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District Parent Advisory Committee gets to work (Photo gallery)




CMSD has assembled a Parent Advisory Committee that will give families a stronger voice in issues facing the District.

About 75 parents turned out Tuesday at East Professional Center for an orientation session. The group had a chance to make some suggestions and list some likes and dislikes but will dig deeper into issues and provide feedback at three additional meetings this school year.

CMSD Chief of Engagement Lee  Buddy Jr. told the parents the District will not waste their time by trying to use the committee as a rubber stamp.

“This is a space where your voice is heard,” he said.

CMSD had parent committees before the pandemic, but this one is similar to CEO Eric Gordon’s Student Advisory Committee, made up of several hundred high school students who meet with him four times a year.

Like the students, the parents will offer input on challenges facing the District. And participation will be broad, with plans calling for representatives from every school in the District.

"We need parent voice at the table to realize our academic vision," said Tracy Hill, executive director of Family and Community Engagement. "This is collective problem solving, it's collaboration." 

Many of the parent committee members also serve as parent ambassadors at their children’s schools, a new paid position created to build trust with families.

Cissy Watkins, an ambassador for Tremont Montessori, has been impressed with the student committee and looks forward to going to work as a member of the parent group.

“With a district as big and widespread as this is, it’s good that we get a full perspective,” she said.

Parents who are interested in joining the committee should contact their school’s principal.