3500 East Fletcher Avenue, Suite 301
Tampa, FL 33613
Web site: http://www.floridapirc.usf.edu
Dr. Mari T. Fernandez
Evaluator affiliation: Florida Gulf Coast University
”Promoting Family Involvement - Increasing Student Achievement,” is the cornerstone of all efforts of the Florida PIRC at the University of South Florida (USF), Florida Partnership for Family Involvement in Education. Providing training, information, and support to families and the educators who serve them is our priority.
Purpose and Goals
The mission of the Florida PIRC at USF is to implement successful and effective parental involvement programs and practices that lead to increased student academic achievement and strengthen partnerships among parents and educators to meet the educational needs of children.
The goals of the project are designed to increase parents’ knowledge and confidence in becoming engaged in their children’s education in meaningful ways as well as to increase the knowledge of educators in parental involvement that is related to academic achievement.
• Goal 1: Implement research-based parental involvement programs and activities that promote student achievement.
• Goal 2: Provide high-quality comprehensive training, information and supportive services statewide to school districts and parents on parent involvement that improves student achievement.
• Goal 3: Coordinate, collaborate, and network statewide with appropriate community, state, and federal resources to inform parents about NCLB.
Early Childhood Model
Parents as Teachers (PAT) serves as the foundation for the early childhood component of the project. The Florida PIRC at USF will increase and enhance PAT services statewide. A model demonstration site will be established to provide opportunities for PAT programs statewide to send parent educators and support staff for consultation and training in program improvements. The Florida Parents as Teachers Training and Technical Assistance Center will coordinate state PAT trainings and provide support for programs statewide. The center will assist programs seeking to improve the quality of their services by promoting PAT Quality Standards.
The FL PIRC at USF provides information on accountability, supplemental educational services, NCLB, school choice, and compacts. Free, downloadable Tip Sheets are available in English and Spanish on the web site. Easy Read Tip Sheets for low literacy levels are also available on the web site in English and Spanish. The PIRC sponsored or participated in several different training projects, including: Research to Practice Symposium, CLASS (Church Leaders Assuring Student Success), TIPS (Teachers Involving Parents in Schoolwork), and MAPPS (Math and Parent Partnerships) trainings. Most of these training efforts were directed toward district and school personnel.
How the Work Plan Meets the Needs of Parents
The Florida PIRC at USF will reach 2 million parents through a unique collaboration of partners committed to serving children identified as at-risk and their families. Project partners include the following organizations: Florida PTA, Florida Alliance of Information and Referral Services, Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), and Latino Leadership. We reach a diverse group of parents by offering materials and resources for low-literacy parents and working through not only schools but faith-based and community groups. Materials and services are available in Spanish and the Web site has information in Spanish as well as English.
Alignment of Work to Statewide Efforts
The FL PIRC at USF established working relationships with two regional technical assistance groups: Title I East Coast Technical Assistance Center and Region IV for Parent Involvement. Other PIRC partnerships included those with the Bilingual Parent Outreach Program, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Association of Partners in Education, and the School District of Hillsborough County Title I elementary, middle, and high schools.
The PIRC at the University of South Florida (USF) is one of two PIRCs in the state. The other is Family Network on Disabilities of Florida (FND), located in Clearwater. The two operate independently, but collaborate on many goals and share the same statewide advisory board. In 1999, the Florida Partnership for Family Involvement in Education was established at the University of South Florida. Much of the work provided a foundation for excellence in parent involvement and has been utilized by school districts throughout Florida as well as the nation for building effective parental involvement programs. The current Florida Statewide PIRC at USF is continuing some of the work, but is primarily forging a new path in parent involvement. As the work continues, new initiatives are being implemented using the latest research in parent involvement combined with the needs of our schools under NCLB.