Educators will seek ways to build crucial links between parents, community organizations and schools. The goal is higher student achievement.

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Adie Simmons repeats these words like a mantra: “Engaged parents produce engaged students.”

On October 10, she will gather with like-minded educators along with parents and community members to encourage all of them to work together to improve student performance.

Simmons, the executive director of the Washington Family and Community Engagement Trust, has lined up educators from Washington and beyond to speak at the conference, called “United for Student Success.”

Among them is Anne T. Henderson of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, co-author of the best-selling book “Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family/School Partnerships.”

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“This will be the very first conference in our state that will focus on this issue of parent and community engagement,” Simmons said. “We want parents and community institutions to be equal partners in education.”

Schools that help develop and nurture such networks reap rewards in terms of student achievement, she said.

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Evergreen Middle School in Everett. The cost is $125 per person, and scholarships are available for parents who wish to attend. (For information, contact the Trust at info@wafamilyengagement.org) Registration materials can be found here.

Other speakers on the agenda include:

  • Ann Ishimaru, an assistant professor at the University of Washington College of Education. She will present findings of research she conducted in south King County schools on ways of engaging parents from diverse communities.
  • Erin Jones, an administrator in the Tacoma Public Schools whose career has focused on equity in education. She has served as the assistant state superintendent for student achievement, with a focus on working with educators and legislators to better serve traditionally disenfranchised students.
  • Dr. Gary Cohn, superintendent of the Everett Public Schools.
  • State Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self of the 21st legislative district.

The conference will feature sessions sessions on a wide variety of topics, including how to become a parent leader; understanding educational equity; working with interpreters and translators; promoting children’s language development; and engaging pre-school families.