Parent Leadership


Home and family factors account for 49% of the influence on student performance(Educators plus families improve student learning. Results, NSDC, October 2001). 

Findings from research completed by Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler (2005), suggests that parents are more likely to become involved if they:

  • Understand they should be involved;
  • Know they are capable of making a contribution; and
  • Feel invited by their school and their children.

In a publication from the Harvard Family Research Project, it was reported that "schools would have to spend $1,000 more per pupil to reap the same gains in student achievement that an involved parent brings" (Issue Brief, July 2009).

The evidence is clear, parents are a piece of the student proficiency puzzle. The Parent & Educator Partnership works with the local school district to develop parent leaders.  Parent leaders are typically parents of children in the school district and there are wide ranges of ways parent leaders may assist the school or district in reaching other parents.   

As part of our support, we provide Parent Leadership 101, a two-day intensive training for parents whose district has agreed to work with PEP to implement parent leadership.  Parents who attend will develop an action plan to collaborate with the school district to help parents understand they should be involved; know they are capable of making a contribution; and feel invited by their school and their children.  PEP provides technical assistance and coaching to parent leaders who attend the training and their collaborating school district.

For more information about the Parent Liaison Program, you may download a brochure, use our online contact form or email us

Through grant funding from IDEA discretionary dollars from the Illinois State Board of Education, school districts and special education cooperatives receive funding to employ a parent of a child with a disability.  These Parent Mentors provide training, technical assistance, and coaching to parents in their district or special education cooperative.  At this time, the grant funding is committed, so there are no new grant funds available.

Continue to read below or click on Parent Liaison Program or Parent Mentor Project to learn more.

The Parent Liaison Program

The purpose of Parent Liaisons is to help parents of school-age children effectively navigate the educational system in partnership with school district personnel and to assist school districts with meeting the requirements of IDEA, as measured by the State Performance Plan Indicator 8; and Title 1, Family Involvement (ESEA, Section 1118). Parent liaisons are parent leaders who are supported by the Parent & Educator Partnership through in-kind training, technical assistance, and coaching.

For more information about the Parent Liaison Program, you may download a Description of the Parent Liaison Program, or read more here.

The Parent Mentor Project

Parent Mentors help parents of children with disabilities, in partnership with the local school district or special education cooperative, to effectively navigate the educational system.  Some of the things Parent Mentors do is: provide in-kind consultation to parents of students with disabilities by preparing parents for their child's Individualized Education Program (IEP); serve as a bridge between families and education personnel to foster positive parent-professional teamwork; provide a parent perspective; organize and conduct workshops on Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA) for families and educators; and support a community of parents through developing and sustaining parent support groups.

To see if a Parent Mentor is in your area, click here.  If there is not a Parent Mentor in your area and you need one or more of the supports parent mentors provide, please contact us.


Parent Leadership 101

This two-day intensive workshop for parents introduces the concept of parent leadership and helps parents understand and identify ways to partner with schools to increase family engagement which supports student learning.  When parents are involved at home and at school, children perform better in school-and the schools get better.


  • Introduce the concept of Parent Leadership;
  • Develop an awareness of your communication style;
  • Provide an overview of how the Illinois standards-based education system works;
  • Help parents identify ways to partner with schools;
  • Develop a plan for reaching other parents and engaging with schools.

Purpose:  Schools need parents as partners in education, especially those who:

  • Understand learning standards and test data;
  • Care about all children, not just their own; and
  • Lead other parents to make school-wide improvements.

That's what parents get in Parent Leadership 101, and intensive, two-day workshop.

Contact us for further information.