Family Engagement

The Family Engagement Office exists because CPS is committed to equity. The Family Engagement Office is here to support family liaisons, faculty, staff and our administrators to work directly with families, in ways that are compassionate, respectful and effective. Building capacity in families to support their child's learning at home is key to children feeling good and being successful at school and in their futures. We believe in the Massachusetts Family Engagement Principles and Dual Capacity building (Mapp, 2014) and the office strives to embed these principles authentically, in our district and our community. We understand developing equitable and meaningful family engagement practices takes time and we are committed to co-generating plans and activities that will support our end goal. Our hope is rigor, joy, a sense of belonging and success for all of our scholars and their families.

Massachusetts Family Engagement Principles
Guiding Princples

  1. Each family is unique and all families represent diverse structures. Family engagement includes genuine efforts to understand each family's beliefs, values, priorities, goals and aspirations. Families and practitioners make joint decisions and share responsibility in a successful partnership.
  2. Diversity is expressed and experienced at multiple levels such as (but not limited to) race, religion, ethnicity, culture, language, family structures, ability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and educational level. Acknowledging and accepting the need to engage all families is essential for successful engagement of diverse families and includes recognizing the strengths that come from their diverse backgrounds.
  3. Building a respectful, trusting, and reciprocal relationship is a shared responsibility of families, practitioners, organizations, and systems. This positive relationship has the individual family's strengths and assets at its center.
  4. Families are their child's first and best advocate. This premier role puts families in a unique position to nurture their children's growth and development and to help practitioners become knowledgeable about their child.
  5. Equity is the eradication of privilege, oppression, disparities, and disadvantage. Family engagement must be equitable. Equitable family engagement comprises intentional and meaningful engagement activities and systems for all families or groups of families irrespective of families' level of or approach to engagement. Providing equity-based opportunities for family engagement can help family members become effective advocates for their children.

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Who We Are
Robin Harris
Robin Harris
Director of Family Engagement
D. Bonilla
Debbie Bonilla
Family Engagement Specialist
L. Rater
Lillian Rater
Amigos School
Susan Tiersch
Baldwin School

Kristen Emack
Kristen Emack
Cambridgeport School
Daniel Skerritt
Fletcher Maynard School
Lauren Morse
Lauren Morse
Graham & Parks School
Lissa Galluccio
Haggerty School

Nancy Wyse
Kennedy-Longfellow School
Marguerite Gyewu-Hicks
Dr. MLK, Jr. School
Neusa DaCosta
King Open Schoo
Denise Sullivan
Morse School

Kasey Clermont
(acting) Morse School
Nicole Sullivan
Peabody School
Z. Witherspoon
Zakkiyya Witherspoon
Tobin Montessori School
Will Adams
Cambridge Street Upper School

Kunjal Shah
Putnam Avenue Upper School
Julia Ho
Julia Ho
Rindge Avenue Upper School
Obi Carrion
Vassal Lane Upper School
Greta Hardina

Zuleka Queen Postell
Special Education Family Liaison
Not pictured
Mildreid Gedeon

SEI Family Liaison
Aboma Dirbaba
Bilingual Liaison, Amharic
Jardine Jerome
Bilingual Liaison, Haitian Creole

Jose Rivera
Bilingual Liaison, Spanish
Not Pictured
Xiomara Nunez

Bilingual Liaison, Spanish

Our Projects
School Council Handbook
A School Council is a representative, school building-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, community members and, at the secondary level, students, under both state and federal law (MGL Chapter 71, Section 59C, ESSA). The School Council improves student outcomes by engaging its community in site-based decision-making to develop a shared vision of the school. This type of collaborative decision-making also allows teachers and administrators to work with parents and the community to become more responsive to the needs of a particular school's population.

School Councils make decisions that affect the entire school community and are tools for the advancement of all students in Cambridge Public School. School Councils are a high leverage place for parents to make a positive and meaningful impact on the achievement and wellbeing of their children, as well as all children in the community. Advocacy skills that parents and students learn through involvement in the School Council can prepare them for civic engagement and public office at any level, and it is the intention of the district to galvanize parent and student advocacy through School Councils.

The Village
Vision, mission, values
The vision defines the future state that the teams are working towards; the mission articulates how Caregiver U will contribute to that vision; the principles guide the ways in which this group/organization will work. Learn more >>

CPS Friends of Groups

  • Understanding current Friends of Groups
  • Explore possibilities of city-wide Friends of Groups or create guidelines/policy to support existing and newly formed Friends of Groups

Supporting Affinity Groups
CPS Latinx Familes Group
Contact: Debbie BonillaXiomara Nunez

CPS Muslim Families Group
Contact: Heba AbyZakkiyya Witherspoon

Cambridge Families of Color Coalition

Cambridge Families of Asian Descent

Staff Resources

Office of Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

CPS Definitions of Equity and Racial Equity
In 2019, the Administration and School Committee adopted definitions of equity and racial equity.

Equity means that each student, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or socioeconomic status will have access to the opportunities, resources, and support they need to attain their full potential.

Racial Equity means the absence of institutional and structural barriers experienced by people based on race or color, that impede access, opportunities, and results.

Achieving racial equity requires proactive and continuous investment in communities of color, who have endured centuries of systemic oppression. CPS is committed to dismantling structures rooted in white privilege, to hearing and elevating underrepresented voices, and recognizing and eliminating bias.

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