A school’s parent coordinator is a member of the school staff and is supervised by the principal. The parent coordinator’s primary responsibilities include creating a welcoming school environment for parents, increasing parent involvement in the school, helping to address parents’ concerns, communicating specific school information to families, and partnering with and supporting the PA/PTA. He/she should also support the work of the SLT, community groups and parent advisory councils. The DOE defines the parent coordinator’s roles and responsibilities with regard to PA/PTAs in a number of documents.
CR A-660 includes specific instances when PA/PTAs can seek direct assistance from the parent coordinator, including:
- Conducting elections
- Improving attendance at general membership meetings,
- Publicizing fundraising activities*
DOE’s Parent Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities states that parent coordinators should:
- Assist in outreach for activities and to access needs of parents
- Provide assistance, as needed, to establish PA/PTA by-laws, nominations and elections
- Attend PA/PTA meetings as an observer
DOE’s Parent Coordinator Resource Guide and Toolkit Support suggests ways that parent coordinators can support parent engagement, with some specific references to PTAs:
- Support the principal in re-establishing a PA/PTA, if necessary.
- Meet with the PA/PTA executive board to discuss shared goals for the year. Meet with parent leaders to brainstorm parent involvement ideas and activities.
- Support the Annual Title I Parent Meeting, if applicable.
- Work with the PA/PTA to send out a parent survey to get suggestions for activities and workshop topics.
- Obtain SLT and PA/PTA meeting schedules and help distribute to parents.
- Support the principal in developing a schedule of quarterly meetings with the PA/PTA executive board.
The parent coordinator can be a useful resource for PA/PTAs. Establishing a good working relationship with your parent coordinator is a worthwhile endeavor — he/she can be a valuable partner in working toward your PA/PTA’s goals.
* Chancellor’s Regulation A-660 strictly prohibits parent coordinators from handling PA/PTA funds.