Parents as Partners Episode # 39 Sheila Stewart and Arlene Morell Networking Parent Involvement Committees

Post-Show description: 

Sheila Stewart and Arlene Morell joined the show to share their experiences attending the People for Education Conference as well as a conversation about board-wide Parent Involvement Committees and how they can network to support student achievement. Sheila is a parent of two teens from Thunder Bay.  She has volunteered in schools and on school councils at the elementary and secondary levels.  She has been a member of their district's "Council of School Council Chairs (CSCC) for 7 years, and was a representative for that committee on Lakehead District School Board's Parent Involvement Committee for 4 years.  She is currently a school council co-chair at the secondary level, and continuing her support for school council chairs as a coordinator of the CSCC network meetings.  She has also been an active network member of People for Education.

Arlene Morell directs and coordinates the Thames Valley Parent Involvement Committee ( TVPIC) since its inception in 2006. Her experience in the field of parent engagement and leadership includes 15 years as a parent leader both at the local and system level. As the chairperson of TVPIC , Arlene oversaw the development and implementation of parent involvement programs and initiatives including school council leadership development. She coordinated workshops, training sessions and conferences and developed school council resources Arlene also implemented a collaborative partnership with the Co-terminus District School Council and PIC. This partnership between the public and Catholic school board has realized many joint initiatives in a manner that builds community supporting student achievement,  This  shared vision for building stronger educational partnerships and communities has lead the parent leadership team \to jointly advocate for parent engagement, anti-violence/bullying initiatives, reducing media violence, children with special needs, mental health issues – and more.

Chat log

03:59 - Lorna Costantini
HI Liz

04:17 - Kim Caise
hi liz

04:24 - Kim Caise

04:44 - Liz Kolb
Hi Kim

06:35 - Sheila Stewart
welcome Liz

07:07 - Kim Caise
hi Gay

07:12 - Lorna Costantini
welcome Gay

07:17 - Gay Stephenson
hi Kim!

07:34 - Gay Stephenson
glad to be here Lorna

07:37 - Sheila Stewart
Hi Gay!

07:44 - Gay Stephenson
Hi Sheila!

07:54 - Arlene Morell
hi gay

08:03 - Gay Stephenson
Hi Arlene!

09:35 - Kim Caise
how exciting!

09:45 - Arlene Morell
are we recovered

10:14 - Gay Stephenson
Yes, we loved having it be online this year - a big thanks to TVO for that.

11:47 - Lorna Costantini
Hi Jeannine

12:20 - Gay Stephenson
The people make the conference great :)

12:22 - Jeannine St. Amand
not tonight Lorna - not at home right now

12:39 - Lorna Costantini
ok :)

13:11 - Gay Stephenson
Participants mainly from Ontario.

13:45 - Gay Stephenson
Some of the panelists came from Quebec, Nova Scotia and BC

15:18 - Gay Stephenson
Impromtu party on Sat night was a special treat - thanks Arlene

19:50 - Kim Caise
are there follow up resources like wikis, nings, voicethreads to further the conversations?

20:55 - Kim Caise
dr. shaker?

21:03 - Gay Stephenson

21:05 - Kim Caise
who is he?

21:10 - Gay Stephenson
Our ning is

21:17 - Kim Caise
okay thank you

21:18 - Sheila Stewart
thanks Gay

22:08 - Gay Stephenson
We will post the slides and TVO will post great video, and I have some to edit too!

22:33 - Gay Stephenson
Yes, you deserve breakfast in bed!

22:35 - Kim Caise
what is TVO?

22:51 - Gay Stephenson
Public broadcaster

22:59 - Kim Caise
oh okay

22:59 - Kim Caise
got it

23:09 - Lorna Costantini

23:25 - Lorna Costantini

23:33 - Lorna Costantini

23:52 - Kim Caise
p4e is what?

23:54 - Gay Stephenson
cool we all have hastags now

23:58 - Kim Caise
sorry, not familiar with these terms

24:01 - Jeannine St. Amand
Did you have much virtual participation in the part that was open?

24:05 - Kim Caise
oh okay

24:28 - Gay Stephenson
#p4e hashtag for People for Education

24:47 - Kim Caise
i don't want to stray from your conversation thread

26:53 - Kim Caise
PIC as in parental involvement committee, right?

27:06 - Lorna Costantini
yes Kim

27:11 - Kim Caise
ok ty

27:13 - Gay Stephenson
Jeannine, we did have good online participation both through the TVO chat and by using twitter... we hope to expand next year

27:47 - Gay Stephenson
Good summary of what's ahead Sheila!

29:20 - Jeannine St. Amand
Great to hear Gay. In a small province like NB with lots of rural areas, we're going to need to use tech to get every corner involved.

29:31 - Sheila Stewart
Yes the twitters during the panel presentation were really interesting

30:40 - Kim Caise
did you use a particular twitter hashtag, Gay?

31:37 - Gay Stephenson
Yes, I agree. Paule from Quebec is doing some amazing things with her community schools in this regard. Using web video conferencing to bring in pschologists to give a talk to parents at each of her schools

32:53 - Sheila Stewart
Will PICs communicate to all parents, or will school councils communicate to their parents with the support of PIC?  Writing this before I forget

33:14 - Jeannine St. Amand
Moving from "advice" role to "leadership" role sounds excellent - challenging, but excellent!

33:15 - Kim Caise
hi Nicole!

33:25 - Kim Caise
so true @jeannine

33:28 - Sheila Stewart
hi Nicole

33:32 - Kim Caise
absolutely @lorna

33:56 - Sheila Stewart
I use lots of TVPIC resources!

33:59 - Nicole Larsen (@audiochik)

34:02 - Kim Caise
is that accessible outside of Canada?

34:09 - Kim Caise

34:12 - Kim Caise
will check it out

34:20 - Kim Caise

34:50 - Jeannine St. Amand
Will the PICs be voluntary, or is there compensation involved?

35:37 - Arlene Morell
no pay involved

35:39 - Gay Stephenson
voluntary is the way they are set now

35:51 - Arlene Morell

36:43 - Kim Caise
your blog posts about parent involvement are fantastic and love the tools you share with the parents

36:55 - Kim Caise
does each PIC have a blog?

36:58 - Kim Caise
or not yet?

37:35 - Gay Stephenson
Kim, are you talking to Arlene, or Sheila or me?

37:41 - Kim Caise

38:01 - Kim Caise
Gay, I am interested how the communication from the committees are

38:02 - Arlene Morell
I have a blog and setting up a blog for Thames Valley

38:20 - Kim Caise
do the PICs use web tools and blog for that same purpose?

38:51 - Kim Caise
who 'creates' the PICs?

39:11 - Sheila Stewart
the Ministry mandated them

39:24 - Gay Stephenson
In schools @ the centre everyone can create a blog or a discussion - we have many PIC chairs contributing to the conversations, answering and asking questions

39:41 - Arlene Morell
parents and school boards following mandatefrom above

40:02 - Kim Caise
i see. so the PICs are mandated by the ministry and each province creates the committee?

40:28 - Sheila Stewart
each board has to have a PIC

40:50 - Sheila Stewart
each school has a school council

41:01 - Gay Stephenson
the tricky part is connecting PICs to local school councils and PICS to one another, and parents to parents - that's why we try to provide that online space and support

44:10 - Jeannine St. Amand
I love the mandate of the PIC, but wonder if we could find enough people when we already have trouble filling School Councils and District Councils.

44:11 - Arlene Morell
using technology is helpffuls Ooops

45:15 - Arlene Morell
we still have many families without high speed

46:05 - Sheila Stewart
yes, Jeannine....some areas will stuggle for a parent majority, which is required on these committees

47:31 - Jeannine St. Amand
Good point Lorna - we are very clear on who speaks for School/District Councils in N.B., we'd have to consider amplifying that "voice" somehow.

51:27 - Sheila Stewart
PICs have to support the work of school councils, but school council members do not have to be on PICs necessarily

51:57 - Kim Caise
can teachers serve on the PICs?

52:12 - Kim Caise
if their child attends a particular school or in a specific region?

52:15 - Sheila Stewart
yes, they can have 1 teacher

53:51 - Sheila Stewart
also 1 principal

54:41 - Arlene Morell
pic's have parents in majority..director and one Trustee

56:22 - Arlene Morell
we have schoolcouncil members on PIC they have regional responsibilities

57:08 - Arlene Morell
we did teambuilding in the very beginning

58:18 - Kimberley Engler
I am a mom that has kids in George Couros school @promom4 on twitter

58:33 - Kimberley Engler

58:38 - Kimberley Engler

58:57 - Gay Stephenson
Kimberley where is your school? In Canada or USA?

59:01 - Kimberley Engler

59:03 - Jeannine St. Amand
Ah Kimberley - I'd love to have your principal!

59:11 - Kimberley Engler
Im grateful to have him

59:18 - Gay Stephenson
Great to meet you online!

59:24 - Sheila Stewart
I follow him on twitter

59:43 - Lorna Costantini

59:46 - Kimberley Engler
Thanks you too Gay whats your twiiter name?

1:02:21 - Kimberley Engler
Thank you everybody looking forward to learning from all of you!

1:02:24 - Jeannine St. Amand
"keep it real" that is what we all need to remember!

1:02:41 - Gay Stephenson
Yes, you both do wonderful work!

1:02:49 - Gay Stephenson
See you then