Monday, October 28
State of the State: Family Engagement
Mr. Massie Ritsch
Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach
U.S. Department of Education
Massie oversees the U.S. Department of Education's outreach and public engagement efforts, connecting Secretary Arne Duncan and other ED leaders with organizations of educators, students, parents, civil rights advocates, and business and civic leaders to keep the public informed about ED's policies and programs, collect input, and build support for the Department's agenda. Appointed in April 2009, Massie joined the Obama administration from his job as communications director at the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), where he served as chief communications strategist for the nonpartisan watchdog group and its award-winning website, OpenSecrets.org. Before CRP, Massie served as vice president of Sugerman Communications Group, a public affairs firm in Los Angeles, where he represented a number of clients in the education field, including charter schools, school districts, and universal preschool advocates. Massie began his career as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, covering local education issues, the 2000 presidential campaign, and L.A. City Hall. He has also appeared extensively in the media as a spokesperson and advocate, from CNN and NPR to "The Colbert Report." He received his bachelor's degree in politics from Princeton University. A native of Richmond, Va., Massie lives with his wife and two children in Washington, D.C.
|Mr. Massie Ritsch
Tuesday, October 29
|Ms. Shari Ostrow Scher
Family Involvement: Strategies for Engagement
Ms. Shari Ostrow Scher
President, Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership and Child of Promise, Child of Hope
Retired Educator, Frederick County Public Schools, Maryland
Shari, a retired educator from Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland, is the founder and President of two non-profit groups: Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, a local group serving children in Frederick County, Maryland; and Children of Promise, Children of Hope, a community library in Los Tocones des Galeras De Semana, a rural Dominican Republic village. With a passion for travel and supporting children all over the world, Shari has visited schools, orphanages, and families in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Viet Nam, Peru, Ecuador and other parts of the globe. She was born and educated in Brooklyn, New York, graduated from Brooklyn College in 1968, and completed her Masterís Degree at Buffalo State College in 1971. In her career of 46 years, her professional experiences range from public school teacher, early childhood educator, Title I Teacher Specialist to most recently, Early Childhood Specialist and Family Involvement Supervisor for Frederick County Public Schools. Shari is also an Adjunct Professor at Hood College. She has received many awards including the most recent 2013 United Way Community Advocate Award . Other awards include the 2012 Dorothy Hite Award, 2009 and 2012 Hood College Adjunct Professor of the Year Award, Lifetime PTA Membership Award, and in 2008, Shari was recognized among Marylandís Top 100 Women. She has presented at the local, state, and national levels on issues pertaining to both early childhood education and family involvement. Most importantly, Shari is supported by her husband Howie, her two grown sons, Jedd and Ben, Benís wife Christina, Shariís step-daughter, Jennifer, and the family dog, Greta. As of this writing, a granddaughter is on the way.
Wednesday, October 30
Successful Family and Community Involvement - Let's Get Involved!
Ms. Brenda G. Thomas
Senior Program Facilitator, National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS)
Johns Hopkins University
A certified teacher in Elementary Education and Middle School with Administrator I endorsement in the State of Maryland, she earned her Masterís degree in Administration Supervision from Morgan State University. She taught in the Baltimore City Public School System for 19 years. She served as Project Director at one of the 8 pilot schools, when Dr. Joyce Epstein was conducting the research that lead to the Framework of Six Types of Involvement. She also served as a facilitator at the Fund for Educational Excellence and the Baltimore City Public School Systemís Office of Parent Involvement and School, Family, Community Connections. This work was instrumental in assisting Dr. Epstein in the design of the role of the NNPS' district leader when she started the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS).
Ms. Thomas has many years of experience as an Action Team for Partnerships leader, district-level facilitator for partnerships, and coordinator of parental involvement in the Baltimore City Public School System. She served as Maryland Director of Partnership Program Development via a collaborative grant of NNPS with the Maryland State Parental Information Resource Center (PIRC). She directed district leaders across the state of Maryland to help their schools organize, implement, and improve programs of school, family, and community partnerships. She also provided similar professional development for other school, district, state leaders for other state PIRCs and organizations in NNPS.
She takes pleasure in helping schools across the country build bridges and make connections to create family-friendly schools with school-friendly families.
|Ms. Brenda G. Thomas
- State of the State: Family Engagement
- Increasing Positive Parent Communication for Schools
- Increasing Academic Success Through Reducing Chronic Absence
- Bullying Prevention for Parents
- Families as Educational Partners
- One Kind Word: What Would You Do?
- Fathers: NOT the Invisible Parent
- A Comprehensive Approach to Student Support and Student Achievement - Distributive Team Meetings
- Road Map to a Bright Educational Future
- School Safety for Parents: Concerns, Dos and Don'ts
- Finding Your Voice: A Model Program to Prepare Parents to Partner With Schools
- How to Become Your Child's Reading Coach
- What do you say after you clear your throat? A workshop for parents about talking
- to your kids about sex
- Make and Take: Ideas to Take and Make at Home With Your Child
- Using Google Drive, Websites, Email Lists and Online Surveys to Empower Schools
- and Families
- Enhancing Parent Engagement Through Sustained Training Efforts
- Family Involvement: Strategies for Engagement
- Parenting with Impact
- The Critical Role of Parents in the Special Education-Early Intervention Process
- Ideas for Incorporating STEM into Family Involvement Events at Title I Schools and Ensuring Parent Attendance
- Common Core State Standards
- Strengthening Families Protective Factors
- Transitions to Kindergarten
- Parent to Parent Mentoring: Experienced Support for Student Success!
- Supporting the Home-School Connection: "One Minute Reader"
- Not How Smart You Are, But How Are You Smart?
- How to Communicate with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Individual
- Home Visits: Lessons From the Early Care World
- School Readiness Resources for Families
- Say What Your Mean and Mean What You Say
- Technology Today: What the Kids are Doing and You Donít Know About It
- Fun STEM Activities for Families
- Successful Family and Community Involvement Ė Letís Get Involved
Sessions are subject to change