Friday, September 25, 2009

PGCPS: Male Engagement Is Ahead of The Curve

The ongoing commitment by Prince George's County Public Schools to engage and involve men in the academic lives of students is catching fire all over the Country. Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan encouraged dads to get involved in their kid's education. In our County last year, men came out to support their children, their schools and their communities in record numbers. For example, in 2008 more than 11,000 men escorted their children to school on the first day (2009 data unavailable at this time). Additionally, more than 10,000 men participated in the first annual Men Make A Difference Day. This year's Men Make A Difference Day is scheduled for October 12, 2009. For more information on Men Make A Difference Day, contact a Parent Liaison at your neighborhood school.

Duncan to Dads:
Get Involved in Kids' Education
By The Associated PressManchester, N.H.

Getting fathers involved in their children's education will take turning off the TV at home and opening the school doors to them, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday.

"Both sides have to move toward the middle, toward each other," he said in an interview after a forum attended by dozens of nonprofit groups, churches, and government officials around New England.

"What's fascinating to me is that both sides need each other so badly. Educators desperately need parents to be more involved, particularly fathers, and fathers desperately need to be involved in their children's education," he said. "There's just this tremendous untapped potential and power here.

For more on this story click here!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Formal Parent Organizations See Their Membership Skyrocket

The membership of Formal Parent Organizations (FPO) in Prince George's County Public Schools saw dramatic increases across the County in SY 2008-2009. The ongoing focus on volunteer services by the School Board; combined with the extensive outreach to parents and community members by Formal Parent Organizations resulted in this record growth.

In SY 2008-2009 95% of PGCPS schools had an established parent organizations. A total of 78,690 parents and community stakeholders are current members of FPOs. During SY 2008-2009 8,388 new members were added to more than 160 FPOs. A total of 270,408 parents and community stakeholders attended FPO meetings. This number represented an average of 27,408 parents and community stakeholders attending meetings monthly. When you divide that by the number of schools, 134 parents and community stakeholders on average attended Formal Parent Organization meetings per month.

Parental Engagment in Prince George's County Public Schools Is Highlighted in the Harvard Family Report On Parental Involvement

A recent publication entitled: Seeing is Believing: Promising Practices for How School Districts Promote Family Engagement, written by the Harvard University Center for Family Research contains information regarding parental engagement in Prince George's County Public Schools. Here is a small portion of what they had to say about our services and efforts.

“The feedback you provided during our interview helped inform the development of this brief, and we are very pleased that we were able to include a profile of your district's family engagement work as part of this project. Thank you again for taking the time to speak with us about your district's experiences and strategies”.

Below is a link to the brief:


Dr. Hite will deliver his first State of the Schools Address as the Superintendent of Prince George's County Public Schools on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 6:30pm at Dr. Henry A.Wise Jr. HS. The public is welcome to attend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

October 12, 2009: 2nd Annual Men Make A Difference Day

Ten Tips for Time Mastery

Published by
on August 31, 2009 in Linda Henman, PhD., Magnetic Boss, PDUs2Go Author Article and SPECIAL EDITION. 2 Comments Tags: Leadership.
By Linda Henman, PhD.

By Linda Henman, PhD.

  1. Don’t over schedule. Leave time in every day for unexpected events because almost every day brings at least one. In addition to having more control of your day, you’ll reduce stress.
  2. Set 30/ 60/ 90 day SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time sensitive) goals for your personal and professional life. Activities that don’t support these goals don’t go on the calendar. Set weekly goals that support these.
  3. Don’t over commit. Just say “no” to charities, committees, meetings, or activities that don’t directly support a personal or professional goal.
  4. Prioritize each day. Separate important from unimportant and urgent tasks, and do first things first. Unless you are expecting an emergency phone call, turn off your cell phone. Use it for outgoing calls, on your schedule, so you can stick to your priorities.
  5. Eat the frog first. If there’s an unpleasant task you must accomplish, do it first. You’ll have more energy and focus once the unpleasant or difficult task is complete.
  6. Know what you’re doing. Analyze current uses of time and energy—yours and that of others on your team—to determine whether you are spending time on critical issues that drive your goals and support your priorities. Then schedule your hardest or least favorite tasks for high energy times.
  7. Follow the 80/20 rule. Realize that 20% of your efforts drive 80% of your results. Identify the 20% of people who support you, the 20% of activities that drive your goals, and the 20% of training you need and then eliminate the other 80% of each.
  8. Get organized. Have a sense of where and how information is stored; be able to locate materials quickly; have a system so your assistant or someone else can find things; and routinely clean out files and throw outdated material away.
  9. Don’t allow people to copy you on emails, ask to make decisions they are accountable for, or otherwise interrupt you “for just a minute” to discuss something they should be handling.
  10. Buy time. Use helpful new technologies or support people to do the things you aren’t good at, don’t like, or don’t want to do. When you lead with your passion, work is more enjoyable, and you’ll accomplish more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sign-Up To Speak at Community Meetings on Closed Schools

Hello Parents:

Do you have an opinion or suggestion with regards to recent school closings? If so, please sign-Up To Speak at Community Meetings on Closed Schools.

Prince George's County Public Schools will conduct a series of community meetings for the purpose of soliciting and receiving input on how the school system should best utilize closed school buildings impacted by the Prince George's County Board of Education's school consolidation/closing plan. Please visit the link below to access the form you will need to complete if you wish to speak at a community meeting.

PGCPS Has A Variety of Formal Parent Organizations

In SY2008-09, 95% of PGCPS had established formal parent organizations. A total of 78,690 parents and community stakeholders are current members of formal parent organizations. A total of 270,408 parents and community stakeholders attended formal parent organization meetings. This number represented an average of 27,408 parents and community stakeholders attending formal parent organizational meetings monthly. Approximately 134 parents and community stakeholders attended formal parent organizational meetings per month in SY2008-09.

Here is the break out:
PTA (100)
PTSA (35)
PTO (29)
PTSO (6)
FPO (5)

Parental Engagement with PGCPS is on Twitter

We are on Twitter, which means you can follow us 24 hours a day. Join others who are keeping in contact with the Office of Family and Community Outreach and parental engagement at

Important Dates

September 25, 2009: Professional Development (Schools closed for students)

September 28, 2009: Holiday - Yom Kippur (Schools and offices closed)

October 12, 2009: Men Make A Difference Day: Second Annual – Each school will customize events designed to promote fathers and other male role models becoming/remaining involved in their child’s education. Examples: Dudes on Duty, Donuts for Dads, Luncheon, Concert performance.

November 5, 2009: Healthy Living/Healthy Families: First Annual – Each school will customize events designed to promote healthy lifestyles and healthy families. Demonstrate the benefits of healthy families related to academicachievement. Examples: guest speakers, health fairs, family exercise, focus on nutrition.

April 22, 2010: Multicultural Family Celebration: First Annual – Each school will customize events designed to promote and embrace diversity. Provide an opportunity for students and parents to learn about different cultures. Examples: International dinner, Family fun Day, International Night.

May 10, 2010: Women's Day: Second Annual – Each school will customize events designed to shop appreciation to mothers and other female role models who have been involved with our school communities throughout the year. Promote increased participation of mothers and other female role models. Examples: Tranquility Teas, Appreciation Receptions, Empowerment speakers.

Free SAT Workshop!!

Attend a FREE SAT Test Workshop
When: Saturday, October 17, 2009
Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
Where: Shiloh Baptist Church Family Life Center, 1510 Ninth Street (9th & P St) NW, Washington, DC
Visit the website for more information at

Glenn Dale Fall Festival This Saturday!

The First Annual Fall Festival at Glenn Dale Elementary is this Saturday, September 26th from 10am to 3pm on the school grounds (6700 Glenn Dale Rd, Glenn Dale, MD).

With something for children and adults of all ages, here’s some of the fun awaiting you at the Festival:-Moon bounce-All Star Kids Tumble Bus-Carnival-style games-Food, food, food-Magic Show-Face painting-Petting Zoo-Photo Booth-Tour a fire truck courtesy of the Glenn Dale Fire Department-Demonstration by A+ Tae Kwon Do.

Food and game tickets are 4 for $1.00(*Games and food will cost an average of 4-10 tickets each.) Shop the VENDOR MARKET for Body Magic products (Ardyss International), skin care products, school spirit merchandise, and more!

Bid on fabulous prizes at the SILENT AUCTION! Preview and bidding opens at 10am and closes at 1:30pm. Winning bids announced at 1:45pm. Items up for bid include:-Restaurant gift cards-Gym memberships-Handcrafted jewelry-Catered Dinner for 2-Movie Passes-Gift Baskets-And more!*Be prepared to pay for your winnings with cash or check.

This event is sponsored by the Glenn Dale PTA to raise funds to support supplemental enrichment programs for the students of Glenn Dale. It is open to all students, families, and staff of GDES, AND the surrounding Glenn Dale/Bowie/Lanham communities.

Sixth Annual Prince George’s Classic College Showcase

Saturday, September 26, 2009 10am - 2pm at The Mall @ Prince George's - Center Court Join us for an informative day for students pursuing higher education and their families. Admission Representatives will be on-site from:• Bowie State University• Delaware State University• Dillard University• Ferrum College• Norfolk State University• Prince George’s Community College• Shaw University• Westwood College• University of Maryland, College Park and more!



Partnership with Side-By-Side, Inc. to augment services available to Laurel elementary school families. New program endorsed by Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and supported by instructors from Anne Arundel Community College Parenting Center.

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – On Thursday, September 24, Prince George’s County PublicSchools will launch “Family Academy,” a pilot program from its partnership with Side By Side,Inc. From 6 pm to 8 pm at Deerfield Run Elementary School, 13000 Laurel Bowie Road in Laurel, the Prince George’s County Board of Education and the Office of Superintendent of Schools Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. will formally recognize the new initiative which promotes success for Laurel’s elementary school students and their families.

“I salute the great and diverse energy of the people of District I and am extremely excited about Family Academy,” said Rosalind Johnson, Prince George’s County Board of Education member (District I). “This initiative builds demand within our parents so that they better understand how schools work and what it takes for their children to be successful. This is especially important for parents of children of color, poor children and those who are non-English speakers.”

In 2008, Side By Side, Inc. reached out to Board member Rosalind Johnson in the wake of pressing issues like funding cuts, reduced parent liaison positions, low parental involvement, and Laurel elementary school student test scores on standardized reading and math tests that fell below the Maryland State average. The organization then worked with the PGCPS Department of Family and Community Outreach, local principals, active and retired public school educators, and representatives of the Laurel Clergy Association to create services which would assist families in the education of their children.

“We firmly believe that no local issue is more important for our community’s current and future well-being than working along side schools to champion the needs of our students,” said Joseph“Joe” Murchison, president of Side By Side, Inc. “Through this symbiotic relationship with PGCPS, we hope to fill existing voids and positively impact the students, their families, our schools and the community.”

Family Academy will include community-building sessions for local parents and educationalsessions on parenting skills and family dynamics. These will be offered in English and Spanish. Exciting enrichment activities will be provided for children of Family Academy participants during the same sessions.

The Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has endorsed and will provide support to the pilot program. Additionally, instructors from the Parenting Center at Anne Arundel Community College will lead seminars for parents on how to handle various child behaviors.

Future Family Academy gatherings are scheduled to take place on the following Thursdays: October 15, November 5 and December 3. For more information, Laurel residents can RSVP for the kick-off by emailing to, by calling (301) 725-8179, or by signing up at their child’s school office. Initial community responses indicate that over two hundred residents are expected.

Friday, September 11, 2009

America Goes Back to School: A National Town Hall Meeting with Arne Duncan - Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Before crafting education law in Washington, we want to hear from people across America—parents, teachers and administrators—about the everyday issues and challenges in our schools that need our national attention and support."
--U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is traveling throughout the country to engage a broad group of stakeholders—including parents—in an open and honest conversation about federal education policy in anticipation of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Already, the secretary has met with hundreds of mothers and fathers, students, teachers, principals, education support staff, superintendents, college professors, higher education administrators, and community leaders during his national tour, “Listening and Learning: A Conversation About Education Reform.”

One of the most important things policymakers can do is to connect with the people who are affected by the decisions they make. During his tour, Secretary Duncan has heard and noted that in order to prepare students for success in today’s globally competitive workforce, it is not enough simply to preserve the status quo. Parents and other education stakeholders across America want better schools, curricula, and teachers for their children and, through forums such as this National Town Hall Meeting, they are helping to shape future education policy.

On this special edition of Education News Parents Can Use, Secretary Duncan will engage in a live, interactive discussion with parents across the nation by telephone, email, and with a studio audience. This event is one stop along the secretary’s national “Listening and Learning” tour to gather input on the administration's education agenda, including: early childhood learning, quality schools, parent responsibility, higher standards, teacher quality, health and safety, workforce development, and higher education.

Throughout the hour-long program, parents will have a chance to offer the Secretary their suggestions and their hopes about reforming education in the United States in a public dialogue addressing topics of importance to schools, families, and communities, including:
  • What is working and what needs to change in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act?
  • What do we need to do, and what do we need to do differently to ensure our students are successful?
  • What does a quality school look like and how can more schools become consistently high achieving?
  • How can parents become more involved with and engaged in their child’s education?
  • What are some effective practices for recruiting, retaining, supporting and compensating highly effective teachers?
  • What steps are schools at all levels of education taking to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment?

Time: 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM ET

Where To Watch: Many local PBS stations broadcast Education News. Please check with your local PBS station or visit PBS stations can contact PBS Program Services for downlink details

Friday, September 4, 2009

National Museum Day

Mark your calendars! September 26, 2009 is National Museum Day. Families can go click the links below to download an admission card which will give them two free admissions to hundreds of museums nationwide.

Here is the link to a list of participating museums:

Here is the link to print your free family passes:

Photos of the 2010 Parental Engagement Conference

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

The Middle School Years

Visits From Engaged Parents and Dedicated Educators