Your Name and Title: Beth Santangelo, Director:  Parent Ambassador Program

School, or Organization Name:  PA Virtual Cyber Charter School

Co-Presenter Name(s):  Jennifer Brodhag, Kimberly Haley

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:  USA, Pennsylvania

Language in Which You Will Present:  English

Target Audience(s):  Those who want to provide resources, information and the opportunity to create connections and community to a diverse group with a common goal.

Short Session Description (one line):   K-12 education is strengthened through the collaborative support of Parents. 

Full Session Description (as long as you would like): 

Create connections and community in your school through providing online activities to foster and increase parent engagement. 

Research indicates a strong correlation between parent involvement and student achievement (Epstein, 2005; Furger, 2006; Henderson & Berla, 1994; Henderson & Mapp, 2002).   Our school innovatively creates online opportunities to develop meaningful two way communication amongst our community, and thus builds respect and adheres to an environment of shared responsibility, accountability and collaboration.   

Engaging parents will not only create a strong community, research shows that students with involved parents are more likely to: 

  • earn higher grades and test scores;
  • attend school regularly;
  • have better social skills;
  • adapt well to school; and
  • go on to postsecondary education

                                 (National Parent Teacher Association, 2009) 

Through using online tools we help develop relationships amongst our staff and parents.  Schools that have engaged parents benefit from:

  • improved teacher morale;
  • increased support from families; and
  • improved collaboration across the schools’ communities

                               (Henderson & Berla, 1994) 

We at PA Virtual, an online statewide cyber charter school, with over 3,100 students, have created an online community for our parent engagement program. 

Join us and learn how we create a volunteer community, provide professional development, support a mentor program, use tools to collect ongoing feedback, create virtual field trips, and enable parents to join us for lunch with the principal, and creatively develop and sustain parent engagement online.  Learn how you can use some of these ideas at your school for low cost, high impact parent engagement!  

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

Views: 85

Replies to This Discussion

Beth:  I love this proposal, but it's entered in the wrong place.  I can't move it for you--you'll have to copy it to the right forum, then afterwards come back here and delete it.  

The proposal instructions are here:  Looks like you did everything right except you didn't click on the "click here" link for opening the right forum.  Use this link for that:



Our district has several parents groups, working under the auspices of the administration.  I suggested that we form message boards to facilitate communication, but have been shot down with concerns that "parents might gang up on teachers," "the teacher's union would have to approve and there are a lot of protocols"  as well as "no other school district does this."  How would you reply to this? I look forward to learning more from you (and other TICAL members).

La relación escuela- padres es muy importante. Estoy de acuerdo con que mejora el proceso enseñanza- aprendizaje.


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