Education

Parents as Partners: Newark Public Schools hosts citywide parent conference

0429289b453c9f7e5890_div1.jpg
The 31st annual Title 1 Citywide Parent Conference drew upon a core theme of “Parents as Partners – Embracing Diversity,” which explored parent engagement as a way to further student success. Credits: Elana Knopp
c1a38c4fda489a63a39a_div2.jpg
With a renewed focus on parent empowerment, Newark Public Schools hosted its citywide conference that brought parents, school administrators and educators together last week at NJIT. Credits: Elana Knopp
8b7d79748c050e177c22_div3.jpg
The 31st annual "Parents as Partners" conference focused on a number of topics including early childhood education, college and career readiness and bilingual education. Credits: Elana Knopp
0429289b453c9f7e5890_div1.jpg

With a renewed focus on inclusiveness and parent empowerment, Newark Public Schools hosted its 31st annual Title 1 Citywide Parent Conference last week that brought together parents, school administrators and educators for the common goal of student success.

Held last week at NJIT, the conference drew upon a core theme of “Parents as Partners – Embracing Diversity,” which explored parent engagement as a way to nurture and promote student education.

The event was spearheaded by the NPS Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) and focused on a number of topics including early childhood education, student transition to high school, college and career readiness and bilingual education.

Sign Up for E-News

Other sessions offered bilingual families information about enrichment opportunities such as ESL and annual English assessments for students, as well as improving achievement for students with an Individual Education Program (IEP), among others.

Program speakers included Deputy Superintendent of Newark Public Schools Robert Gregory, NPS Deputy Superintendent Brad Haggerty, Executive Director of Federal Programs and Grants Janet Chavis and Executive Director of Special Education Carolyn Granato.

The Office of Federal Programs and Grants, as well as the Office of Early Childhood, also participated in the conference.

“The Title 1 Conference provides an opportunity for us to engage parents in the education of their child,” said Newark Public Schools Superintendent Christopher Cerf. “This year’s conference theme suggests that we draw on diversity of perspectives, cultures, experiences and ideas to help our students learn and explore education and to engage parents every in every aspect of their child’s education.”

The conference offered a host of informative workshops on topics such as dealing with challenging behavior in preschoolers, bullying, understanding FAFSA and socio-emotional learning and success.

Executive Director of the Office of Family and Community Engagement Margarita Muniz said parent engagement is key for student success.

“Parental voice has value and power," Muniz said. "Our children and our schools need parent input to be successful, which is why parent participation in the conference and throughout the school year is essential."

Executive Director of the Office of Early Childhood F. Nana Ofosu-Amaah said the conference is one way the district brings parents into the educational process.

“We are supposed to reach families and give them the information they need, and we need to start this early,” she said. “It’s really critical to be a friend to our families and to be able to reach more families in a positive way.”

NPS Early Childhood Specialist Nayibe Capellan noted that parents are on the steering committee of the conference.

“The parents picked the theme and the sessions,” she said. “As we move to local control, we need to be partners with our parents."

Senior Coordinator for Family Community Engagement Jeanne Paige noted the mission of the conference is to give parents a voice in the educational process.

“Primarily the most important thing is that parents know that they have a voice because after all, parents are children’s first teachers,” Paige said. “We need to make sure we provide families with the tools they need and for them to know they are valued.”

Cerf noted that NPS will continue to improve upon its partnership with parents as the district moves towards full local control.

“With the announcement recently that the district is returning to local control, we hope to be able to provide any information about this process,” he said. “We have a shared belief that working in partnership with our parents and families helps our schools better serve students. This work builds on efforts we have made in the last two years to improve how we engage families and community members.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Newark

Thousands rally in Newark as part of the nationwide March for Our Lives

March 24, 2018

Newark, NJ—Thousands of protesters converged on Newark's Military Park today as part of the nationwide March for Our Lives demonstrations calling for an end to gun violence. 

Led by students from around New Jersey, the Newark rally was just one of nearly two dozen marches taking place across the state, and one of hundreds of protests across the United States, pushing for ...

LUPE Fund, Inc. to Announce the 2018 Young Latina Leadership Scholarship Recipients during Power of Women Reception

April 16, 2018

Newark, NJ – The LUPE Fund, Inc. will announce the selection of seven outstanding undergraduate students to receive the 2018 Young Latina Leadership Scholarship during their annual Power of Women Reception. LUPE Fund’s Power of Women Reception and 15th Anniversary Celebration will be held on May 2, 2018, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Waterside Restaurant, located at 7800 River Road in ...

TAPinto Newark Gala Scene

As gala season approaches, TAPinto Newark has launched a Gala Scene section to provide a space for non-profit organizations to post announcements about their upcoming galas and submit a short writeup about their gala afterwards.

TAPinto Newark invites non-profit organizations to submit a press release about their upcoming galas. After the gala is over, please feel feel to upload a short story ...

Making Our City Bloom Gala Will Benefit Greater Newark Conservancy

Linda Bowden, Regional President of PNC Bank, New Jersey will be the event emcee at the “Making Our City Bloom Gala” to benefit the programs of Greater Newark Conservancy on May 10th at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville.

The Conservancy provides educational programs that enrich the lives of thousands of inner city children from pre-school to high school. Sustainably-raised ...

High-Tech Gadgetry Fuels the 35th Anniversary of the World Series of Birding

April 6, 2018

BERNARDSVILLE – For any real competitor, there’s the ultimate competition: think the Final Four. Or the Super Bowl. Or the biggest cucumber at the state fair.

For birdwatchers, the not-to-miss event is the annual World Series of Birding, to be held Saturday, May 12. It’s a proud New Jersey exclusive.

Individuals and teams fan out across the state for a ...

Rutgers protesters planned at Tuesday's Board of Governors meeting

April 9, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - If you believe what you read on Facebook these days, it would appear that more than 100 protesters will be storming the Rutgers University Board of Governors meeting at noon on Tuesday, April 10.

The reason? 

Contracts are set to expire in June for  20,000 faculty and staff members at the university.

But that is not the only issue at hand. There are a laundry ...

High-Tech Gadgetry Fuels the 35th Anniversary of the World Series of Birding

April 6, 2018

BERNARDSVILLE – For any real competitor, there’s the ultimate competition: think the Final Four. Or the Super Bowl. Or the biggest cucumber at the state fair.

For birdwatchers, the not-to-miss event is the annual World Series of Birding, to be held Saturday, May 12. It’s a proud New Jersey exclusive.

Individuals and teams fan out across the state for a ...

Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

In 2018, KBS kicked off its latest awareness campaign designed to promote safe sleep practices and products ...