1600 2nd Avenue SW, Suite #29
Minot, ND 58701
Web site: http://ndstatepirc.org
Hours: 7:30 am to 5:00 pm
Evaluator: Donald Vangsnes, Ph.D.
Evaluator affiliation: DMD Associates
State PIRC Board:
Alison Dollar, ND Department of Public Instruction, Special Education Regional Coordinator
Valerie Fischer, ND Department of Public Instruction, School Health, Director
Dale Patrick, ND Department of Public Instruction, 21st Learning Community Learning/Even Start Director
Patricia Laubach, ND Department of Public Instruction, Standards and Achievement, Program Administrator
Marcia Hellevang, State PTA President
Linda Jagielo, Early Childhood Services Administrator
Linda Rorman, Head Start State Collaboration Administrator
Stefanie Two Crow, ND Department of Public Instruction, Title I Assistant Director
Lynn Dodge, ND Department of Public Instruction, Title I/Special Education Assistant Director
Special Advisory Committees:
The special advisory committee is made up of Guidance Counselors, School Administrators, and parents of school age, preschool, and special needs children.
The North Dakota State PIRC has three broad goals, 1) increasing the understanding among statewide constituencies of key elements related to No Child Left Behind that promote student achievement; 2) engaging parents and schools collaboratively to develop and implement policies and strategies that increase parental involvement and promote student achievement; and 3) increasing statewide parent education opportunities to increase their knowledge and improve parenting skills related to the stages of early childhood development and school readiness.
Parental Engagement Model
The State PIRC has recently implemented a statewide effort to promote the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) as a vehicle for increasing the quantity and quality of parental involvement activities focused on student achievement. Based on Joyce Epstein’s research and Six Types of Involvement framework, the NNPS provides a uniform, structured approach that offers parents and schools practical guides to help plan, implement and document efforts to effectively involve parents in promoting student achievement. This effort is being supported and promoted by the state’s Title I office, with a focus on encouraging schools to utilize this resource in their school improvement plans and related Title I efforts. The State PIRC will be providing technical assistance to individual school districts, as well as offering regional/statewide meetings with NNPS staff.
Early Childhood Model
The State PIRC supports the Parent as Teachers (PAT) program for its early childhood model. The State PIRC provides limited direct service to families; however, it provides PAT training and technical assistance to early care and education professionals across the state. In addition, the State PIRC is working collaboratively with early childhood entities in the state through the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grant. PAT resources and technical assistance are being integrated into the system with special emphasis on services providing home visits as part of their programming.
The State PIRC provides a number of direct services to parents, families and professionals. These include training on a variety of topics related to parenting, child development and promoting student learning. Training for parents on their rights and responsibilities related to NCLB is offered to help them better understand school choice, supplemental educational services and school report cards. Communications strategies such as on-line email news groups and direct mailings are also used to inform parents of these issues.
Parent Expectations Support Achievement (PESA) training is a major activity for the State PIRC. This training is conducted with parents on-site in their community to learn about effective ways to help their children’s academic achievement, as well as identifying ways in which parents can work more effectively with teachers and staff at their local school to improve student achievement.
PESA training will likely be integrated into activities related to the new promotion of the National Network of Partnership Schools for parent involvement. Through the NNPS, the State PIRC will provide financial support and technical assistance in the form of planning, group facilitation and evaluation. State PIRC staff will be involved in helping schools develop improvement plans focusing on meaningful parental involvement that emphasizes student achievement.
Along with direct services to parents, families and professionals, the State PIRC will devote considerable effort to collaborations with state agencies and organizations to assist in leveraging resources, providing support for planning, conferences and training. Over the past 10 years the State PIRC has developed working relationships with the Department of Public Instruction (including the Title I Office), the PTA, the North Dakota Education Association, the North Dakota School Counselors Association, Head Start/Even Start and the Parent Training & Information Center (PTI). New relationships are developing with the School Boards Association, the North Dakota State University Extension Office and the numerous entities involved in the ECCS grant (early childhood). PAT training will be a major activity offered by the State PIRC in this area.
The State PIRC also has a library with more than 1,500 print and audio/visual media pieces that are available to families and professionals statewide. A weekly online newsletter is distributed to more than 1,000 subscribers and its website includes a wealth of topical resources for users.
Meeting the Needs of Parents and the State
The services and resources of the State PIRC are invaluable to North Dakota because parental involvement and early childhood are areas in which minimal resources are provided through state or local funding. The State PIRC emphasizes collaborations to maximize its own resources, thereby avoiding duplication of effort supported by other sources. Parents will be able to get involved in organized and meaningful education efforts that will benefit both them and their children. In addition, the state’s agencies and organizations will benefit from the resources the State PIRC has to offer.