Parental Advocacy

  • Parental Advocacy:
    Research shows that when families and educators work collaboratively to resolve disagreements, the outcomes are more mutually satisfying and benefit the child long-term.  Adversarial approaches to disagreement lead to difficult meetings and broken relationships.

    The Parental Advocacy Program for Pinellas County Schools is here to assist families of students in Pinellas County, by serving as a bridge between parents and schools. 

    The program is designed to provide support to parents when responding to concerns about:
    Advancement
    Retention
    Discipline
    Suspension
    Expulsion
    Special Needs of Students
    Other Educational Concerns

    Ways Parent Advocacy can help you: 

    To serve as a liaison among families, schools, and the community.
    To train parents in ways to advocate for their children.
    To provide opportunities for school personnel to obtain information and skills to enhance family involvement.

    What does a Parent Advocate do? 
    Improves positive and collaborative communications between the student, family, and community
    Brainstorms solutions that lead to improved relationships with all stakeholders Clarifies policies and procedures as they relate to academics, behavioral supports, discipline, and other educational concerns

    What does a Parent Advocate NOT do? 
    Creates a hostile environment and dominates a meeting without the student's best interest in mind
    Reverses the decision of an Area Superintendent Acts solely as a witness or consults with an attorney

    Frequently Asked Questions:
    My child has a 504 plan and I don’t think all the accommodations are in place.  What should I do? 
    First, check with the teacher or service provider to ensure that they are aware of and enacting all accommodations per the plan.  If you still feel that the staff is not providing the appropriate accommodations, then the principal should be notified.  The principal will then investigate your concerns with the relevant staff members.

    My child has a 504 plan or IEP.  I’m thinking about using a McKay scholarship to move to another public school in the county.  If I provide my student’s transportation, what is the next step?  
    You can call 588-6000 ext. 1373.  This is the number to the Pinellas County Schools McKay Office.  They can assist you with any questions you might have.

    I’m seeking an initial Exceptional Student Education evaluation? What happens next? 
    The school and parent need to meet within 30 days of the parent’s request to do one of the following:
    Sign consent for evaluation. Provide written notice of refusal for all or parts of the request Agree to some alternate course of action that is clearly documented and signed by the parent. If your student has an Individual Education Plan (I.E.P.) and receives Exceptional Student Education (E.S.E.) services, then please call 727-588-6062.

     If you would like to ask a question, discuss a concern, or report an issue, then please visit the Parent Advocacy Form

    “As you move through this world advocating for what you believe in, do it with love and an open heart, not with anger and a closed heart.” ~Jenn Bruer

    Parental Advocate Contact:
    Keosha Simmons

    Email:simmonskeo@pcsb.org
    301 4th Street, SW
    Largo, Florida 33770
    (727) 588-6000 ext:1369

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