October 10, 2014

Conversations About Overcoming Challenges

sch dist.pngAre you looking to build family and school pride? Let me introduce you to Ms. Evelyn Sample-Oates, Director of the Office of Family and Community Engagement. Ms. Oates and Ms. Karen James have put together a series of conversations addressing real concerns of the families that they service. After the “Write Your Block” orientation and my Nutrition Biology final exam, I was able to catch the ending of “Overcoming Challenges”. I wish I could have been there for the entire conversation, for I learned so much just in the closing of the meeting. Ms. Evelyn Oates posed great questions (written on index cards by parents and community members) to the panelists. Great questions on topics like child clearance and parent access were asked of the panel.

Ms. Ludy Soderman mentioned that some cultures have a different way of relating to teachers and positions of authority, their cultures may see asking a teacher anything as disrespectful. I was so happy to hear her comment, because she bought understanding to our diversity and how we need to know the cultural backgrounds of each other to better relate to each other. If you know of a family with a language barrier please direct them here http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/t/translation.

If you are interested in building a bond with your school, I would suggest you attend the series of conversations with Ms. Evelyn Sample-Oates, Director of the Office of Family and Community Engagement.

Ms. Karen James has monthly meetings with block captains. You can call (215) 400-6347 for more information and the next meeting.

Below is a calendar of events for October “Family Appreciation Month” and below the calendar is an application for parents to attend parent conferences. Last please get to know your parent coordinator, consider joining your School Advisory Council and Home and School.



The Office of Family and Community Engagement has eight parent coordinators (one per Learning Network).

Parent Coordinators:
  • Assist schools in expanding parent engagement opportunities and building stronger school-family partnerships 
  • Support parents in resolving their concerns 
  • Act as a liaison between central office/school staff and families 
  • Disseminate information about services and resources 
  • Organize and facilitate parent workshops and information fairs 
  • Help schools in forming a School Advisory Council 
  • Provide other services and resources to meet the diverse needs of all families 


Learning Network 1
(Debora Carrera, Asst. Superintendent)

Parent Coordinator:
Maria Quinones
E-mail: mquinones2@philasd.org
Cell #: 267-738-7081

Learning Network 3
(Sonya Harrison, Asst. Superintendent)

Parent Coordinator:
Justina Bigelow
E-mail: jcbigelow@philasd.org
Cell #: 267-738-7026
Office #: 215-400-6382

Learning Network 5
(Cheryl Logan, Asst. Superintendent)

Parent Coordinator:
Linda Maldonado
E-mail: lmaldonado@philasd.org
Cell #: 267-738-7059

Learning Network 7
(Asst. Superintendent TBD)

Parent Coordinator:
Melanie Oeun-Greenhalgh
E-mail: noeun@philasd.org
Cell #267-738-7065

Learning Network 2
(Sean Conley, Asst. Superintendent)

Parent Coordinator:
LuQman Abdullah
E-mail: labdullah@philasd.org
Cell #: 267-738-7034
Office #: 215-400-5340

Learning Network 4
(John Tupponce, Asst. Superintendent)

Parent Coordinator:
Dorian Harris
E-mail: dharris4@philasd.org
Cell #: 215-400-1462
Office #: 215-400-6631

Learning Network 6
(Karen Kolsky, Asst. Superintendent)

Parent Coordinator:
John Holland
E-mail: jholland@philasd.org
Cell #267-738-7058

Learning Network 8
(Dion Betts, Assistant Superintendent)

Parent Coordinator:
Sherry Williams
E-mail: swilliams3@philasd.org
Cell #: 267-738-7084

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