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Joann Mickens

Combatting Summer Slide in the Midst of a Pandemic

Welcome to online learning… Discussion board posts due in multiple classes; Paper packets filled with work from multiple teachers; No physical interaction with peers; No teacher physically present to assist or clarify misconceptions; “Are we using Zoom or Google Meets for this lesson today?” This is learning now. This has become the new normal. A Bright Screen The only tangible resource for learning this spring that students have had access to---in equitable situations---has been a lonely electronic device with a bright screen that details how caught up or far behind they have been in all classes. This was online learning...
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Representing Your Views During this Important Time

PPS of Hawi'i This is a rare and difficult time for everyone in our State, including families of children in our public schools, educators, healthcare providers, and other essential workers. Mahalo to all the family members and others providing important services. Your Parents for Public Schools of Hawai‘i board is concerned about our Hawai‘i families and how many are struggling to care for the physical and emotional health and learning needs of their children.  We would like your help to determine our PPS Hawai‘i requests of our Hawai‘i public schools. We are conducting a survey to gather parent views. After...
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Family Needs Assessment and Resources for San Francisco Families

PPS of San Francisco PS-SF’s outreach team has spent the past two weeks calling to check in with families to see how they are doing during this time. Of the families we have spoken with, most are struggling to balance childcare and work, and to understand and implement distance learning with their children. Many have needs related to food, financial assistance, internet access and housing. We have been working one-on-one to connect families with resources. For a list of resources available, visit the chapter website. Extending the Conversation: Supporting Social & Emotional Learning During COVID-19 The chapter is also continuing...
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Still Engaging…Differently

PPS of Pitt County In our Parent Engagement Program, we talk a lot about the difference in involvement and engagement. Both are great ways to connect with our children’s schools. Involvement entails doing things for the schools…like delivering orange juice for a monthly teacher breakfast. Engagement involves doing things with the schools…like chaperoning a field trip or reading to a class of students. Both involvement and engagement look a bit different right now, but both are still happening in full force. The community has donated diapers, food, household items, and more, all forms of involvement. Parents have attended teacher conferences,...
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Parents for Public Schools in New Book About Parent Leadership Impact

PPS  authored a chapter in the 2019 book, The Ripple Effect in Action: What 7 Parent Leadership Programs Learned from Participatory Evaluation. The project was coordinated by New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.   Methods A team of Parents for Public Schools parent leaders and staff joined with parent leadership organizations nationwide to form the Parent Leadership Evaluation Network (PLEN). PLEN members received extensive training and coaching from Dialogues in Action in a participatory, qualitative evaluation process designed to elicit evidence of transformative impacts. Evaluation questions included: What kind and quality of...
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Chicago Regional Meeting “Eye Opening”

PPS leaders attending the PPS regional meeting in Chicago, IL on September 28 expressed appreciation for the opportunity to be encouraged and inspired in their efforts at home. At least one participant described the meeting as an “eye opening experience.” The theme, “Strengthening Our Network,” set the tone for major agenda items including Fundraising approaches, roundtable discussions about Diversity, Equity and Charter Schools, and insight about PPS’ new Strategic Plan. “I am so thankful for our donors who believe PPS makes an important difference in the education environment of our public school students and have given money to this organization...
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The 2020 Census: An Undercount Means Communities Miss Out on Money

The country is gearing up for the 2020 Census, set to begin April 1, 2020. For the first time, those responding to the Census will have the option of completing an online questionnaire. Recognizing that the online questionnaire will not be the best option for many, Census officials are geared up to use paper ballots and door-to-door canvassing as second and third options. The Census is a cornerstone of our American republic. James Madison argued vehemently in favor of including the census—known as the enumeration—in the United States Constitution. He meant for the official count of the population to be...
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First Moon Landing Memory

The commemoration of the first moon landing has taken me back to a time when the United States’ explorations into space filled me with wonder. I remember being in elementary school and learning about Sputnik, the Soviet Union’s satellite (a new word for my 6-year old brain) launched into space.  The space race was on, and President Kennedy — a man with a glamorous aura and inspiring words —  announced the United States would not only go into space, but go all the way to the moon! We were going to beat those Russians: they might have been first in...
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Congrats, Former PPS San Francisco Executive!

Courtesy NYC Department of Education. Hydra Mendoza, a founding member and former executive director of the San Francisco Parents for Public Schools Chapter, is now deputy chancellor for Community Empowerment, Partnerships and Communications at the New York Department of Education! We at PPS couldn’t be happier for her! She is featured in the Asian Journal. Check out her continuing story of helping empower parents and communities to positively influence children’s education!
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MS House Education Committee says No to Voucher Expansion

The members of the Mississippi Legislature’s House Education Committee, headed by Chairman Richard Bennett, should stand and take a bow. We applaud each of you for allowing Senate Bill 2675 to die quietly, without it even being considered by the committee deadline on March 5. Great Job!!! We at Parents for Public Schools couldn’t be more delighted! Senate Bill 2675, introduced by Sen. Gray Tollison, amounted to a voucher program, and would have expanded the Education Scholarship Account (ESA) program dollars for public school students with disabilities to include footing the bill for private school student education. Sen. Tollison’s bill...
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