A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Schools Can Support Parents and Families Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

How Schools Can Support Parents and Families Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to require social distancing and remote learning—a reality that could extend into the start of the new school year in many states—districts and schools can do a lot to support parents and families in their roles as co-educators to help children continue learning and cope with prolonged disruption to their academic and social lives. Four experts will discuss with you, the Education Week reader, what schools can do to support families: from leveraging community partners, to providing necessities such as food and internet access, to helping teachers engage with parents and families in especially challenging circumstances such as homelessness, unemployment, and illness.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET*

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*Agenda and times subject to change. Check back regularly for updates.

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1 to 1:10 p.m. ET | Welcome and Introductions
Tracy Hill, executive director, family and community engagement, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cleveland, Ohio, and D’Lisa Crain, administrator, family-school partnerships, Washoe County School District, Reno, Nev., share their “from the trenches” view of how vital the work of family and parent engagement is in the communities they serve during the pandemic.

1:10 to 1:20 p.m. ET
Michele Brooks, consultant and former assistant superintendent in Boston Public Schools, and Trise Moore, author, consultant, and former director of equity and family engagement in Federal Way Public Schools, Federal Way, Wash., discuss concrete strategies schools and districts can adopt, or expand, to provide robust support for parents and families in the pandemic and beyond.

1:20 to 2:20 p.m. ET
Q&A with Education Week readers

2:20 to 2:30 p.m. ET
Each expert takes time to step back and offer parting words, advice, and wisdom.

Guest Speakers

Michele Brooks
Principal, Transformative Solutions, Former Assistant Superintendent, Boston Public Schools, 2013 Leaders To Learn From Honoree

Brooks is a parent activist, educational advocate, and educator who currently serves as the principal consultant for Transformative Solutions in Education. She served as the assistant superintendent for family and student engagement for the Boston Public Schools from 2008 until 2015, where her implementation of systemic engagement influenced the U.S. Department of Education’s Dual Capacity-building Framework.

As a result, in 2013 she was recognized as one of the original sixteen Leaders to Learn From by Education Week. Prior to serving in this role, Brooks was the founding director of the Boston Parent Organizing Network from 1999 until 2005. She also served as a member of the Boston School Committee from 2004–2008.

D'Lisa Crain
Family-School Partnerships Administrator, Washoe County School District, Reno, Nev., Department of Family-School Partnerships and 2016 Leaders To Learn From Honoree

Crain has been working on family-engagement efforts in Nevada’s second-largest school system since 2004. She previously was a development director for a health-related nonprofit and served as a marketing director for a construction and engineering company. She serves on the Institute for Educational Leaderships' District Leaders Network Advisory Board and has presented on the district’s family engagement efforts at numerous national conferences, including for the National Family and Community Engagement Conference, National PTA, and on panels facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education.

In 2020, Crain has been facilitating family communication and supports in collaboration with key district departments and community-based organizations for Washoe County School District's Distance Learning Plan during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Tracy Hill
Executive Director, Office of Family and Community Engagement, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cleveland, Ohio, and 2014 Leaders To Learn From Honoree

Since August of 2010, Hill has led family and community engagement in Cleveland metropolitan schools. One of her primary responsibilities is working with schools, community partners and stakeholders to develop programs that are aligned to district goals and build the capacity of parents/caregivers to support their children's academic achievement.

Most recently, Hill has been the lead district executive dedicated to working on a cross-functional team of administrators to provide parent and family engagement outreach during the Coronavirus pandemic. She also acted as a reviewer for the American Institutes for Research COVID-19 website "Building Positive Conditions for Learning at Home: Strategies and Resources for Families and Caregivers”.

Trise Moore
President and Senior Consultant for The Family Outreach and Engagement Network, Former Director of Equity and Family Engagement in Federal Way Public Schools, Federal Way, Wash., Author, and 2017 Leaders To Learn From Honoree

Moore has been nationally recognized for establishing effective outcome-based family and community partnership practices for more than 20 years. She’s received several awards for service to children, families, and educators while demonstrating a commitment to equity, excellence, and integrity. She is the author of “Unreached: What Every Educator Wants to Know About Engaging Families for Equity & Student Achievement” for academic publisher Learning Sciences International.

Moore was honored as one of 2017’s Education Week Leaders To Learn From for leadership in parent and family engagement. Harvard’s Family Research Project named her one of six emerging leaders in the field of family engagement, recognizing her leadership in developing family and community partnership structures in one of the most diverse school districts in the country. She is the current president and senior consultant for The Family Outreach and Engagement Network, where she and her team provide coaching, training, and facilitation support for educators, advocates, and community organizations interested in promoting equity and student achievement.


Holly Kurtz
Director, EdWeek Research Center

Kurtz directs the Education Week Research Center, which produces standalone studies as well as analyses for Education Week and special reports such as Quality Counts. She spent 11 years covering education and other topics for newspapers in Florida, Alabama, and Colorado. The Education Week Research Center also produces customized studies and analyses for a range of clients, including professional associations and leading companies in the field of education.


Learn more about Leaders To Learn From honorees Michele Brooks, D'Lisa Crain, Tracy Hill, and Trise Moore's work.

In this 2018 keynote conversation, Leaders To Learn From honorees Michele Brooks, Tracy Hill, Patricia Spradley, D’Lisa Crain, and Trise Moore explore the evolving field of parent and family engagement.

Recognized by The NonProfitTimes as one of the 2020 Best Nonprofits to Work For.

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