Alignment Team Work


Parent Engagement Alignment Team


Students with engaged parents are more likely to succeed academically and socially.

We know that 1.3 million high school students drop out of school each year (America’s Promise Alliance, 2015). Parent engagement in schools has proven to have a positive impact on student success and has even been linked to good student health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Research has shown that students with engaged parents/families are more likely to have:

  • higher grade point averages and scores on standardized tests
  • enrollment in more challenging academic programs,
  • more classes passed and credits earned
  •  better attendance
  • improved behavior at home and at school
  • better social skills and adaptation to school*.

The Metropolitan Nashville Public School (MNPS) system is a large, urban district that serves more than 87,000 students from various income, ethnic and racial backgrounds; engaging parents is particularly important for English learners and students from low-income families.

*Henderson, A, & Mapp, K. (2002). A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement. Retrieved from


  • The Parent Engagement Alignment Team works to identify and remove barriers to acquiring accurate school-related information and the necessary skills for parents/caregivers to be their child's best teacher and advocate. The primary tactic employed to achieve this is Parent University, which the Parent Engagement A-Team supported for the 7th year in summer 2015.
  • The mission of Parent University is to provide MNPS parents and caregivers training, resources, and access to skills and services that grow, achieve and empower greater levels of advocacy for children, schools and community. Parent University is offered to MNPS parents and caregivers at no cost and provides training, information, and resources that are directly linked to student learning. 


The Parent Engagement A- Team released an Invitation to Participate (ITP™) to solicit workshop proposals for the summer 2015 conference. There were a total of 23 responses to the online ITP™ that were received. Of these responses, the A-Team reviewed 19 and 10 were accepted. At the conference, there were a total of 37 workshops that were presented on that day.



 Increased High School Graduation Rates

 Improved College Readiness

 Children's Health and Wellness


After participating in Parent University:







Nearly 800 parents/caregivers, community partners, students and school personnel participated in Parent University 2015. There were a total of 37 total workshops that were offered at the conference, including an inspiring keynote address given by Tennessee’s Commission of Education, Dr. Candice McQueen. The workshops that were offered supported one or more of the following key areas:

  •  Academic Readiness
  •  Social and Emotional
  •  Leadership Advocacy
  •  Health Matters
  •  Social Media & Technology

During break and lunch times, 30 community partners hosted booths to offer participants additional information about services in the Nashville community. 


Parent/Caregiver Feedback

This conference should be mandatory for all parents of every student regardless of age. It provided critical and necessary information!

-MNPS Parent

I enjoyed learning something to help my grandchild get ready to be successful in school.

-MNPS Grandparent

The workshop facilitator was GREAT! She keep us engaged, made the session fun and gave us useful information we can use with our children.

-MNPS Parent


Thank you. The service provided by the vendor was a ‘right on time service’.

-MNPS Parent

Parent University is institutionalized within MNPS; the A-Team will continue to engage community partners for future events, but they are also working to infuse effective engagement into the work of all Alignment Teams. Members of the Parent Engagement A-Team have been assigned to each A-Team to inform their parent engagement efforts and create a comprehensive Pre-K – 12 parent engagement plan that is woven into the work of all Alignment Teams.



Gini Pupo-Walker, Chair, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Nancy Dickson, Vice Chair, Vanderbilt University - Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

Elizabeth Atack, Bringing Books to Life

Ellen Bohle, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Olivia Brown, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Kathy Buggs, Office of Congressman Jim Cooper

Pam Burgess, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Allison Buzard, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Allison Cantway, Nashville International Center for Empowerment

Belinda Hotchkiss, Vanderbilt University Kennedy Center

Alison McArthur, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Monica McLaurine, T.O.T.A.L.

Kristen Neal, Vanderbilt University

Gerry Scott, YMCA of Middle Tennessee

Fallon Wilson, Hope Community Development Corporation

Cam Wingfield, Metro Nashville Public Schools



College Savings 529 Program

Davidson County Community Advisory Board

End Slavery Tennessee

Family Voices of Tennessee



Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee

International Center for Empowerment

Law Office of Jennifer Wade

Marian University Nashville @ St. Thomas Health

Metro Action Commission

Metro Police Departmentm El Proctor

Metro Public Health Dept. School Health Program

Metro Student Attendance Center

Metro Transit Authority

MNPS Cluster Support Team

MNPS EL Services

MNPS Exceptional Education

MNPS Instructional Support Services

MNPS Office of English Learners

MNPS Research, Assessment & Evaluation

MNPS Social & Emotional Learning

Nashville Academy of Reflexology

Nashville Adult Literacy

Nashville Emergency Communications/SMART 911

Nashville Juvenile Court

Nashville OIC (Opportunties Industrialization Center)

Nashville Public Library

Pregnancy Care Center

Regional Intervention Program

Salama Urban Ministries, Inc.

STEP (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents)

Stronger Than My Father, Inc.

The Family Center

Tennessee Governor's Children's Cabinet

Tennessee Stars

Tennessee Student Assistance Corp.

United HealthCare

YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee


For more information, contact Jaleesa JohnsonAlignment Team Coordinator.