We caught up with Deb Black, Indianapolis Public Schools Parent Involvement Coordinator, after her first PIE Summer Institute. Parent Involvement Educators (PIEs) from around the district attended five days of intensive professional development and planning, and Black, who coordinates the work of the PIEs, was happy to answer a few questions about the PIE role and how the PIEs are poised to make a big impact in their second year in IPS.
The Parent Involvement Educator (PIE) role is important because PIEs mentor and teach parents and support their engagement and advocacy efforts through parent leadership development. Then parents, as partners with schools, can optimize the ability to be positive influences in their children’s academic achievement and success.
PIEs are moving IPS parents from parent involvement (short-term interactions) to family and community engagement (long-term, with shared responsibility), which will result in greater student achievement across the district.
- Racial equity with REI (Racial Equity Institute)
- CQ (cultural quotient, or cultural competency)
- Dual-capacity family and school engagement (from the U.S. Department of Education)
- Family Friendly Schools model (from the Indiana Department of Education)
- Home-Visit model of academic supports
- Identifying and engaging “best practices” for resource and community partnerships
Due to increased professional capacity, this year PIEs can better identify and address the needs of their families, include school teams to support parents as partners in academic success and embrace partnerships through a zone of support that touches children in every school in the areas of academics, mentoring, youth development and health.