In Washington and across the country, students of color, as a group, start out behind in school, and rarely catch up. We’re starting a conversation about how families and educators can work together to change that.

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Are you a parent of a student of color or an educator who wants to talk about student success?

Join “The Homeroom” — a moderated, monthlong conversation hosted by The Seattle Times’ Education Lab.

For four years, Education Lab has examined the ways school districts are trying to address inequities faced by many students of color. In that reporting, one thing we’ve seen consistently is a lack of effective communication between schools and families.

That’s why The Seattle Times’ Education Lab is trying something new: bringing together parents (and guardians) with K-12 educators (including paraeducators) — two groups that care deeply about students, but don’t often talk together. We’re eager to hear the frustrations, ideas, victories and barriers both have faced in securing the best education for their students and children. Participants will get the chance to talk at length with other teachers and parents across the state about how to tackle problems. And together, jointly explore possible solutions.

So what can you expect?

This conversation will be online, using Facebook, and it will last for a month. It will be private, but we’ll be looking for ways to share the insights gained, so we may ask for permission to use some information from the group for news stories. There’s no minimum time commitment. All we are looking for is your desire to engage in a candid and respectful conversation with other parents and teachers around Washington. And don’t worry, we won’t select teachers and parents from the same school. That way you can speak freely.

To help with moderating the discussion, Education Lab has hired Spaceship Media, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that helps media groups use journalism to bridge divides and reduce polarization.

Educators can sign up to join The Homeroom here, and parents of students of color here.

If you have questions before you sign up, please email