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Parent Leadership Academy: A Parent-Led, District-Hosted Partnership for Parent Engagement – Executive Summary

The Parent Leadership Academy was a pilot effort of the School District of Philadelphia and the William Penn Foundation to empower and promote the development of parents as leaders in their children’s education and schools. PLA was designed as a joint initiative of parents and the District.  During its time of operation, between 2005 and 2008, PLA was able to provide valuable programs to over 1,000 parents. However, PLA was plagued by several challenges which limited PLA’s ability to fully implement its model. Challenges were associated with the decision to situate the PLA within the School District of Philadelphia as well as with the development of parent leadership within the initiative. The final report on which this executive summary is based describes these challenges and identifies lessons from the PLA initiative that will hopefully inform future parent involvement efforts.