Family Empowerment

We encourage all parents/guardians to get involved with New York City public schools. Families are our closest partners in helping our 1.1 million students to thrive. Here are some ways you can connect with your child’s school.

Update Your Contact Information

Make sure your emergency contact information is complete and up-to-date so your child’s school can reach out to you. Speak with your child's school’s main office to verify and/or update your home address, cell phone number, email, etc. Use Find a School to locate your child's school contacts.

Speak to Your Parent Coordinator

Parent coordinators are available to help you! Get to know the parent coordinator at your child’s school, and get in touch for guidance and information about school programs, resources, trainings, events, and ways to get involved. Use Find a School to locate your child's school contacts, including the parent coordinator.

Participate in School Events, Meetings, and Decisions

Schools hold various events throughout the school year that provide opportunities to connect with your child’s school community. For example, you could attend family workshops, informational sessions, and events to showcase student classwork. There is a way for you to participate regardless of what your schedule is. Speak with your parent coordinator about upcoming events and activities. Use Find a School to locate the parent coordinator at your child's school.

Attend Parent Teacher Conferences

Schools host parent teacher conferences four times a year and it is important for families to attend. This is your chance to meet with teachers and ask questions about your child’s progress. It can be helpful to write down questions ahead of time. Here are some examples:

  • What does my child do well, and what does my child struggle with?
  • How do you challenge my child?
  • How do you support a child who needs extra help?
  • What books would you recommend my child read at home?
  • How does my child get along with classmates and adults?
  • How many days of school has my child missed or been tardy?

Learn more about Parent Teacher conferences.

Get Active with your School PA/PTA

Parents/guardians can make a positive difference in their child’s education and school community by actively participating in the Parent Association (PA) or Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). All parents/guardians are automatically members of the school PA/PTA! Through PA/PTAs, you can network, exchange ideas, work together to solve school concerns, and affect school policy and budget decisions.

Ask your parent coordinator about your school’s next scheduled PA/PTA meeting and reach out to other parents to learn more about how you can help your child’s school.

Learn more on the PA/PTA page.

Run for Parent Leadership Positions

Parents can serve their school communities as elected parent leaders at the local, district, and citywide levels. PA/PTAs, School Leadership Teams, Citywide and Community Education Councils (CCEC/CECs), and Presidents’ Councils have elected positions.

The next elections for CCECs and CECs will be held in the spring of 2021.

Join a School Wellness Council

Schools need diverse parent voices in order to understand what the school community needs and to decide what programs and policies will help keep their community healthy. Join a School Wellness Council:

  1. Ask your parent coordinator if your school already has a wellness council. If so, contact the council leader to find out how to get involved.
  2. If your school does not have a wellness council, speak to your principal or the parent coordinator and let them know you are interested in starting one.
  3. Email wellnesscouncil@schools.nyc.gov for help. Staff from the DOE Office of School Wellness Programs can reach out to your school to help them start a council and apply for a grant.

Parent Empowerment Listening Tour

The Mayor and Chancellor went on a five-borough Parent Empowerment Listening Tour in spring 2019 to hear first-hand from parent leaders about their priorities for the school system. Appointed and elected parent leaders from across each borough communicated their thoughts, questions, and concerns and heard about the new vision for the school system from the Mayor and Department of Education Leadership.

We received more than 400 questions from parents across five boroughs during the parent empowerment listening tour. See our Parent Empowerment Listen Tour Themes page to read the questions and answers that represent the common themes that we heard throughout the City.

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