The Washington Post

Upheaval in family engagement

While the dismissal of more than 200 than teachers claimed much of the attention last week, there was a bloodletting at DCPS’ Office of Family and Public Engagement.

Officials said at least nine staffers were let go. Interim chief Kelly Young elected not to engage by returning a phone call, but spokesman Fred Lewis said staff assigned to the Parent Resources Centers in Wards 1, 7 and 8 were among those fired. Lewis said the centers would be reopened this fall with the help of “community partners.”

Chancellor Kaya Henderson has been fairly blunt about her dissatisfaction with the school system’s capacity to communicate effectively with parents and families. Office chief Peggy O’Brien exited earlier this year, and Henderson has said she wants to reboot the whole operation, with a more aggressive emphasis on the use of social media.

Officials have scheduled a community meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, to discuss ideas. Location TBD.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.


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