Warm and Welcoming Environments
At the core of Atlanta Public Schools’ authentic commitment to Family Engagement is ensuring that each school campus is a warm and welcoming environment for students and their families.
The districtwide Warm and Welcoming Environment program will provide professional development and cultural competency to parent liaisons, front office and other staff who interface with students and their caregivers.
Family Professional Learning
The Office of Family Engagement has partnered with HTI Catalyst to provide Parent Leadership Academies (PLA) for our parents in the district. The Parent Leadership Academy, formerly Parent Leaders United for Students, is a six week program designed to show parents their power-filled potential as stakeholders through leadership development, navigating the district, identifying district resources and building community relationships for schools. These sessions are ideal for new parents, emerging parent leaders, GrandFamilies (Grandparents Raising Grandchildren) and Kinship Family members raising biological family members.
Family Engagement is also committed to “meeting students and caregivers where they are.” The home visit program will help to build relationships, skills and engagement at all levels; from pre-K to 12th grade. This collaborative approach between teachers, families, and students can help to increase student success.
Parent Liaison/Family Engagement Support
The Parent Liaison/Family Engagement support role is a collaborative effort to increase the Academic Achievement of students and to encourage families to support schools and to lower existing barriers to parental/family participation. They work to establish two way communication, positive relationships and maintain a mutual understanding of family engagement between school, community, and the home. They also provide support to APS Title I, Part A schools by implementing policies and coordinating programs and events to build capacity for parental involvement/engagement and ensure compliance with federal Title I, Part A regulatory guidelines.
- Assist parents with understanding Title I Part A, ESSA, school compacts, parent surveys, Parent Rights & Responsibilities, school improvement and Flexible Learning Program
- Creates opportunities to involve all parents in the education of their child
- Develops and maintains a Parent Resource Center for families to receive information that include educational opportunities and resources for home
- Plan and coordinate academic focused parent workshops with family engagement team
Parent Mentor Program
The Parent Mentor Program supports families of children with disabilities through information and open communication. Parent mentors are parents of children with disabilities, employed on a part-time basis by the district, trained to advise, educate, and support parents regarding the many issues surrounding special education services in APS schools. The mentors participate in collaborative planning of districtwide events with the staff in the Dept. of Special Education.
APS and the Office of Family Engagement offer several programs to help support family success -- from parent mentorship and library services to food bank access and kinship care. Here you'll find quick sheets and guides to help you navigate the opportunities.
Parent Mentors provide the following services:
Location and Contact Information
- Support for parental concerns and questions
- Workshops for parents and educators child
- Assistance to families and educators in finding information / resources
- Recommending books, handbooks and other written informational items
- Sharing a parent's perspective on the special education process
The Department of Special Education Parent Center is located at 1890 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy, NW | Rm. 208A | Atl, GA30318
Anna Dirden, Assistant Director, Special Education, 404.802.2611
Edith Abakare, Parent Mentor, 404.802.3607