Karin Farkas, Acting Superintendent of Schools
Dr.  Natakie Chestnut-Lee, Superintendent of Schools
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Outline of the Eight (8) Workshop Sessions

Session 1: The importance of Parent Involvement in Creating Effective Schools

- Create and share a vision of our ideal school.
-Explore our exucational experiences -- what worked and what did not.
- Realize our roles as parents and child advocates.
- Begin to know our roles as parents in school decision making.
- Become familliar with state, federal and local structures that impact education in our district.

Session 2: What Every Parent Should Know about Standards and Assessments

- To learn the "five Questions of School Reform" and comprehend the "language" of the education arena.
-To see the connections between curriculum, opportunity to learn standards and assessments.
- To gain knowledge about the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.
- To understand the No Child Left Behind Act and it's impact on education in our school.

Session 3: What Every Parent Should Know about Teaching and Learning

- To understand the relationship between Teaching and Learning.
- To see what effective staff development policies look like
- To gain knowledge about the New Jersey statewide assessments, their history, purpose, and goals.
- To understand the concept of "high stakes" testing and it's influence on teaching and education policy.
- To explore the appropriate uses of testing.

Session 4: Supporting Families & Students

- To explore the relationship between education and social issues.
- To better understand the connections between parents and students with and without special needs.
- To identify available academic and support services for children and families.
- To understand the concept of "high stakes" testing and it's influence on teaching and education policy.
- To explore the appropriate uses of testing.

Session 5: Supporting Students with Special Needs

- To understand the state and federal laws in place to serve families and students needing academic supports (ie Abbot regulations, Title I, IDEA, Bilingual Education, The McKinney Act and Plyler v. Doe).
- To learn the requirements under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504.
- To understand research-based information on effective practicies for children with disabilities and their relationship to effective practices for all learners.
- To discuss inclusion, it's barriers and opportunities.

Session 6: The Importance of School Climate & Facilities in Improving Student Outcomes

- To assess the school environment and it's promotion of learning and positive behavior.
- To understand the facilities planning requirements under the Abbot regulations.
- To examine home, school and community influences and practices regarding discipline.
- To identify curricula associated with positive student behavior, social-problem solving and conflict resolution.
- To highlight alternatives to exclusionary discipline practices.

Session 7: Ensuring Schools Have Sufficient Resources

- To understand the school funding issues faced by public schools.
- To learn about the basic elements of school budgets.
- To examine the budgeting processes in our school and district.
- To gain some basic techniques for analyzing a school budget.

Session 8: Research, Analysis & Action

- To develop effective collaboration techniques.
- To learn about data collection instruments available to gauge the effectiveness of our schools.
- To identify particular areas of concern.
- To develop a plan for research, analysis and action on identified issues