The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), Title I Parent Education and Consultation Program did the unprecedented, against the odds, successfully, in less than a year and with a third of the funding. After decades of relying on external resources to conduct family engagement activities, with modest successes, the Title I office implemented an approach that builds multiple capacities for authentic family engagement. Learn about our success engaging the families of the most at-risk youth in Los Angeles; and leave enthused to implement specific strategies in your schools. Translate Epstein’s research on family engagement into actions at your schools; witness the effectiveness of Cognitive Learning research and find ways to use Ann Henderson’s “Beyond the Bake Sale” to open opportunities for learning and empowerment for families, while meeting the Title I requirement for parent and family engagement & state local control accountability plans. If LACOE did it, you can too!
Jael Ovalle is Program Manager - Parent Education for the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). She participated in the design and implementation of the Title I Parent Education and Consultation Program that represented an overhaul of LACOEs’ models for parental engagement. The program reaches out to the families of incarcerated youth, homeless students and foster children. She brought to LACOE the First Parent Conference, an event to empower families to become effective partners in their young one’s education, despite their students’ current educational settings. Jael has been at the center of major reform on parent engagement in Los Angeles. She worked with community partners, bargaining units, district officials, families and students to support the passage of the historic Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Resolution “Parents As Equal Partners” in 2010, collaborated in the creation of the Parents’ Bill of Rights, to guide the parent involvement work of school districts, charter schools and community-based organizations that advocate for parental engagement in education in Los Angeles. Jael has participated in extensive training on the Dr. Joyce Epstein’s Typology for Parental Engagement, conducted by Dr. Epstein’s herself, and possess extensive knowledge of the Parent Action Teams model by the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University and the research that guides school district's practices for parental engagement in the nation. Jael has Master’s Degree in Public Administration, with a specialization in Leadership. She is an expert in policy writing, strategic planning, budget alignment, and understands profoundly the political environment in which the work of educating students and providing families with authentic opportunities for learning must be carried out. She has studied the theories and practices of leadership in the public sector and strives to be the leader who has the skill of a planner and organizer, the force of a motivator, the discretion of a diplomat, and the attitude of a collaborator.
Rami Christophi serves as Title I Director of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). In 2016, he envisioned a family engagement program that is: 1. Self-Sustained 2. Builds capacity for family engagement 3. Responds to the parents' learning needs 4. Cost effective. After an extensive needs assessment, he proposed the Title I Parent Education and Consultation Program. The program has experienced unprecedented success for LACOEs’ model for parental engagement. In less than a year, more than 800 families of the highest transient and most at-risk youth in Los Angeles County have participated in workshops, academies, conferences and talks. His vision and audacity shifted the parent involvement activities from a mandate to be complied with, to an authentic and supportive tool that fosters increased academic achievement. Rami has been a teacher, a principal, an administrator and a director servicing for over ten years the most at-risk student and family populations of Los Angeles County. He has applied the spirit of the Title I law to bring about culture shifts in alternative educational settings by faithfully adhering to data to drive the decision-making process.