Update about the Parent Advisory Committee

From Cheryl Camacho:


Please find attached the agenda for our next meeting which is scheduled for this Friday, December 7 from 3:30-5:00pm.  Please come prepared to follow up on our single action item which was to engage people to find out what they envision/think when they are asked what is parent advocacy? ; please feel free to speak strictly from your context.  One of our goals for the meeting on Friday is to come away with a shared working definition for “Parent Advocacy” that will drive our committee’s work.


Parent Advocacy Committee Agenda 12.7.12


[from me *grin*]

I briefly glanced at the Agenda – I am concerned about the Needs Assessment piece, partially because it seems like everyone is doing some kind of “Needs Assessment” but they are, more often than not, siloed efforts. How do we tap into all those other efforts? For instance, ACCESS Initiative recently (Nov 8) held a Think Tank (and here) where they did this kind of thing, but I cannot find where they report out what they found.


Another problem I have is trying to reach a broader audience with a question. I asked on this blog about Advocacy and I received zero comments. 🙂 I am not blaming you, just demonstrating how social media like blogs are not good for asking these kinds of questions. At least in my case. Maybe I need to be more provocative. I have asked several parents and friends in my own circles and have received a variety of ideas. For instance, one said it is an organization that speaks up for social justice and equity issues. Another said it was a way to represent another in legal matters. I am still asking folks.


Lastly, between this and the Social Justice Committee I am seeing a metric ton of overlap. There is a LOT of positive energy, but for me personally, the structure and format of these meetings drains my energy away. Maybe I crave more action steps. Maybe I crave more community participation. It is hard for me to put my finger on it; how do I get to the point of where I am satisfied with my own involvement in these efforts?


Cheryl ended her email with this:

Last, we are working with Dave Hohman, Champaign Unit 4’s Director of Instructional Technology, on creating an online space to upload information related to this committee.  We are excited about the level of transparency that will showcase and highlight this important work.  Just wanted to keep you in the loop.



5 Responses to “Update about the Parent Advisory Committee”

  1. pattsi Says:

    My macro question has to do with the dissemination of information about the various meetings. How is this being done to reach all populations within the community? I did not know about the Access Initiative sponsored events. I assume I am not alone.

  2. Karen Says:

    Advocacy is being on the outside of ‘the system’ (Unit 4, ROE, ISBE) and helping parents with an issue go through the channels in place to attempt to get resolution (which often might just be clarification of policy; hooking somebody up with appropriate resources. It’s more than going through the motions–it’s not taking ‘it’s policy’ at face-value without checking it out, etc.

    Cases could be closed once an exit analysis has been done that determines the case was dealt with thoroughly (even though the person with the issue might not like the result). Almost like having ‘staffings’ (at different points in time throughout the process) on individual issues parents bring to an advocate.

  3. Karen Says:

    Never mind. I mistakenly thought this was a community committee (vs. something within Unit 4). I don’t think this is the same type of advocacy I was thinking of.

  4. charlesdschultz Says:

    Karen, your comment will be used to paint a picture of what parent’s think of advocacy regardless. 🙂 I think you have some good thoughts on this. I heard from a few other parents, but not nearly as many as I had hoped.

  5. Parent Advocacy Committee (review of Dec 7th meeting) « A citizen’s blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] idea of a “Needs Assessment”. I had emailed the group earlier (as mentioned in a blog post) about other resources that are already doing this sort of thing – I have no idea if my email […]

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