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National Family Engagement Fellowship

Atlanta Team

Explore the Atlanta Team’s findings, vision, and strategic plan, and get to know the people doing this powerful work for students and families in the Peach State.

Atlanta Vision

Through continued collaboration, Atlanta Public Schools will provide tailored resources that support families and schools.

Welcome to Atlanta

Connecting, empowering, + sustaining Atlanta public schools’ families.

The National Family Engagement Fellowship Team from Atlanta, comprised of leaders from the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, came together under the newly formed Office of Family Engagement for APS to accomplish three goals:

  1. Develop a city-wide definition of family engagement;
  2. Hear from and empower those in the community most impacted by inequity, and;
  3. Reestablish trust within and amongst community members and educators.

Through Flamboyan’s Fellowship, the Atlanta Team saw an opportunity to listen and take action to close the gap between families and schools. What they heard was eroded trust that could be felt across the city, particularly on the heels of a cheating scandal that shook public faith in APS. Families felt disconnected, lamented a lack of communication, and felt like educators did not value family partnerships. It was imperative that the Atlanta Team create multiple pathways for stakeholders to be heard.

The Atlanta Team has initiated a pilot with a cohort of schools to implement the family engagement strategic planning tool. The Pilot assists APS in further increasing authentic and impactful family engagement practices while the tool serves as a reflection and assessment guide for school leaders and governance teams, and provides an opportunity for school leaders to utilize baseline data and growth over time. Going forward, the Office of Family Engagement will continue to refine the pilot and survey tool to ensure that more families and community stakeholders have access to provide feedback about engagement opportunities. School leaders will also use data from the tool to ensure practices and programs are responsive to families’ needs.

In Their Own Words

“I know there’s a disconnect between what schools and administrators feel like they are giving and what families in the community feel like they are receiving. The tool is a way to get everybody a common understanding of what needs to happen, and what is happening.”

Crystal Mayfield Jones, Principal, Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Strategic Plan

Outcomes + Strategies

  • Tell the “real story”: overcome obstacles through collaboration and create “a new story” with all stakeholders to engage families, communities, and schools that supports student success
  • Form safe professional learning communities
  • Conduct consistent, localized living room conversations to identify the unique needs of the school and community and to create next steps
  • Implement communication and change management framework.
  • Clearly define, message, and invest internal and external partners in Atlanta Public Schools’ definition of family engagement
  • Conduct focus groups to identify the unique needs of the school and community
  • Provide consultation, coaching, and training as it relates to the family engagement school-based models
  • Identify mentors (external partners, Office of Family Engagement at Atlanta Public Schools, principals) to support the family engagement work
  • Continue to collaborate with metro Atlanta family engagement offices to share best practices and discuss problems of practice
  • Create opportunities for two-way communication through trainings with Associate Superintendents to build their capacity to support principals in their respective clusters

Download the strategic plan

Atlanta’s three-year vision is that through continued collaboration, Atlanta Public Schools will provide tailored resources that support families and schools.

Download Now

Atlanta Team Talk | Rebuilding Utopia through Family Engagement

Addressing bias about families and creating opportunities for meaningful family engagement allowed Atlanta educators’ mindset to shift.


Meet the Atlanta Team

Atlanta Public Schools

Chief Engagement Officer

Angela is the chief engagement officer for Atlanta Public Schools where she provides collaborative leadership in the development, execution, and support of the district’s strategic plan and other strategic management efforts. Her career with Atlanta Public Schools began in 2003 as a teacher through an alternative certification program. Since then, Angela has served in three administrations as the director of strategic programs and projects and as the assistant to the superintendent, respectively.

Prior to her current role at Atlanta Public Schools, Angela worked with many corporations and large nonprofits as a business consultant, advising clients across multiple industries in the areas of change management, organizational effectiveness, and human capital.
Angela is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Learning, Leadership and Organizational Development from the University of Georgia. She holds her MBA from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Connect with Angela via LinkedIn.

Atlanta Public Schools

Director for Charter System and School Governance

Carolyn serves as Director for Charter System and School Governance at Atlanta Public Schools. She oversees the management of the Charter System implementation for the district. In this role, she ensures operational tools and processes are effective, stakeholders are informed, schools and principals feel supported, every school has an operating governance team, and training is taking place at every level of the organization. Previously, Carolyn worked in the district as Special Assistant to Chief Strategy Officer with oversight for policy compliance, the ethics program, and accreditation. Carolyn spent most of her career in higher education strategic planning, research and analysis, compliance, fundraising and accreditation. She is a board member for the Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC) and serves as a peer reviewer for AdvancED (K-12) schools and systems. Carolyn received her J.D. from Miles Law School and a B.S. from Tuskegee University.

Connect with Carolyn via LinkedIn.

Atlanta Public Schools

Principal, Beecher Hills Elementary School

An Atlanta native and alumni of Atlanta Public Schools, Crystal is a true advocate for all children. She works to eliminate obstacles that prevent children from learning to provide them with quality instruction and opportunities to become scholars who can contribute to their community, the world, and humanity.

After eight years as a classroom teacher, Crystal served as an Instructional Liaison Specialist in Atlanta Public Schools for two years, supporting teachers with professional development and classroom best practices. She became principal of Beecher Hills Elementary School in Atlanta Public Schools in 2009 and continues to serve in that capacity. Beecher Hills was one of the 20 schools in the state of Georgia to implement the Academic Parent Teacher Team (APTT) model for parent engagement. After their successful first year of implementation, Crystal has worked closely with the district Office of Family Engagement to support and train other school teams in the district to implement the model. Beecher Hills has also begun implementing relationship-building home visits as part of the district family engagement initiative.

Atlanta Public Schools

Director of Family Engagement

Ms. Keasha Copeland is a proud alum of the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) System who has returned as an employee to take her place as a member of “the village”. Her career began in 1999 at Booker T. Washington High School, where she worked in vocational education and supported the Project GRAD School Reform Initiative.

Since being in education, she has been employed in several areas such as teaching, strategy, curriculum & instruction, human resources and performance management. Keasha continues to sharpen her craft to extend her services to families, schools, the district and the community. Previously, she obtained certification in change management and looks forward to completing her life coaching training.

Her commitment, passion, love for education and all children has afforded her the opportunity to live in her PURPOSE as the Director of Family Engagement.

Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site

Senior Associate for Education Achievement

Rubye is Senior Associate for Education Achievement at the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site. In this role, Rubye is responsible for the portfolio of education-related investments in the communities that make up NPU-V, the school district and the state.

Rubye’s career started as a middle grades math teacher in southwest Atlanta. Later, she took on an Executive Director of Data and Information position at Atlanta Public Schools. Rubye led the district in the production of actionable data to inform strategic decisions at the classroom, school, and district levels leveraging both student and teacher level data, including the production of the district’s first equity audit. Rubye completed a fellowship with the Harvard Strategic Data Project in 2015.
Rubye earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from Boston University and a Masters of Education in Secondary Mathematics Education from Emory University. In 2010, Rubye completed her doctoral degree (PhD) at Emory University in Educational Studies. Rubye serves on the board of directors for the Atlanta Families Awards for Excellence in Education and the American Educational Research Association.

Connect with Rubye via LinkedIn.

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National Family engagement fellowship

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