National PIRC Coordination Center
About the Center About the PIRCs PIRC Directory Resources
PIRC directory  
Funding for the PIRC program as a whole has been discontinued by the US Department of Education. Therefore, most PIRC programs are no longer in operation although several are continuing with funding from other sources. You may contact PIRCs directly to determine their status.
Maryland State PIRC
Bethesda, MD
5272 River Road, Suite 340
Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc.
Bethesda, MD 20816

Web site:
Ms. Susan Shaffer

Phone: (301) 657-7741 x 118
Fax: 301-657-8782

Evaluator: Fran Beyer

Logo for Maryland State PIRC

State PIRC Board:

Annie Foster Ahmed, President of the PTA, Parent, Flower Hill Elementary School, Montgomery County Public Schools
Dorothy Bailey, Parent, Prince George’s County Public Schools
Charo Basterra, Early Childhood Coordinator PIRC, Parent of 10th grader, Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Montgomery County Public Schools
Ana Flores, Parent of elementary school child, Cool Spring Elementary, Prince George’s County Public Schools
Elisia George, President of the PTA, Viers Mill Elementary School, Montgomery County Public Schools
Diana Gough, Educational Specialist for English Language Learner Familie, Prince George’s County Public Schools
Janis Hagey, Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association, Prince George’s County Public Schools
Dana Hill, Parent of pre-school child, DRU Family Support Center, Baltimore City Public Schools
Erma Jefferson, Principal, John Eager Howard Elementary School, Baltimore City Public Schools
Sarah Johnson, Parent, Prince George’s County Public Schools
Valerie Kaufmann, Early Learning Branch Chief, Maryland State Department of Education
Maria Lamb, Director of Program Improvement and Family Support, Maryland State Department of Education
Sam Macer, Parent, Family and Community Engagement Advocate, Baltimore County Public Schools
Michele Petro, Parent of 6th grader, Bester Elementary School, Washington County Public Schools
Debbie Ritchie, President Elect, MD PTA , Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Maria Saldana, Parent of elementary school children, Pinehurst Elementary School, Wicomico County Public Schools
Barbara Scherr, Family Involvement Specialist, Parent of elementary school children, Maryland State Department of Education, Baltimore County Public Schools
Beth Sheller, Parent Involvement Coordinator, Parent of 1st grader, Wicomico County Public Schools
Jennifer Stiegler, Parent of middle and elementary school children, Wicomico County Public Schools
Kathy Stiles, Principal, Bester Elementary School, Washington County Public Schools

Special Advisory Committees:

The Advisory Council will provide their technical expertise and critical assistance to the current and future work of the Maryland State Parental Information Resource Center as it relates to family involvement and student achievement. The Advisory Council serves as the Board of Directors for the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. and represents the interests of parents in their professional capacities and will enable them to:

  • Review, monitor and/or assess programs, and
  • Act as an independent sounding board to the Maryland State PIRC Board and staff.

The Maryland State Parental Information Resource Center (PIRC) is designed to assist Maryland parents and educators to address issues related to family involvement and closing the achievement gap. The Maryland State PIRC operates under the umbrella of the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. (MAC), building on MAC’s more than 25 years of experience working with Maryland parents and schools to improve student achievement.

Parental Engagement Model
Tellin’ Stories, a program of Teaching for Change, works directly with parents to:

  • Create opportunities for families to connect to each other and to their school
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Identify and prioritize concerns
  • Take action, evaluate and sustain family engagement, and
  • Collaborate with all members of the school to ensure a safe, healthy learning environment for children.

Early Childhood Model
In partnership with Friends of the Family and the Judy Centers, we work directly with parents of pre-school age children to:

  • Increase use of effective parenting at home
  • Build parent’s leadership skills to work more effectively as their child’s advocate at home, in pre-school and with school and community organizations
  • Provide opportunities for underserved parents to participate in Parents as Teachers (PAT), and
  • Collaborate with the Maryland State Department of Education in their statewide early childhood efforts, including Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY).

Major Activities
The National Network of Partnership Schools, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, works directly with educators to:

  • Develop and sustain excellent programs of partnerships that fulfill NCLB requirements for parental involvement
  • Assist schools using an action team approach, writing goal-oriented plans and selecting practices to involve families and communities to increase student success in school, and
  • Offer direct, on going and on-call assistance from Brenda G. Thomas, Director of Maryland Partnership Program Development.

How the Work Plan Meets the Needs of Parents

  • Provides information to parents on early childhood, elementary and secondary education, as well as information on issues such as legal rights and social services in English and Spanish
  • Offers leadership skills to parents to advocate for their children
  • Helps develop techniques and expertise among parents to help their children at home to increase their academic achievement
  • Supplies parents with information to promote effective parenting with their children, and
  • Creates opportunities for effective interactions between parents and schools to increase academic achievement of low-income, culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse children.

Alignment of Work to Statewide PIRC Efforts

  • Sponsors four regional conferences
  • Provides and develops information for parents, parent advocates, community members and educators on issues related to parenting, learning at home, communicating with schools, and identifying community resources
  • Builds networks between parents, parent advocates, community members and educators, and
  • Facilitates training and technical assistance on parenting and achievement related issues for students.
Unique Characteristics
  • Offers a bilingual (Spanish) website and a Parent Bilingual (Spanish) Hotline.

Free Webinar Series
The U.S. Department of Education and its partners invite you to view the archive for the webinar, Bringing it All Together: Family and Community Engagement Policies in Action, which took place on November 16, 2011.

This is the ninth and final webinar in the series, Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement.
United States Department of Education Funding for this project is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, contract number ED-04-CO-0039/0001. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Education.