Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN)

Status: Current
Year: 2016
Location: Boston
Client: Nonprofits, Foundations and Bank Trusts
Services Provided: Policy & Health Systems Improvement, Training and Technical Assistance
Technical Expertise: Early Education and Childhood Development, Other

Formed in 2016, the Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN) is a diverse group of passionate community advocates from the district, charter, parochial, and METCO schools in the city of Boston and gateway cities of Massachusetts working across all sectors to revive educational activism initiated and led by parents. CPLAN’s parent engagement uses a dual-capacity model to address educational inequities and ensure a high quality, whole child educational experience for all learners. CPLAN parent leaders are provided with personal and professional coaching to build the skills needed to successfully engage with schools, policy-makers, and other stakeholders. Together with the power of lived experience, CPLAN parent leaders inform, influence and advocate for practices and policies to improve educational outcomes for today’s most vulnerable students.At the school level, CPLAN parent leaders work with personnel in each sector to equip schools with the skills needed to move away from family involvement which only refers to activities that occur primarily in the home and move toward a model of family engagement true, meaningful educational partnerships that provide every child with a well-rounded, culturally responsive education. At the state level, CPLAN engages policy-makers and DESE officials on systemic change.

CPLAN’s core values include:

  • Parents and students are leaders: CPLAN provides opportunities, guidance, and the support that parents and students need to use their voices and power as leaders in their communities.
  • Relationships are essential: CPLAN facilitates authentic, powerful, and mutually-beneficial relationships between CPLAN parents and students and state and local education decision-makers. CPLAN members leverage those relationships to advance important education and community issues.
  • Empowered voices make change: CPLAN encourages, supports, and empowers parents and students to tell their own stories and speak truth to power to advance a shared, specific set of goals and objectives. CPLAN’s success is dependent upon empowering parents and students to be the voices of change and then working together around a shared agenda.