We’re growing Washington’s charter movement from the ground up.
WA Charters parent, family and community engagement efforts are focused on ensuring that charter public schools reflect the context, experiences and needs of the unique communities in which they are located. Our growing parent programming gives parents opportunities to exercise their voice, advocate at the school and state level, and become leaders in the movement to improve public education in Washington state.
In order to create a robust, successful network of communities and parents, we are:
- Launching a statewide campaign that raises public awareness about the positive impact of charter public schools and provides accurate information, data and research
- Keeping open a dialogue among community stakeholders that seeks to understand the local context and the needs, while also providing leaders of authorized charter schools—or those seeking authorization—with opportunities to learn from the local experts
- Providing technical assistance to local school founders and leaders around best practices for family engagement. This includes: helping to identify key areas of strength within a local school community, providing outreach to local community-based organizations, building capacity within an individual school both for families and school leaders, and providing quantitative and qualitative assessment tools in family engagement.
Parent Advocacy Leads (PALs) Program
Engaged parents are a key factor in helping close educational opportunity gaps and increasing the likelihood of student academic success and development. Strong parent leadership is also essential to the public charter school sector’s overall success and growth. As we saw during the 2016 legislative session, parents were the most compelling voices, as they described why their charter public school was working for their family.
WA Charters launched its Parent Advocacy Lead (PAL) program in August 2016, identifying the first cohort of PALs. The PALs participate in advocacy and organizing training, are updated regularly on advocacy priorities, and organize other parents to take action to support strong schools in their community.
Through this network of informed, engaged, and self-directed parent leaders and advocates, individual schools and the overall sector will benefit from a strengthened culture, climate of inclusion, and invested families.