SERC 25 Industrial Park Road
Middletown, CT 06457
Web site: http://ctpirc.org/
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Tuesday, Thursday (September - June) 8:30 am - 8:00 pm Saturday (September - May) 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Dr. Marianne Kirner
Evaluator: Dave Bechtel
Evaluator affiliation: Holt, Wexler & Farnam, LLP
The work of the Connecticut Parent Information and Resource Center (CT PIRC) will be guided by the overarching principle that all families have strengths and all families play a critical role in their children’s educational success. The project will work through faith-based and community organizations. It will be school-based and school-linked. It will make explicit connections between statewide dissemination and outreach activities, professional development events, and direct work with selected high priority schools.
Together with our primary partners, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the CT State Education Resource Center (SERC), and Connecticut Parents as Teachers (ConnPAT), we will build on our history of well-documented success, evidenced by national recognition from the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS).
The goal is to improve parents’ access to information and resources regarding their children’s education. A statewide system will be established for the implementation of successful and effective parental involvement policies, programs, and activities and include: 1) increased dissemination of information about school and district report cards, parent choice, and supplemental educational service options, and 2) strengthened partnerships to meet the educational needs of children.
Parental Engagement Model
The CSDE and SERC adopted Joyce Epstein’s framework of six types of parent involvement for building relationships over ten years ago and was one of the original members of Dr. Epstein’s National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS).
Epstein’s framework explains how schools can work with families and communities to assist them to stay informed and involved in children’s learning at home and at school. Each type of involvement may be demonstrated by hundreds of practices that schools may choose to develop in their own programs. Each practice that is implemented opens opportunities for varied interactions among all the partners. Briefly the six types are: Helping parents to parent; communicating with families; expanding volunteer programs; strengthening learning at home; involving families in decision-making; collaborating with the community.
Early Childhood Model
A cornerstone of the CT PIRC is the Parents as Teachers (PAT), a research-based, prevention model for parent education and support. One of the first states in the U.S to replicate PAT, Connecticut has been implementing PAT since 1985.
ConnPat offers a variety of activities, including:
In addition, CT PIRC will offer a variety of statewide options to get information to families through schools, community providers, libraries, faith leaders, and faith-based organizations:
- Prenatal to Three Institute
- Three to Kindergarten Entry Institute
- Child-care Training
- Additional family learning workshops
How the Work Plan Meets the Needs of Parents
- Public Schools 101(NCLB, SES, Choice, School Report Cards)
- Asking the Right Questions (Communicating with Schools and SES Providers)
- Beginning Educator Support and Training (Effective Strategies for Communicating and Working with Families)
- Family Learning Institute (Family Literacy)
- Welcoming Schools (First Day of School Celebration)
- Welcoming Atmosphere Walk-Through (Schools Evaluate How Welcome They Make Parents)
- Raising Readers Parent Club (Family Literacy and Storytelling)
- Le y Serea (Literacy Training for Hispanic Families)
- Action Team Training (SFCP)
The intended outcome is the creation of a comprehensive approach to establishing and sustaining parent-school-community partnerships that support student learning:
Alignment of Work to Statewide PIRC Efforts
- Parent Capacity: Parents will understand their rights, responsibilities, and options under NCLB.
- Parent Participation: Parents will participate more fully and frequently in their children's development and education at home, in the school, and in the community.
- Professional, School, & Community Capacity: Service providers and school personnel will increase interaction and communication wih parents and community organizations with regard to the educational needs of children. School districts will implement effective parent involvement policies, programs, and activities.
- Child Outcomes: Children will improve acheivement as mesarued through the CT school accountability system.
The CT PIRC wil maximize the resources available through a wide range of community, state, and federal resources. Within the CSDE, for example, staff from both SFCP and Title I will serve on the Board and/or Advisory Committee and collaborate in the development of materials and the delivery of training/technical assistance. CT PIRC will also collaborate with the Capitol Region Conference of Churches, CT's Parent Training and Information Center (PTI), Head Start, the CT Commission on Children, Even Start, and the Family Resource Center Alliance, to name only a few.
CT PIRC has a special focus area: Black and Hispanic Families. The goal is targeted assistance to communities where there are significant achievement gaps along racial lines.
CT PIRC will convene a new statewide professional organization for individuals working with families and schools. This membership organization will provide networking opportunities and build a professional learning community devoted to establishing and sustaining partnerships between parents and schools and communities.
The CT PIRC evaluation will include a targeted study of the impacts of the project's Targeted Community Focus Project in participating districts. This study will follow a quasi-experimental design, through the use of comparison schools, matched with target schools on key student and school data.