Student success requires a family effort; that’s why
we’re so proud to have a team of fantastic Parent Involvement Educators (PIEs)
at Indianapolis Public Schools! Our PIEs play a critical role in the success of
our schools and our students, and thanks to a deeper collaboration with the
United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI), we’re giving PIEs more tools for success
in the coming school year.

Our PIEs are the ambassadors for our schools; they
interact with the community and help facilitate partnerships to bring new and
enhanced opportunities to our students and teachers. They’re also tasked with
developing initiatives to increase family engagement at school and at home to
ensure every student has the support system they need to achieve academic
success.

Bridgette Robinson, Director of Federal and Special
Programs, whose department helped leverage the Title I funding for the PIE
initiative said, “The PIEs have done a tremendous job of connecting with
families and community partners, establishing relationships with school staff,
and they have developed robust Parent Resource Centers.”  

For example, the Floro Torrence School 83 Parent
Involvement Team includes a group of parents, staff members, students and
community partners who meet monthly to discuss ways to support student success.
The team addresses parent involvement, housing and community resources and ways
to better utilize the assets available to the neighborhood.

This week, PIEs from all IPS schools attended a series of
professional development sessions during our first annual PIE Institute. Under
the direction of Parent Involvement Coordinator Deb Black, PIEs spent the week
assessing their strengths and learning new ways to serve their school
communities.

“The PIEs have received 60 hours of professional
development training during the 2014-15 school year and will receive 37 ½ hours
from the PIE Institute. The trainings received include Cultural Competency,
review of Family and Engagement Rubrics, Home Visit framework to support
academic achievement, Community Partnerships and Parent Leadership
Development,” said Robinson.

As IPS and the United Way work together to deepen our
community supports, we’re providing additional resources for our PIEs in the
coming school year. UWCI, in a commitment to expanding the scope of our schools’
community partnerships, is generously funding two additional coordinators to
assist our PIEs. These coordinators will provide guidance and professional
development opportunities throughout the year to help strengthen our
relationships with our families and neighbors.

Between the dedication of our PIEs and the
commitment to increase resources to support their endeavors, we know you’ll see
some amazing community partnerships in our schools next school year. We’re
excited to see continued innovation and impact from our PIEs as they find new
ways to engage our communities!

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