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I am privileged to work with an amazing group of parents, staff, teachers and principals! We have a fantastic, caring community of people here in Douglas County. I hope all of you recognize that and dwell upon so many of the positive attributes of our community.

For this reason, I formed a Parent Engagement Task Force for the Douglas County School District. The members of this task force were selected by me for a private work group assembled to take on challenges and find solutions to parent and community engagement in the Douglas County School District.

The esteemed members of this group come from various backgrounds, opinions, regions, schools and philosophies. They are:


Faye Jahangiri, Sierra               

Michelle Lee, Pine Grove                             

Laura Welch, Ponderosa

Highlands Ranch

Christa Gilstrap,  Coyote Creek      

Nicole Klein, Highlands Ranch             

Yaron Starosta,  Northridge/Vista              

Gina St. Aubin, Ranch View

Lori Werhane, Rock Canyon

Castle Rock

Brandi Butticaz, Mesa                                       

Becky Barnes, Sage Canyon/eDCSD              

Richelle McKim, Academy Charter

Christian Phelps, Castle View

Community Members

Francis Miller, Parker

John Paull, Parker     

Dave Usechek, Parker                                    

This group is diverse, involved and well-informed. They also have an ability to work constructively together to address and examine issues, and accept their responsibility in fostering the concept of community.

Our first meeting was April 7, 2016, and we began charting challenges to parent and community engagement. Just to give an example of the depth of knowledge and perspective of this group a few of the challenges were:

  • Awareness of the stresses and strains experienced by teachers dealing with up to 60 parents who email every day. Teachers have a right and need to some private time.
  • Bring understanding between parents-students-educators of children with special needs to reduce bullying, encourage better support from staff, foster trust between parents and staff.
  • Getting a variety of “niche” parents on the SAC (parents of sports, arts, IB, G&T, SPED)
  • How do we engage the entire community into education?
  • Parent stakeholder engagement for charter renewal.
  • The proliferation of charter schools and push for open enrollment has eroded neighborhood feel of many schools.

Our next meeting is slated for April 21. We will be working on additional challenges brought in from interactions in the community, solutions (hopefully) and a mission statement for this task force.

While the meetings are private in order to be respectful of members’ time, task force members are encouraged to provide updates to their circles of influence and solicit feedback and input. Updates will also be posted to foster increased amounts of two-way communication.

DAC liaisons have also been asked to help us with our important work, recently participating in a work session on parent recruitment.

The members of this group value our community and understand that all of us play an important role in it. I greatly appreciate their valuable time and effort, as well as trust, in this endeavor.

Please make sure you reach out to them with any suggestions, questions, concerns or ideas. You can also reach me, Kathy Brown, DCSD Parent Liaison at skbrown[at]dcsdk12[dot]org.


April 14, 2016 | By SKBrown | Category: parent resources
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