Best Practices for Family Engagement in Alternative and Traditional Education Settings
The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), Title I Parent Education and Consultation Program has done the unprecedented, against the odds, successfully, in less than a year and with a third of the funding. After decades of relying on external resources and vendors to conduct family engagement activities, with modest successes, the Title I office implemented an approach that builds LACOE's capacity for authentic family engagement. This "Best Practices to Engage the Families of At-Risk Youth" walks participants through our successes and provides specific strategies to replicate now. Learn to translate Epstein’s research on the three spheres of influence, UCLA’s Cognitive Learning research and Ann Henderson’s “Beyond the Bake Sale” into action steps to provide parents with opportunities for learning and empowerment, while meeting Title I requirement for parental involvement and state local control accountability plans. If LACOE did it, you can too!
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Rami Christophi currently works as the Title I Director for the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). In 2016 he envisioned a family engagement program that is: 1. Self-Sustained 2. Builds capacity for family engagement 3. Responds to the parents' learning needs 4. Cost effective. After an extensive needs assessment, he proposed the Title I Parent Education and Consultation Program. The program has experienced unprecedented success for LACOEs’ model for parental engagement. In less than a year more than 800 families of the highest transient and most at-risk youth in Los Angeles County have participated in workshops, academies, conferences and talks. His vision and audacity shifted the parent involvement activities from a mandate to be complied with, to an authentic and supportive tool that fosters increased academic achievement. Rami has been a teacher, a principal, an administrator and a director servicing for over ten years the most at-risk student and family populations of Los Angeles County. He has applied the spirit of the Title I law to bring about culture shifts in alternative educational settings by faithfully adhering to data to drive the decision-making process.
Jael Ovalle currently works as Program Manager, Parent Education for the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). She co-designed and implemented the Title I Parent Education and Consultation Program. It is an overhaul of LACOEs’ models for parental engagement. The program is the first and only in the nation to reach out to the families of incarcerated youth, homeless students and foster children. Most recently, she brought to LACOE the First Parent Conference, an event to empower families to become effective partners in their young one’s education, despite their students’ social, economic, and academic history- or incarceration. Jael has been at the center of major reform on parent engagement in Los Angeles. She worked with community partners, bargaining units, district officials, families and students to support the passage of the historic Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Resolution “Parents As Equal Partners” in 2010, collaborated in the creation of the Parents’ Bill of Rights, to guide the parent involvement work of school districts, charter schools and community-based organizations that advocate for parental engagement in education in Los Angeles. Jael has participated in extensive training on the Dr. Joyce Epstein’s Typology for Parental Engagement, conducted by Dr. Epstein’s herself, and possess extensive knowledge of the Parent Action Teams model by the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University and the research that guides school district's practices for parental engagement in the nation. Jael has Master’s Degree in Public Administration, with a specialization in Leadership. She is an expert in policy writing, strategic planning, budget alignment, and understands profoundly the political environment in which the work of educating students and providing families with authentic opportunities for learning must be carried out. She has studied the theories and practices of leadership in the public sector; and believes that the leader needs the skill of a planner and organizer, a motivator, a diplomat, a negotiator, a communicator and a collaborator.
Felipe Vasquez currently provides leadership and oversight to the Division of Student Programs, Data and Assessment of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). Under his guidance, the Division has performed, created and developed standard operating procedures in relation to data, assessment and compliance in the areas of Local Control Accountability Plan, Title I, Federal Program Monitoring, Office of Civil Rights Reporting, alignment of the LEA Plan to LCAP, Assessments, and WASC accreditation process. His leadership has facilitated an unprecedented transformation of LACOE’s family engagement programs, and has put LACOE’s parent involvement strategies at the nation’s forefront for innovation and authenticity.
Mr. Vasquez has devoted his professional life to serving at-risk students and their families in the County of Los Angeles. He has served as teacher, principal, administrator and director in the challenging environments of alternative education.