My name is Rita Yoskowitz and I have fourteen years of experience working for the Department of Education. I worked for five years as a bilingual assistant in the Office of Family Engagement in the District 3 office and when the newly created position of Parent Coordinator became available in 2003 I was hired by P.S. 9 to fulfill this role. I’ve been performing this duty now for nine years. I’m happily married and have two wonderful adult sons who were educated in the New York Public System of Education. I love what I do and look forward to continuing my work with the families at P.S. 9. Together we can support our children’s needs with the education they so fully deserve.
Nine years ago, the Department of Education and the Children’s First Initiative brought many reforms to the school system in New York City. Among those changes was the creation of a new staff position designed to help parents achieve a better understanding of Public Education and how to navigate through the system. It is with the understanding that by helping parents with their needs we are also helping children.
Parent Coordinators were hired and trained to work in every school as liaisons between parents, staff and administration. The Department of Education realizes that most problems involving students and their families must be solved at the school level. Therefore, my responsibility as Parent Coordinator and as a Staff Professional is to work closely with my colleagues to solve problems and to assure parents that their issues can be heard, followed through, and resolved. This level of communication brings a much greater and immediate understanding between parents, teachers, staff and administration all in a genuine effort to achieve the greatest level of academic success for all of our children’s education.
Among the various Parent Coordinators responsibilities is to create a welcoming environment for all parents in the school. By doing this, we strongly believe the objective of increasing parent involvement in education and PA activities will naturally follow. Newly elected Chancellor Dennis Walcott in his last meeting with Parent Coordinators and PA Presidents mentioned the creation of The Partnership Standards – guidelines that give schools and families clear direction and offer concrete ideas for working together effectively to help students prepare for college and careers. This new initiative will cover five areas:
1) Fostering Communication: School and families engage in an open exchange of information regarding student progress, school-wide goals and support activities.
2) Encouraging Parent Involvement: Parents have diverse and meaningful roles in the school community and their children’s achievements.
3) Creating Welcoming Schools: Creating a welcoming, positive school climate with the commitment of the entire school community.
4) Partnering for Students Success: Schools engage families in setting high expectations for students and actively partner with parents to prepare students for their next level.
5) Collaborating Effectively: School community works together to make decisions about the academic and personal growth of students through school-wide goals. School fosters collaboration with community-based organization to create a vibrant, fulfilling environment for students and families.
The development of systems to foster these areas has been implemented in various ways at PS9 already. Here, we believe that engaging, encouraging, partnering, welcoming and working collaboratively and effectively with all parents is vital. Therefore, my involvement with the Parent Association at PS 9 is also part of my work. Working with this incredible organization of parents who so generously donate their time, expertise, and money to help make this school a very special place on the West Side has been unique and rewarding. I will continue working with the PA to help them in their efforts to fulfilled their goals in fundraising, and achieve their collaborative efforts of support to PS9 for a successful school year.
If you are in need of information, need to make an appointment, or have an issue to be addressed, please call me at 212-678-2812, ext 1101 or 917-603-8919. Walk-ins are welcome. My office is located on the first floor, Room #110. You may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written messages can be left in the main office where I have a mail box.
Wishing you and your children a successful school year!
Rita Yoskowitz, Parent Coordinator