Notes from September Superintendent Parent Forum

Please see the notes below from our DOHS Parent Representative, Bess Maisel, from the September Superintendent Parent Forum:

The Superintendent Parent Forum for 2017-18 has planned 4 meeting’s around the topic of Deepening Family and Community Partnerships with Denver Public Schools.  There will be a 5th and final forum, with the topic TBD.



  • Families will understand current work being done in DPS to ensure strong family and community partnerships in support of student success
  • Families will have access to tools and strategies for partnership in support of student success
  • Families will understand different and effective ways to partner with educators


This first meeting was centered around the topic:


Priority #1 – Strengthening direct, personal contact between families and educators


There were 2 breakout sessions with 3 options available:

  • Parent Teacher Home Visit Program –
    • This program is designed to strengthen the connection between teachers, family, and students through building relationships and facilitating academic partnership.  The central question of the first home visit in our model is asking families “what are your hopes and dreams for your child?”  We know that when families and staff work together around a common goal, everyone achieve more.  The Family Empowerment Team provides training, resources and compensation for school staff around these practices, including support for connecting the home visit with other family engagement initiatives at the school site.
  • Home – School Communication Tools –
    • While each school has different ways of communicating with families, the DPS Parent Portal should be the starting point.  The Portal is a secured website designed to support parents and students in monitoring student progress.  The goal of the Portal is to provide parents and students a user-friendly, visually graphic, online tool to drive meaningful conversations about academic progress.
    • The IT department is currently working to make changes to the Parent Portal, making things easier for parents.
    • DPS is also reviewing the many other ways schools communicate, and is investigating ways to make sure the families can be supported in using these tools.
    • You can create an account easily at


  • Family – Educator Partnerships
    • Parent – Teacher Conferences – Setting expectations.  Discussion around the purpose and goals of the conference.  Different models create diffent types of success, and different feelings of buy in from parents.  Many models are used throughout the DPS schools:
      • Drop In
      • Scheduled appointment
      • Student Led
    • Open House Nights – are they effective ways of engaging and welcoming parents into the schools
    • Getting parents involved – those parents very involved in classroom and building activities tend to have the most successful students.  How can DPS take the classroom experience to parents who can’t be involved in the classroom and building.  (More geared towards elementary)


There was additional emphasis for parents to use the interpretation services provided by DPS, to ensure that families are participating.


Next Meetings:

Supporting Families in Being their Child’s First Educator and Advocate

Wed – November 1, 2017

Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel


Strengthening Family and Community Voice in School and District Decision Making

Wed – December 13, 2017

New Hope Baptist Church


Strengthening Partnerships with the City, Business Leaders, Non-Profit Organizations, and Community Groups

Thur – February 8, 2018

Temple Emanuel


Topic TBD

Thur – May 3, 2018

PPA Event Center