00:16:45] And so communicating with families about school programs and student progress is that one-way communication that I talked about earlier. So hopefully your school is recognizing you as the parent, um, but then is also communicating with you. [00:17:00] Schools then, um, can look at opportunities for parents to engage in school activities through volunteering.

[00:17:08] And most of our schools have policies set up for background checks and volunteer requirements. Um, but schools should be offering volunteer opportunities. And then schools should be involving parents with learning at home. So how can we reinforce- reinforce learning at home if we don’t have the communication that we need to understand what they’re learning during the school day?

[00:17:31] And so having concrete ideas or sharing concrete ideas with parents for ways they can learn at home is a- a- a real good strategy that- that schools can provide. Because if you’re like me, um, some of the math issues that are brought home to me, I’m like, it’s been forever since I’ve had math. But if the school sends me something in particular that I can work on at home, strategies, um, a little refresher for myself, I’m more apt to be able to feel [00:18:00] the confidence to help my child.

[00:18:03] And then there’s decision-making opportunities within our schools. And I sometimes say they’re the best kept secrets because I think that, um, there are many parent representative roles that go unfilled because simply they’ve not been communicated that they need parents to serve in that way. And so we’ll talk about that a little bit later on.

[00:18:25] And then collaborating with community. Schools can sometimes feel like their own entity, but they are a part of the community. And recognizing if that- if you’re a school, you need your community, you need your parents in order for your students to succeed. Um, really good schools understand that. And, um, practice that collaboration. You can move to the next.

[00:18:52] So thinking about, um, levels of engagement, I just want you guys to drop in the chat where you think you are and you can use [00:19:00] your own terms. You don’t have to use the terms that were listed on the slides we just went through. Um, but you know, you can use a one to 10 with 10 being you’re really engaged and one, like you’re not engaged at all or just any words that come to mind to describe your engagement.

[00:19:16] But if you could drop that in the chat, that would be great.

[00:19:23] And if you want everybody to see it in the chat, then you go to two and then you would send it to the entire audience.

[00:19:35] So Amber says she’s at a nine. Way to go, Amber.

[00:19:49] And so somebody said, “When my child was in school, it was pretty much nonexistent.”[00:20:00]

[00:20:04] “I’m limited, obviously on how I can help in the FMD classroom, but one thing I can do is send in class supplies and ask what’s needed in that classroom.” Absolutely. There are many ways to engage and we’re gonna talk about that, too.

[00:20:22] There’s another nine, an eight, a six, an eight.

[00:20:36] So most people are feeling pretty positive about their engagement right now, which is good. Probably one of the reasons that you’re also on, um, this webinar. And so you’re kind of attuned to the- the different educational pieces that might help you in this journey. But, um, Kellie, if you’ll just go ahead to the next slide.

[00:20:58] Um, I’m gonna leave you with [00:21:00] a relationship survey, and so this is something that you can kind of take and- and look at, see where you- you fall on it. Um, it’ll be in your handout. I think actually when you click on the handout, all of these links are live, so they’ll take you right to those, um, documents.

[00:21:16] But it’s just kind of a nice, um, survey you can take for yourself to see where you are or- or where your relationship stands with the school. Um, if you run a support group or lead support groups with parents, it’s something you might wanna have them do as a group and just kind of see where they feel like their relationship is with their school.

[00:21:35] You can go to the next slide.

[00:21:38] Um, I wanna spend a little bit of time here. This is a- a graphic that I- I got from one of our consultants, um, Anne Henderson is her name. She worked with Dr. Karen Mapp at Harvard University on, um, some frameworks around family engagement in school. They’ve done some research together and they’ve put out some strategies for [00:22:00] increasing family engagement.

[00:22:01] And I think what we’ve seen over the last decade or two decades actually is a focus on celebrations, fundraisers, events, fall festivals. I’m just throwing some out there, but I’m sure that you can probably come up with those events in your head. Schools are really rallying to get parents to attend. And while events are fun, um, they don’t always provide that networking opportunity that parents need to really feel connected.

[00:22:31] Just because I come to the school building and I participate in a, um, fall festival doesn’t mean that I necessarily took anything away as far as a better relationship with the teacher, better relationship with the school, or even met anyone besides, um, the people I already knew at that event. So we’ve gotta be thinking more holistically about family engagement and not just, um, showering parents with events that they can [00:23:00] attend, but really thinking about how we can build relationships.

[00:23:04] And so relationships will help us, trusting relationships will help us with student learning, and you can kind of see where things over overlap here. Um, but regular personalized communication is huge. Parents report that communication is key to building the relationship. Teachers who text, teachers who make phone calls, um, classroom observations if you’re allowed to come and see how your child’s performing in the classroom.

[00:23:31] Modeling of learning support strategies. Home visits are huge. Home visits have proven to be very effective in building authentic relationships. Um, some of the things that aren’t listed here are empathy interviews. And so when you make a- when, uh, educators make a phone call, they’re actually doing an empathy interview, and they’re- they’re realizing, “Hey, this family has, uh, several things going on or challenges, and this kind of helps to explain what’s going on with the [00:24:00] student.”

[00:24:00] I’ll give an example that was shared with me recently. A family resource center, um, in the Rowen County area moved to, um, diversion tactics for, uh, truancy. Instead of sending those letters that we’ve probably all gotten on occasion, um, they actually host a- a diversion type of conversation. And so they’ll contact the parent when the absences, um, are creeping up there before they get a warning letter or, um, any kind of truant notice.

[00:24:37] And they’ll ask the family to- to have a conversation. They can come in and have the conversation. They can have the conversation over the phone, but what they’re trying to do is get at the root of why the child is not attending school. And most often they’re able to resolve the attendance problem just by having the conversation.

[00:24:54] Because what they found is that the notices, um, seem harsh. The notices don’t offer a [00:25:00] two-way communication for the parent to explain like, I’m having trouble getting them to attend because they- they have some challenging behaviors and they don’t wanna attend. Or we’ve had some medical things going on in the family, or we’re having transportation issues.

[00:25:15] Like none of that can be determined with one-way communication. And so just a simple strategy of having that conversation before sending a truancy letter has made a huge difference. So what this is really showing us is that we’ve gotta think about integrating community building activities, those celebrations, those fun events with student learning and all of it connecting at the relationship.

[00:25:42] And so Amber put in the chat, “Being open to ask the teacher what can I do to help?” Absolutely. That’s a great strategy. So just to kind of show you, we’ve got lower impact activities and higher impact, and we need a mix of both in order to really reach that true engagement. You can move to the next slide.[00:26:00]

[00:26:03] So how do we- so how do we get to a trusting, meaningful, authentic relationship? And why do I say trusting, meaningful and authentic? Well, a lot of times we think we have a relationship. The teacher knows you by name. You know them by name. Um, you feel like you can email if you need to, but really a trusting relationship means that you’re partners, you recognize that they’re doing the best that they can and they recognize you’re doing the- that you’re doing the best you can.

[00:26:29] Meaningful means that your participation in your child’s education feels like you are in the driver’s seat. You have meaningful participation. You’re not just brought in as a consultant on the side.

[00:26:41] And then authentic means that if we’re building trust and we’re- we’re- we’re engaging in meaningful ways that- that, that relationship is not just surface level, it is authentic. Um, and oftentimes we’re not getting to those authentic relationships, we’re- it’s very [00:27:00] surface level. And so, um, if you’ll move to the next slide, we’re gonna talk about some strategies.

[00:27:08] So strong families equal student success, and the research shows us that, um, we need to strengthen families. And I came from the Department of Public Health where we had an initiative called Kentucky Strengthening Families. I know Kentucky SPIN, um, has done a lot of work with Kentucky Strengthening Families and building protective factors.

[00:27:29] And so this slide actually adapted, um, comes from some of that work. But some ways that we can strengthen families from the school perspective is that the schools can create a better, welcoming, safe space for parents to connect with others and share concerns. Um, we’re doing an initiative right now where we’re working in 60 schools to increase their family engagement strategies, and we’re learning from them some creative [00:28:00] ways that they’ve been engaging with families and sharing those with other schools.

[00:28:05] And there’s a school in northern Kentucky that took the big table that is typically in the room where the conferences take place. So, um, the A R C conference, um, an I E P meeting, uh, you name it, you know, kids come in, parents come in, and they’re- they’re seated at the table. Usually you’ve got all of the educators and administrators on the other side of the table, and then you’re there as the parent.

[00:28:30] And what they’ve done is they’ve removed that table and they’ve set it up in a living room type style, um, with chairs kind of in an open circle area so that everybody in the room feels that they have equal advantage to see each other and communicate. And they said it’s made a world of difference and the parents have reported that it feels like a conversation.

[00:28:49] It doesn’t feel like somebody’s necessarily in trouble. And that’s just really simple, like super simple. Um, but a lot of our schools don’t think to do that. So we’re trying [00:29:00] to pluck out some of those things that- that our- our schools are doing that are making differences and- and share with other schools.

[00:29:07] Um, schools that affirm value and contributions are strengthening families. So when schools recognize what families do and um, and really celebrate that, they’re helping to strengthen that relationship.

[00:29:21] Connect to economic and social resources. So schools that have strong FRYSCs, schools that recognize the power of, um, helping a family holistically and, um, recognizing that we need mental health support, we need basic needs support, um, and we need community to be involved in our school. Those are ways we strengthen families.

[00:29:45] Build capacity to support children’s learning, development and independence. So that’s that connect between learning at home. We’re not just engaging families when something’s wrong. We’re engaging families through the whole education process.

[00:29:58] And then, um, last but not [00:30:00] least, listen to their ideas and hear their voice. And so that’s where we need parents to serve in roles in their local district where they’re able to express ideas and, um, share their thoughts and opinions. You can move to the next slide.

[00:30:18] Some, um, other research that’s come out of, um, family engagement has been that schools with strong family and community ties are actually four times more likely to make reading gains. And so we know that reading gains are important, um, in measuring student success.

[00:30:35] So teacher ties to the community. If teachers understand local issues and spend time in the community and use those local resources, teachers feel more invested in that community and in the students.

[00:30:50] The teachers outreach to parents. Inviting parents to observe in the class, try to understand parents’ concern through those empathy interviews and conversations, [00:31:00] and really embrace parents as partners. And as a result, parents then respond. Um, parents become more involved in school activities and respond to teachers concerns about schoolwork.

[00:31:12] And so you can kind of see here that they- they feed into each other and the idea that it’s- they’re four times more likely to make reading gains, um, says a lot to me that sometimes we’re putting our efforts into the wrong areas to try to increase test scores or increase academic gains when really we’ve got some foundational things we need to work on, like building trusting relationships.

[00:31:36] You can move to the next slide.

[00:31:40] So strategies, um, to engage. And some of these I’ve kind of listed out to kind of be a little funny, but, um, I do wanna point out that the school is actually responsible for engagement. So when we do training with schools, we talk about that. The responsibility is on the school [00:32:00] to engage.

[00:32:01] But I tell parents, don’t wait for an invite. There will be some schools that are not going to engage or they don’t know how to engage. Um, or it just might be the culture or climate of that particular school at the time. But as a parent, don’t wait for an invite. Find a way to engage, invite yourself into the school building.

[00:32:22] Um, you can do that through, um, an inventory of your strengths, abilities, times, and talent. So what are you available to do, um, and what strengths do you have that you can offer the school? Sometimes parents make their own volunteer opportunities. So, um, we had a meeting last night with our CIPL folks and a parent shared how she’s really good at social media and the person tasked with social media at their school was not, and she just offered to help and she was like, that was kind of her foot in the door.

[00:32:54] And the school really appreciated it. And she had fun doing it. And she said, “You know, I actually felt like I [00:33:00] was able to keep up with what was happening better because I was getting all of the information sent to me for social media.” Um, but also recognize your time and talents. Not all of us are available.

[00:33:13] Um, I- I work an hour from home, so if something ha- if there’s an event that happens at like five in the afternoon, it’s hard for me to get there. Um, sometimes they’ll be, uh, volleyball games that start at five 30 or they’ll be a parent teacher conference where you have to sign up between four and six. And it’s- it’s a struggle for me to get there in time.

[00:33:35] Um, just because you can’t be there in person doesn’t mean you don’t have other opportunities to engage. And so think about those ways you can engage even if you’re not present.

[00:33:46] And then I say time in terms of also recognizing your limits. A lot of us sign up for everything that’s going on, and then we get burn out. And so it’s okay to say, “I don’t have time to serve in this way. I don’t [00:34:00] have time to volunteer in this way.” Um, recognize where your strengths are, what your abilities are, where your talents are, and then figure out what time you have to devote to your child’s school.

[00:34:11] Get to know your child’s teacher. So if they’re not getting to know you- you can open it up. Um, I often think about if I was a teacher, I probably would struggle with being- even though I know it would be part of my job, I tend to be more introverted. And so I wait for people to come to me. But once you come to me, I’m very open. And so I think about those teachers, um, particularly my son who has a similar personality, and I’m encouraging him on this end saying, “You know, you’ve really gotta reach out to parents. You’ve gotta reach out to parents.”

[00:34:42] But I recognize how tough that is for people who are introverted. So consider that your child’s teacher may struggle in that way. And teachers are not given family engagement prep. So that’s not something that when they go to school to become a teacher, they get. They don’t get a class [00:35:00] on how to engage families.

[00:35:01] We’re working on that, that’s part of our grant work, um, because we wanna see that in teacher prep cuz our teachers are telling us like, we wanna do better, but we weren’t really given those tools. And so it may be up to you to get to know your child’s teacher.

[00:35:17] Um, phones still make actual calls, use them. So I kind of say that to be funny because I think sometimes our phones are attached to apps. Um, Class Dojo we get remind texts, but we don’t get phone calls and phones still make phone calls. As- as sometimes cringy as phone calls are, um, or people who don’t like to answer the phone, phone calls actually can resolve a lot of issues.

[00:35:42] So open that communication up with educators in your child school. Call them if you need to. And, um, recognize that the phone conversation is still a real valid and valuable tool.

[00:35:57] Engagement is not one size fits [00:36:00] all, so you gotta find your size. Um, we do an activity for schools to show that there are some parents who are only ever gonna be able to communicate from home.

[00:36:10] They’re not gonna be able to attend events. That doesn’t mean they’re not interested. That doesn’t mean they’re not invested. It just means either transportation is an issue, their work schedule is an issue or there’s some other circumstance. Um, but engagement does not have to be somebody showing up and being there in person.

[00:36:29] Engagement can mean a multitude of things. And so if you’re feeling guilty that you’re not able to do everything, recognize- do what you can and do it well. And then talk to your child about your engagement. So a lot of our students don’t recognize that there’s a correlation between their success and having mom or dad at school, or having mom or dad involved in school, or having mom and dad talk to the teacher.

[00:36:54] A lot of our students think that if mom and dad are talking to teacher, then it must mean something’s [00:37:00] wrong. And what we really wanna model is that we have a trusting relationship. So we wanna tell our students, “It’s important for me to get to know your teacher. It’s important for us to work together. It’s I- important for us to partner.”

[00:37:12] Um, also encourage your child to make sure they’re bringing home anything that you need to know. Like it’s important that I know that you have this coming up so I can help you with it, be involved in it. But we often forget to bring our student into that conversation.

[00:37:26] And then one of the other strategies you can do is to bring others with you. And so invite parents. I’m also in that introverted kind of thing that, um, I might get an invite, um, through a letter or an email. But if somebody I know says, “Hey, why don’t you go with me?” I might be more apt to go with them. So think about people that you could bring with you.

[00:37:51] You can move to the next slide.

[00:37:55] All right, so those were strategies for engagement. Now let’s talk a [00:38:00] little bit about strategies for leadership. So do your homework and when I mean home- when I talk about homework, we need to build confidence in order to be leaders. And so understanding educational terms, laws, et cetera, it can get cumbersome, but I think that there’s some things we can do, um, that just help build the confidence up enough to know that we’re gonna have to learn by experience. But it helps if we know what folks are talking about.

[00:38:26] So, Kentucky SPIN has a- a wonderful educational terms, um, document with definitions. We’ve also put one together. Um, I’ve got it linked here, but just kind of get to know the acronyms, get to know the words that will help you feel more confident in any setting at school.

[00:38:45] As you build confidence, you’re gonna also do that through education and training. So we offer a parent institute that parents can go through to learn more about the local district level information, but also what the Kentucky [00:39:00] Education System looks like. So take advantage of any educational trainings on leadership, um, or anything out there that will help you feel more connected to your child’s school.

[00:39:10] This one here, Follow the Leader. So, I like this because I think that, um, for school leadership, it’s important to find somebody who can mentor you. We had a discussion last night in our group around running for school board, and how many of us feel compelled to run for school board cuz we see this or that, or things that we wanna have a say in and we wanna change.

[00:39:33] Um, but when it gets down to it, if you really talk to somebody who serves on the school board, their responsibilities look different than what we might think. And so finding someone who can mentor and say, “You may want- you may think about doing this because you wanna see something change for your child.”

[00:39:51] But if you run for school board, you have to think about how it affects all children. And if you run for school board, you have to think about the time commitment. And if you run [00:40:00] for school board, you have to think that you’re only responsible for the superintendent’s performance. You cannot address personnel issues with other teachers.

[00:40:08] So there’s just things that somebody who’s already been in that position can kind of help with, dispel any myths or kind of say, “This is really how this runs.” And so I say find a mentor, find a leader that you can learn from. The other thing for leadership is if not you- if not you, then who? Take the first step.

[00:40:29] Um, I’m gonna put myself out there and I’d lost my S B D M, um, run so I ran for S B D M in my child’s high school. We’re- I’m not new to the county, but my kids are new to the county. I- I lived here growing up. We moved away and we came back. And so I wanna think that’s part of it, that I’m just not as- I wasn’t- I’m trying to get more involved now that I’m back, but, um, I- it was tough because I was thinking, you know, it’s hard to get people to serve [00:41:00] in S B D M.

[00:41:00] And so I put my name in the hat and then there were like six people who had applied and there’s only two slots. (laughs) So, um, it felt like being in- in school again where you’re- it’s a popularity contest. But, uh, I think to myself, “What if I hadn’t put my name in and they didn’t have parents who ran?” Because that’s the story at a lot of our schools.

[00:41:21] A lot of our schools cannot even get any parent to serve on their, um, Site-based Decision Making team or School-based Decision-Making team. And those folks have a lot of power when it comes to recommendations for hiring of principals, policies within the school. And so to think that parents are not taking those opportunities really scares me.

[00:41:43] Um, so if not you, then who? So take the first step. And then, um, remain solution-focused. It’s been a tough 18 or more months. It’s probably gonna be tough moving forward. Um, we’ve seen what happens when [00:42:00] we don’t have good relationships between educators and families played out during COVID. It was easy to start throwing around all the things that were going wrong.

[00:42:08] Um, we’re still dealing with that, but we have to remain solution-focused. How can we work for the best interest of all- all students? And when I say that leadership means all, it means all. A lot of us start our journey because of our own child. And that’s okay. And that may be where you’re at and that may be where you need to stay.

[00:42:26] Um, but when we decide to take on other roles in our school and we take them on with the idea that we’re gonna make things better for our child, um, then we’re not doing the whole school a service because we- we’ve taken on a role that’s supposed to be for all children.

[00:42:45] And that’s been a complaint here recently. And so I wanted to talk a little bit about it. But parents who serve in S B D M or other, um, in other roles have seen other parents that come on with an agenda for their own child. [00:43:00] And they can’t kind of see beyond how this- these policies or- or different things may affect all children.

[00:43:07] And so I would just kind of encourage you, if you’re thinking about taking on a- a different role in your child’s school and it- the role really is about serving all students, um, you might not be ready for that yet cuz you’re still in the thick of- of trying to help your student out. You’re not ready to take on all students. So just kind of keep that in mind when you’re thinking about leadership.

[00:43:28] You can go to the next slide.

[00:43:33] Um, so there’s some impacts that parent leadership have, and this is actually taken from a theory of change called the Ripple Effect. And you’ve got that handout, um, in- in your, on your dashboard there. But all parents, regardless of class, race, and culture, are motivated by concern for their children. When parents gain civic leadership [00:44:00] skills, especially in marginalized communities, they can be powerful advocates for equity.

[00:44:05] Parent leadership initiatives around the country are starting to show how the actions of parent leaders on behalf of their children ripple throughout the community. We had a equity coalition this morning and we talked about this because, um, it’s sometimes difficult to see that family engagement actually impacts equity issues, but they- they do because parents know, um, what’s not working for their child.

[00:44:31] And so when you get parents together to kind of bring that to the attention of others, um, you see this play out and you can see it play out in civic leadership. So, um, this is parent leadership and parent involvement. Parent engagement is the best thing that can happen for marginalized communities is to get that parent voice to the forefront.

[00:44:53] You can move to the next slide.

[00:44:59] So this just kind of [00:45:00] shows, um, what the ripple effect looks like. And so, um, parent leadership initiative builds capacity. Parents undergo personal transformation. Parents take collective action to address these inequities. Parents become valued advisors to public officials and then parent leaders invigorate democracy.

[00:45:20] You could move to the next one.

[00:45:24] So what’s your recipe for meaningful engagement? What are the things that you need? So I’m gonna give you about two minutes and I really would encourage, um, everyone in attendance to kind of think about this. But, um, first think about your time, talents, and skills. And then think about your, um, your journey.

[00:45:47] Are you in it for your child? Um, and that’s where you need to stay or are you in it for all children? And then think about what tools you would need in order to do what you need to- to build, [00:46:00] um, a relationship or have this meaningful engagement. I’ll give you like two minutes to kind of think through that

[00:46:40] And you can kind of start putting some of those answers into the chat if you don’t mind.

[00:46:49] If you’ve ever been in training with me before, you know I like activities, so it’s tough to do this virtual stuff and not have activities. So please utilize the chat so we feel like we’re connecting.[00:47:00]

[00:47:12] Adrian says, “Need support.”

[00:47:23] “Need platforms, reassurance.”

[00:47:29] Kellie, um, I have a participant who’s not able to access the questions or the chat box. She’s also on a iPad, so that might be why.

[00:47:42] Kellie Smith: That is quite possible. I- I think with Go to Webinar, it is totally dependent on what kind of system you have as to what you’re able to access. So if there is any way for that person to reach out to participate. [00:48:00]

[00:48:00] Laura Beard: Okay.

[00:48:01] Kellie Smith: I don’t know.

[00:48:08] Laura Beard: Okay. I can- I can have her send me a text.

[00:48:11] Kellie Smith: Okay. Sorry.

[00:48:13] Laura Beard: You’re okay.

[00:48:28] Kellie Smith: Uh, we have some stuff coming in the questions box. I dunno if you can see it, Laura. Um, but someone says, “Group meeting for parents and students outside of school”, uh, “finding something your child is interested in”, and then followed that up by “meeting that teacher and getting involved.” Uh, “support group for parents of gun violence” and “support for grandparents or military, especially after school hours.”

[00:48:56] And then time and access to resources. [00:49:00] And then if you can see the chat box, I think there are a few things in there as well.

[00:49:08] Laura Beard: Yeah, I think, um, I couldn’t see what you were seeing, so I’m probably not seeing all the stuff in the chat box either.

[00:49:17] Kellie Smith: Um, in the chat box it says, “Primarily for my own son, obviously, uh, however, some children don’t have someone to advocate for them- for them. So being open to new ideas, seeing things from a different perspective, trying, although it’s hard, to remain objective and being willing to listen more than I speak.”

[00:49:40] And then, uh, someone says they need reassurance.

[00:49:45] Laura Beard: Okay, thanks.

[00:49:48] Kellie Smith: And then someone else says- oh, wait, that’s- I already read that one.

[00:49:55] Laura Beard: Thanks, Kellie.

[00:49:57] Kellie Smith: You’re welcome.[00:50:00]

[00:50:01] Laura Beard: All right, you can go ahead to the next slide.

[00:50:06] I’m not sure Kellie, um, if, when- when you click, does that take you anywhere or is that just static? No? Okay.

[00:50:18] Kellie Smith: Oh yeah, no, it doesn’t take us anywhere, but I don’t mind to go there if you want.

[00:50:23] Laura Beard: Um, well first let, let me talk about it and then if we have time I’ll go there if that’s okay with you.

[00:50:27] Kellie Smith: Okay. Okay, sure.

[00:50:30] Laura Beard: So, um, I wanna talk a little bit about some work that we’re doing, um, primarily with educators and- and in our schools around increasing family engagement efforts. And so this week is Family Engagement Week, as Kellie mentioned earlier, and we’re really, um, trying to highlight some of the good work that’s being done to engage families.

[00:50:50] And we’re using a hashtag, um, hashtag K Y Fam Engage. So if you wanna look at that on social media, I’ll stick it in the chat box, [00:51:00] um, towards the end. But it really is a culmination of work we’ve done over the last year or so on building some resources for schools because as I mentioned earlier, um, in teacher prep, there’s essentially no, um, family engagement work that’s being done.

[00:51:17] And schools were kind of looking for some resources around family engagement. And there was a document put together back in, um, 2007. It was initiated in 2006. It was completed in 2007. It’s called the Missing Piece of the Proficiency Puzzle, the missing piece, um, being parents. And it was something that was put out by the Kentucky Department of Education with the help of the Commissioner Parent Advisory Council, recommendations for building relationships with parents.

[00:51:49] Uh, a little outdated in terms of like family engagement in the law, but really good points around if you have a good relationship, [00:52:00] if you have those, uh, partnerships established when something like COVID happens, right? We’re not trying to figure out how do we engage with parents? Cuz we’ve already been doing it. We’ve already done it.

[00:52:11] And so it was a lot of hindsight around like that document, all of the things that were recommended in that document, and that a lot of schools didn’t actually embrace it or spend time in it to really embed it in their practices. So we wanted to bring that document back to life.

[00:52:28] We wanted to also update it so it reflects current law and we put together a comprehensive family-school partnership guide. And so we’re releasing that this week to the general public. However, it’s been utilized in schools- 60 schools across the state, um, for the last six months or so. And those schools have been piloting some of the strategies, have been going through the resources, taking the online modules.

[00:52:56] And so our hope is that they’re learning ways to engage with [00:53:00] families and those ways to engage are actually coming from the families, um, that we- we work with and- and that- that are helping to serve in our focus groups and saying, “This is what we need.” And the Kentucky Department of Education just recently put out a new document called United We Learn, and it is, um, also filled with empathy interviews related to increasing family engagement in schools.

[00:53:28] So it- it talks about the lens of the teacher, the student, the community member, but also the family, and, um, really supports and uplifts what we’ve created in our family and school partnership guide. I’m gonna make sure that you have access to that information, but I wanna highlight the digital playbook, which is the first resource here, and we’ll look at in a little bit.

[00:53:52] Um, it does have some- it has some categories. Um, it’s broken down based on an [00:54:00] assessment that a school can take to see how they’re doing in family engagement. And so, um, on the side, when you click, it’s an interactive booklet. When you click, um, you’ll also see the audience that some of the resources are geared to, and there’s several resources for parents in the playbook. So wanted to- to share with you that we have that resource, that new resource coming out.

[00:54:22] Um, I mentioned our CIPL fellowship. We’re currently in our, um, class for 2000- there’ll be graduates of 2022, but each year we do a CIPL fellowship and you apply, um, you join a network of folks from across the state.

[00:54:38] Um, we are utilizing webinars to connect. We- we’re actually doing that before COVID, but um, it helps everybody be able to join since everybody comes from across the state. And we’re, tomorrow night, we’re kicking off our second year, uh, on a focused, um, class for English language learners. [00:55:00] So last year we did a pilot group in Northern Kentucky, and we’ll be doing a- another year, starting tomorrow night.

[00:55:07] This is a way for parents to learn more about Kentucky’s education system, meet parents from across the state, learn from CIPL fellows who have come before them, and, um, share ideas, uh, do projects and deepen their relationship in their child’s school.

[00:55:24] And then we have a Get Connected resource that you’ll have in your handout that you can click on that will take you to ways that you can get connected to any of our newsletters or resources, um, if you’re not familiar with the work at the Prichard Committee. And then also how you can get connected with our Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools. We do have an advisory council for parents and, um, or organizations, if you’re ha- if you’re having to join us from an organization.

[00:55:51] You can move to the next slide.[00:56:00]

[00:56:00] Um, I wanna just, um, I had a couple things come into text that I missed from the question we had earlier, so I just wanna take some time to address that. But, um, for the recipe, um, this person needs access and people willing to do the work with me. Some mentioned earlier, like when we were talking about engagement strategies, some of the ideas we have and- and some of the things we know need to happen we can’t do alone.

[00:56:29] And so that’s bringing somebody else with us and inviting them to help us in that effort. So thank you for sharing that.

[00:56:38] Um, we just did a webinar last night on opportunities in the school, that I wanna just kind of briefly go over these today. Um, each school has, um, well, not each school. There are a few schools that don’t have a FRYSC Center, but the majority of schools do.

[00:56:56] Actually, it’s the first year that they’ve been fully funded for all [00:57:00] schools that qualify. So, um, FRYSCs, most of you’re familiar with the work that they do. You’ve got family resource centers and you’ve got youth service centers. They have advisory councils. I serve on an advisory council for the youth service center in my county, and parents are hard to find to fill those slots. So I’ll just tell you that right now.

[00:57:23] Um, a lot of advisory councils don’t have the, um, number of parents needed to make up the council. So if that’s something, and- and to me that’s kind of like, um, if you are- if you don’t have a lot of time, but you do wanna be involved in that way, um, it’s not as, um, intimidating, you know, as like running for school board or anything like that.

[00:57:51] Serving on the advisory council is a nice kind of, um, in the door council that you can join, you learn a lot. Um, you look [00:58:00] at budgets, it’s like kind of like practice for if you were to run for school board. Um, but I really enjoy it. I tend to be more of like a creative type person thinking about creative things that we can do.

[00:58:12] So a lot of times the youth service center, advisory councils, planning events, um, thinking of creative ways to get messaging out. And so I really enjoy my time serving on the advisory council.

[00:58:24] Um, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood has recently redone, um, their community early childhood councils. So those used to be in almost every county. And now they’re by regions and they’re called regional collaboratives, but they also have open spots for parents. You do not have to be a parent, um, of a child that is in that age range, you can simply have, um, a desire to see, uh, or- or a passion for early childhood issues, um, to see, uh, kindergarten readiness, um, improve in your [00:59:00] community and you can join a regional collaborative.

[00:59:02] Uh, the Department for Behavioral Health has RIACs and so those are Regional Interagency Councils. And those RIACs are a team of folks from the school, from the mental health center, from the health department, and from a host of other community organizations that meet together to talk about students, um, and, um, students, youth, children who have been, um, referred to them because of sev- severe emotional disabilities.

[00:59:33] Um, and so, as a parent on the RIAC you help to discuss some of the services available to help those children out, um, keep those kids in the community, and it’s also a great way to network. And, um, I think it’s an example of how our community organizations can collaborate better with one another.

[00:59:54] At the state level, you have C AC and so, um, I thought that I [01:00:00] saw our C AC representative on this, um, webinar. Maybe if you’re here, let me know. I think she was here, um, just looking through here real quick.

[01:00:19] Actually, her husband was on, so he serves as a delegate, but our C AC is responsible for, um, convening- they actually convene today. And, um, the C AC talks about issues that, um, involve children that have been diagnosed with, um, a, um, mental health disability, um, how we can improve systems, how systems can work better together, how we can build a system of care to support our youth and young people.

[01:00:50] And they have a parent, um, parent representative role on the- the C AC as well. And then, um, Penny Christian, who’s [01:01:00] on this call today, um, was with us last night to talk about the importance of being involved in your P T A. Some schools have P T O. Um, my schools in my communities have P T Os. They do operate differently.

[01:01:13] Um, P T A is not all about fundraising. Uh, P T A looks at issues in- within the- the school and the community and- and seeks to, um, find solutions and, um, help support in ways that they can to increase student success. And then we have, um, our school-based councils. There’s an association that helps with training and, um, some of our school-based councils, their parent roles don’t get filled, like I mentioned earlier.

[01:01:44] Um, in my case, we had a lot of people apply, but in some schools, they still don’t have people serving in that way.

[01:01:51] Um, the Kentucky School Board Association is always looking for- there’s- they send us emails sometimes and say, “We don’t have parents in some of these areas.” [01:02:00] And so, um, that’s really scary too because we know that a lot of decisions get made at the school board level and we don’t have parents serving in some of those roles.

[01:02:11] We also don’t have, um, minority parents who are being sought after or who feel confident to serve in those roles. So we’ve gotta do a better job of getting people recruited and getting people to a place that they feel confident to take that on.

[01:02:27] Um, running for school board is not an easy thing to do. Uh, it’s not something I’ve ever had on my list of things that I wanted to do, but, um, I know that right now it can even be, um, harder when we think about some of the things that school board members are- are dealing with. And so, um, you know, that’s where having a mentor, having somebody who’s been there, done that would be really helpful if you’ve ever considered running for school board.

[01:02:53] We have at our Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools, we have an advisory council and we’re doing [01:03:00] recruitment for our next year’s council. And so we have applications open now until the end, I think at the end of this month. So if you would be interested in joining that council as, um, a parent representative, we’d be glad to have you. There are lots of local opportunities that are probably out there that I don’t know about, but, um, you could seek out in your own community.

[01:03:23] And then there’s a Kentucky Boards and Commissions list that I think is on the next slide that, um, you can go and kind of peruse if you have a specific interest level. You can, um, apply to be on the board or commission. And a lot of those are governor-appointed.

[01:03:38] And then, um, there’s a document that’ll be linked into your PowerPoint that’s, um, we put together for parent leadership roles that kind of digs deeper into those roles that you see there. Like when’s the- what’s the deadline for application? Um, how many people can serve, like what’s the criteria? So we’ve tried to put that together to make it a little bit easier. [01:04:00]

[01:04:00] You can go to the next slide.

[01:04:03] So this slide here will have that link to the boards and commissions. And I served, um, on a inner agency council that was governor-appointed. Um, I feel like there’s some other things that- the Commissioner’s Parent Advisory Council is one of those that you can serve on. Um, so just a whole list of- of, uh, available opportunities. And it wasn’t until I started doing this work that I even knew that list existed, so I wanted to share that with you guys today.

[01:04:35] You can move to the next slide.

[01:04:38] This is just, um, an example of when I pulled that up, what was listed there, just to give you kind of an idea. And that’s only A through C, so you can see that there’s a lot going on. All right. You can go to the next slide.

[01:04:54] Um, I’m not gonna read this to you, but just wanted to, um, reiterate that we’re- we do a lot of [01:05:00] complex things, um, to try to increase student success. And we- we redo things, we implement new programs. Um, but the reality is we need to be focused on family engagement. We really need to be, um, putting our efforts in family engagement cuz we’re gonna see the fruits of those efforts.

[01:05:21] You can move to the next slide.

[01:05:26] All right. And you can move, I think that might be the last one.

[01:05:31] Kellie Smith: Yeah, that’s it.

[01:05:33] Laura Beard: Okay. Um, so I guess what I’ll do is open it up for questions.

[01:05:43] And if there are none we can, um, Kellie, if you wanna try to like, pull up some of those links, we can show some of the resources that I mentioned.

[01:05:56] Can people unmute?[01:06:00]

[01:06:01] Kellie Smith: Let me see if it lets me.

[01:06:10] Laura Beard: I know the organizers can, I didn’t know if the attendees could.

[01:06:16] Kellie Smith: It will not even let me unmute them. So, uh, or it says, let’s see, attendee is self-muted. So if anybody wants unmute, you can certainly attempt to do so.

[01:06:33] Laura Beard: Okay, thanks Kellie.

[01:06:35] Kellie Smith: And I do have the digital playbook pulled up. I’m just gonna-

[01:06:41] Laura Beard: Okay.

[01:06:42] Kellie Smith: -slide it over here.

[01:06:46] Laura Beard: And they can also click on it in their handouts, too, I think. It allows me to click on it in my handout.[01:07:00]

[01:07:13] Kellie Smith: Can you see the digital playbook?

[01:07:15] Laura Beard: I can. Mm-hmm. Thank you.

[01:07:18] Kellie Smith: Sure. So I’ll just let you direct me.

[01:07:21] Laura Beard: Yeah, just it- pick a tab, any tab, and just click on it. Just kind of wanna show ’em how you can navigate through it.

[01:07:37] Is it not flipping?

[01:07:40] Kellie Smith: Is it not flipping?

[01:07:41] Laura Beard: Mm-mmm, I don’t see it flipping.

[01:07:44] Kellie Smith: Oh. It’s flipping on my screen. I don’t know.

[01:07:49] Laura Beard: Gotcha. It’s okay. Um, like I said, I- when I click on it in my handouts, so anybody who’s on the call, if you click on it in your handouts, you should be able to, um, flip through some of the [01:08:00] resources.

[01:08:02] Kellie Smith: Sorry guys.

[01:08:05] Laura Beard: Oh, you’re fine. Oh, there you go.

[01:08:08] Kellie Smith: Now, is it?

[01:08:10] Laura Beard: Yeah. Yeah, I can see it.

[01:08:11] Kellie Smith: Oh, perfect.

[01:08:12] Laura Beard: Yeah, so it flips just like a book, um, and has the resources listed out there.

[01:08:19] Kellie Smith: I think these are the coolest things in the whole world. And I love how it also includes videos.

[01:08:28] Laura Beard: Yes. Yep.

[01:08:30] Kellie Smith: Um, I apologize. It looks like- (unintelligible)

[01:08:40] And then I’ll pause this if you want me to move on to another resource.

[01:08:46] Laura Beard: Um, that’s okay. I really- the- the digital playbook was the one I really wanted to kind of highlight. So, um, if, you know, if anybody has any questions about any of the other resources, feel free to drop it in the chat. [01:09:00]

[01:09:00] I will tell you there are 60 schools that I mentioned that are a part of this initiative that we’re doing some research on. Um, it’s not possible for a school to join that cohort now, but it is possible for a school to still use these resources and do, um, do the family engagement work with taking the assessment, going through the modules, and then they can actually apply to become a family-friendly school.

[01:09:23] So if that’s something that you’re interested in your school doing, um, first check out our list and make sure that you’re, um, one of the sixties- 60 schools is not already your school. Um, and if it’s not, then you can encourage your school to kind of walk through these materials and- and apply for certification.

[01:09:44] Kellie Smith: Um, and there was, uh, there was a question about asking if the participants are going to receive the toolkit.

[01:09:54] Laura Beard: Yes. So they should be able to click the [01:10:00] first page of this digital, um, handbook or this digital playbook, I’m sorry. The first page actually has the- the whole guide in it. So you click on it. There’s links in all of these. So if you go back to introduction Kellie, if you click introduction tab.

[01:10:19] Kellie Smith: Oh wait, I’m sorry. I was pausing.

[01:10:22] Laura Beard: You’re okay.

[01:10:22] Kellie Smith: I had paused my screen share, so I was on it, but nobody else was. Sorry about that.

[01:10:28] Laura Beard: Um, if you go down here to where it says Kentucky Family and School Partnership, um, guide the- the last link on that page and click it, the whole thing will come up. And in inside of this you’ve got the digital playbook, you’ve got the missing piece update, you’ve got the self-assessment, how to apply for certification. So if you’re looking [01:11:00] for a way to get involved, you might go to your child’s school and say, “Hey, I learned about this resource. I’d love to pull together a family engagement team and- and see if we can get our school certified.”

[01:11:12] Kellie Smith: I apologize for the slow connection.

[01:11:14] Laura Beard: It’s okay. It’s probably our website actually, because we’ve been doing a lot of presentations on this today and I noticed it was running slow for me.

[01:11:34] Yeah. So, um, this is- is comprehensive, so it’s gonna have everything we talked about in it, with the exception of that Theory of Change document, but you have that separately.

[01:11:50] So your educational terms are- are connected in here. Um, the self-assessments connected here, the digital playbook is in here. Um, [01:12:00] yeah.

[01:12:02] Kellie Smith: This is a phenomenal resource.

[01:12:06] Laura Beard: And it’s been utilized, um, well, it’s actually been developed by families, by educators, folks at K D E. I mean, it’s- we really did use all the systems and all of the stakeholders to inform this work.

[01:12:29] And like I mentioned earlier- like I mentioned earlier, it- it complements what they found with, um, the United We Learn initiative coming from K D E. It complements what they found families were saying they need. So…

[01:12:46] Kellie Smith: I love it. I absolutely love it.

[01:12:50] Laura Beard: If there’s no questions, um, and if it’s okay with you, uh, that’s all the content I had. It- it doesn’t take as long when we don’t have, um, as much discussion. [01:13:00] So I don’t- Is it okay that we end a little early?

[01:13:03] Kellie Smith: Yes, it’s absolutely fine. I’m sure, uh, most of us aren’t, uh, aren’t in the habit of ob- objecting to get a little time back in our day.

[01:13:15] Laura Beard: Yeah.

[01:13:15] Kellie Smith: Um, so I would really like to thank you Laura- and I would like to thank, uh, everyone else who has spent time with us today. Um, our next, um, event in the Family Engagement Celebration is actually on the 29th. Um, and so if you have registered for today’s session, you are already registered for that. Um, and that topic is Family Engagement, what is it and what does it mean to you? Um, so that, uh, will be presented by Rhonda Logsdon, the executive director at Kentucky SPIN.

[01:13:58] So, uh, if no one has any [01:14:00] questions, then I don’t see anybod- I don’t see any.

[01:14:03] Laura Beard: Okay.

[01:14:03] Kellie Smith: Um, I just thank you all and I hope you all have a great day.

[01:14:09] Laura Beard: Thank you, Kellie.

[01:14:11] Amber Hamm: Thank you.