This past month, over 30 parents across several Noble schools gathered at UIC College Prep for this year’s first Parent Leadership Series meeting – the first in-person one since 2019!
Parents had a chance to connect with other parents and Noble’s community organizers to talk about parent advocacy and involvement at Noble Schools. Live translation was provided for our Spanish-speaking families as well.
Constance Jones, our CEO, opened the meeting with gratitude for all our parents do to help us get better funding and opportunities for our students.
“Many of you have joined us to advocate for our kids and ensure that their stories and your stories are heard. So, I just want to thank you for that,” Jones said.
Parents spent the evening giving testimonies, doing group activities, and sharing a fantastic meal, catered by Landa Cakes, a Noble parent-owned business. Noble’s Government & Community Affairs (GCA) team also introduced the system they use to help get parents involved: the Ladder of Engagement.
THE LADDER OF ENGAGEMENT
An infographic representation of Noble's Ladder of Engagement.
The ladder helps identify parent leaders and encourages parents to attend on-campus Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meetings and off-campus Noble events (like PLS) and. It has five levels of “engagement” for parents, based on how many events and meetings they attend. The GCA team has celebrations and gifts for when parents move up the ladder to thank them for their support. The five levels are:
- Existing Parent = any parent that has a student(s) in Noble schools
- Parent Associate = attend one PAC meeting and one Noble event
- Parent Advocate = attend two PAC meetings and two Noble events
- Parent Ambassador = attend three PAC meetings and three Noble events
- Parent Champion = attend four PAC meetings and four Noble events
(If you have any questions about the ladder, you can email the GCA team at email@example.com)
Throughout the meeting, one thing was made abundantly clear: Our parents are passionate about supporting their child’s school, not only for their child’s sake but to care for ALL students at Noble.
“Es muy importante que se involucre con su escuela porque mejores oportunidades, mejores programas, mejores escuelas podemos ofrecer a nuestros hijos,” Jazmin Lopez, una madre de la escuela Muchin, dijo.
Another parent wrote on her parent engagement plan for this year, “My primary reason to engage in my daughter’s school community is to be in the ‘know’. This is my way to show my support in the system I trust to help my daughter’s education.”
Parent leaders Myisha Shields (left) and Temeka Cartwright (right) talk with other parents and Noble's community organizers at the Parent Leadership series meeting.
Parents were also grateful to have a space to connect with and support other parents. Myisha Shields, a parent leader who’s been advocating with Noble for nine years, talked about how being involved helps other parents.
“Parent engagement, to me, I feel is very important because it helps other parents. Like, we had a parent who had a daughter and she needed some resources because she wasn’t from Chicago,” Shields said, “So, I put her in contact with a doctor, and now her daughter is getting services she wasn’t getting before. Her daughter has now gotten a new diagnosis and medication.”
Another long-time parent leader, Temeka Cartwright, even came to the PLS meeting on her birthday!
“I just love you all so much,” Cartwright said.