Parent Advocacy Program
P.S. 305 develops parent leaders to be education advocates in our community. In the past year, P.S. 305 has trained over 60 parent leaders across 3 Miami-Dade neighborhoods. Parents receive one-on-one and group support, transforming their leadership to be impactful at the system-level. P.S. 305 begins by conducting a home-visit with families. Home visits are followed by rigorous training on both the school system and advocacy skills. Trained parents subsequently join neighborhood teams. Currently, P.S. 305 hosts neighborhood teams in Overtown, Little Havana, and Liberty City, with plans for expanding to new neighborhoods during the 2018-19 school year. P.S. 305 also works with more than 30 education agencies to provide in-the-field trainings to parents on the topic of education advocacy. Our goal is for parents to become a loud, powerful voice for kids in the local education policy space, leading to real improvements in Miami-Dade's school system.
Teacher Policy Fellowship
This 6-month program brings together educators from across Miami-Dade to learn about the people and policies that govern schools, as well as how to impact them. This fellowship builds a bridge between the statehouse and the schoolhouse, elevating teacher voice in the way decisions are made. Through this fellowship, teachers get a chance to identify the role they want to play in making systemic change in the Miami community. Teachers receive training on topics such as:
-The meaning of advocacy
-Community organizing skills
-Approaches to leading systems
-Local political context
Teachers work together to solve problems they see in their schools. At the conclusion of the fellowship, teachers are invited to join P.S. 305 neighborhood teams in order to support P.S. 305's issue campaign work.
After the conclusion of our first cohort, 100% of Teacher Policy Fellows said the fellowship met or exceeded expectations, and 100% of participants said they would recommend the fellowship to a friend or colleague.
Advocacy & Organizing Fundamentals Training
The word "advocacy" is often used as a catch-all to describe many different activities. When done right, advocacy can lead to sustainable, systemic change in a city. But too often, organizations are just making things up as they go. P.S. 305 believes that advocacy is both an art and a science, and must be grounded in evidence-based methodologies. That is why we created our Advocacy & Organizing Fundamentals training. In the past year, P.S. 305 has trained over 15 Miami-Dade organizations in research-backed advocacy methods, including methods from PICO, Asset-Based Community Development (Northwestern University), Marshall Ganz (Harvard University), 50CAN, and 270 Strategies. 100% of participants said they intended to integrate their learnings into their daily work and 100% of participants said they would recommend this training to a friend or colleague. Through this training, P.S. 305 is supporting Miami-Dade's advocacy community to be more impactful, creating real and sustainable change in our community.
Developing Policy Resources
In order to support our advocacy work, P.S. 305 creates, develops, publishes, and disseminates policy resources and conducts trainings for parents, teachers, and organizations. We publish policy resources to create clarity around all elements of the education system, including academic performance and systems-level governance. Our goal is to make information about our schools and the people who run them easily accessible to our community leaders.
Some examples include:
-Accessible, easy-to-read summaries of all MDCPS School Board Meetings
-One-pager on Florida's A-F Grading System for Schools
-Interactive, digital school quality map
-One-pager on school types (district, charter, private, etc.)
-4-pager explaining the role of the School Board
-One-page guide for parents on choosing a school for their child
We use these materials in our conversations with families, schools and community partners. By disseminating these resources in-person and digitally, we have been able to build a large network of advocates that are informed and active in improving Miami's school system.
P.S. 305 convenes Miami-Dade organizations in order to increase civic engagement in our school system. In 2018, for example, P.S. 305 convened a coalition of 18 community partners, including Catalyst Miami, SEIU, University of Miami, and more, to host an MDCPS School Board Candidate Forum. Over 200 Miami-Dade voters attended the event, where 3 candidates spoke about their interest in school-system leadership. P.S. 305 has also partnered with the PAMM museum and other local agencies to convene the education community around advocacy efforts.