A Journey Towards Equity in Family Engagement (Session 10D)
Main Topic: Family and Community Engagement
Session Type: Skill Share
Walk with Dr. Kathleen O’Dell along the path of one Hawaii DOE complex in their journey towards equity in family engagement. From the initial gathering of information and analysis of needs to the action taken and reflections that guided the work, one question guided this journey: How can we offer quality, accessible, and welcoming family engagement at our of our schools for all of our families? Identifying and planning for barriers, organizing systems to build capacity, creating purposeful partnerships, and building a shared vision of quality family engagement can move our work forward on the path to equity. Find out how this work got started, how this complex worked together to build a program, and how they shifted to meet the needs of their families virtually in the face of a pandemic. Participants will learn how to self-assess their programs, gain knowledge of quality family engagement standards, utilize family’s funds of knowledge to share in leadership and decision making, and connect with internal resources and community organizations to meet the needs and interests of their families.
At the end of this session, participants will:
- have strategies and standards to improve the quality of family engagement
- be given tools to design and implement family engagement webinars, family support groups, and family resource websites
- understand how to identify and plan for barriers to families engaging with schools
- be familiar with the benefits of Family Resource Centers and know how they might get them started
Keywords: virtual family engagement, Family voice, community partnerships
Dr. Kathleen O’DellHawaiʻi Department of Education - Complex Academic Officer
Hawaiʻi Department of Education
Kathleen O’Dell, PhD, is currently the Kailua-Kalaheo Complex Academic Officer for the Hawaiʻi Department of Education and the complex lead on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Early Learning, and Family Engagement. Dr. O’Dell holds a BA in International Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Hilo and an MAT and PhD in Multicultural and International Early Childhood Education from Kent State University where she previously taught courses in preschool education, culturally responsive practices, and family and community engagement. In the past four years in her current position, Dr. O’Dell has started a complex Equity Committee to bring together those representing marginalized students and families to identify needs and work together to connect with resources and provides a monthly equity enewsletter with resources for teachers and families. In addition, Dr. O’dell has developed and delivered homeless awareness trainings, early childhood professional learning opportunities, and quarterly district wide family engagement meetings. In response to Covid, Dr. O’Dell has partnered with the Hawaiʻi Statewide Family Engagement Center to provide a Parenting During the Pandemic webinar series for families. Her most recent project is connecting schools, state departments, and community organizations to form Family Resource Centers at three of the schools in the Kailua-Kalaheo Complex and assisting Hawaiʻi to join the National Family Support Network.