Families and community members are vital to promoting student achievement. We strive to do all that we can to continue connecting with our communities and our families. Everyone is busier than ever, which is why we work hard to develop innovative and creative ways to provide a wide range of engagement opportunities within the Minneapolis Public Schools.
I am pleased to announce that I will again host seven Soup with the Supe events in different areas of the school district to connect with the community by serving soup and engaging in a town hall discussion. Soup with the Supe is an important engagement opportunity that allows me to hear directly from our stakeholders in a welcoming, interactive environment. Student entertainment, food, childcare and interpreters will be available at each event. Other important engagement opportunities include:
• CPEO (Connecting Parents to Educational Opportunities): a seven-week curriculum-based program designed for parents that aims to bring our schools, parents and community together as equal partners in the education of our students.
• Area Parent Advisory Council meetings offer the opportunity for community members to meet with school district leadership team members, area parents and community leaders to learn about and provide input on school-related issues, make recommendations in support of enhancing learning opportunities and environments and advocate for the success of schools, youth and families. The diverse perspectives and ideas that emerge from these meetings are a great asset to our school district.
The next meeting for Area C, which is comprised of schools in Southwest Minneapolis, is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1 at Emerson Spanish Dual-Immersion school, 1421 Spruce Place.
Visit the MPS website for more details at mpls.k12.mn.us or contact Gael Ellis, community liaison at 990-1397 or at email@example.com.
— Parents of students who receive special education services are invited to participate on the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC), a unique opportunity to learn more about special education services, advocate for their child, provide input on planning in the special education department and school district and meet other families of children with special needs.
— Take a look at some of the other ways that you can get involved in your child’s education. Visit our website. Updated news, key topics and parent/student resources are accessible on our website. You may also log on to the Parent Portal, where you may view your child’s attendance, grades, assignments, schedule and transcript.
View the website calendar to save the date for upcoming events and district or school-specific meetings, like Soup with the Supe, parent advisory council meetings and SEAC meetings.
• Listen to live MPS news segments on our student run radio station, KBEM Jazz 88.5 FM, every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. Each week, MPS teachers, principals, staff members or school district partners share news, information or tips with listeners.
— Tune into Minneapolis Cable Channel 15. We air videos from our schools in addition to Minneapolis Board of Education meetings. Our monthly television program, School Matters, is now produced in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish and our new bi-weekly news show, MPS Connect, also airs in all four languages.
— “Like,” “follow” or watch MPS on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We update our pages frequently and our fans are some of the first to receive new information about MPS.
— As always, visit our schools. Drop off or pick up your child from school, volunteer in the classroom or email or call your child’s teacher to see how you can support his or her education. Our schools always have new information to report and our teachers are happy to help promote your student’s academic success.
As we wrap up the first quarter of the 2011-2012 school year, I wanted to thank the families who were able to attend parent-teacher conferences on October 19. For more information about any of our family and community engagement opportunities, please call us at 668-0000. We look forward to working with our families and community members to continue building on our success this school year.
Bernadeia H. Johnson, Ed.D., is superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools.