National PIRC Coordination Center
About the Center About the PIRCs PIRC Directory Resources
PIRC directory  
 
Funding for the PIRC program as a whole has been discontinued by the US Department of Education. Therefore, most PIRC programs are no longer in operation although several are continuing with funding from other sources. You may contact PIRCs directly to determine their status.
Pennsylvania State PIRC
Camp Hill, PA
275 Grandview Avenue, Suite 200
Camp Hill, PA 17011

Web site: http://www.center-school.org/pa-pirc/
Hours: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday
  Director:
Dr. Mark Lewis

Phone: 717-763-1661 ext. 137
Fax: 717-763-2083

Evaluator: Dr. Ben Cohen

Logo for Pennsylvania State PIRC

State PIRC Board:

PA PIRC will fulfill the federal requirement of establishing a Board of Directors separate and distinct from the fiscal agent (Next Century, Inc.) that will be called the PA PIRC Board. This PA PIRC Board will be composed of representatives from state and local agencies, organizations and school districts representing education, health, social services, parent support groups, and parents and will provide further guidance on the coordination of PA PIRC services and resources. The PA PIRC Board includes representatives from the following:

  • Caroline Allen, President, Pennsylvania PTA
  • Becky Blue, Early Childhood and Family Development Program Manager, PA State PIRC
  • Norman Bristol-Colon, Executive Director, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs
  • Diane Castelbuono, Deputy Secretary, Elementary and Secondary Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education,
  • Janelle Coleman, Administrative Officer, Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs
  • Carrie Collins, Human Specialist Program Manager, Child Development and Early Learning, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
  • Lynn Cromley, Director, Center for Schools and Communities
  • Jane Daschbach, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, PA Department of Education
  • Quibila Divine, Office of Family and Community Relations, School District of Philadelphia
  • Linda Dolan, PA State PIRC Director, Next Century, Inc.
  • Blair Hyatt, Executive Director, PA Head Start Association
  • Carmen Medina, Migrant Education, PA Department of Education
  • Laurie Mulvey, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh
  • Renee Palokovic, Federal Programs Division Chief, Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Mary Ramirez, Bureau of Community and Student Services, PA Department of Education
  • Gloria Rhule, Penn State University
  • Karen Shanoski, Family-Community Partnerships Manager, PA State PIRC
  • Marie Viercinski, EI Preschool Support, Parent Education Network

Special Advisory Committees:

PA PIRC has three special advisory committees called Regional Sub- Committees. They will meet in the eastern, central and western regions of the state.


The purpose of PA State PIRC is improving children’s learning by informing, equipping and empowering parents to take a leading role in their children’s learning at home and at school and making decisions about their children’s educational options. PA State PIRC supports schools in welcoming parents/family members and community representatives as active and effective partners in student achievement.

The goals are to:

  1. increase parents’ understanding of standards-based learning; state and local reports; public school choice; supplemental education services; and parents’ role in their children’s learning;
  2. improve and expand programs for parents of children birth to age five so children are ready for school;
  3. improve district and school parent involvement policies, programs, and activities to engage parents and community members that focus on student achievement and school improvement; and
  4. coordinate research-based parental involvement resources and services for Pennsylvania schools and parents.

Parental Engagement Model

Family-School-Community Partnerships is the means for active parent/family engagement and effective community involvement with schools to produce higher levels of student achievement. Instruction and consultation is available through: regional and statewide workshops directed to teams of family members, community representatives and school staff; school-family team participation in the Solid Foundations program; and training parents.

Early Childhood Model

PA State PIRC in coordination with the Center for Schools and Communities serves as the State Systems’ Leader supporting the maintenance of more than 90 existing PAT programs and the creation of new ones by working with community-based organizations on needs assessment, funding streams, management structures, client recruitment, and quality assurance. All PAT programs receive accessible and expanded PAT training offerings including: Born to Learn‘ (P-3), Born to Learn‘ (3-K), Beginning Supervision, Advanced Supervision and Ages & Stages‘. PAT trainings that focus on supporting families of children with special needs, issues in working with teen parents and working with blended families are also offered.

Major Activities

PA State PIRC focuses on increasing parents’ understanding of accountability and reports, school choice, and SES options. PA PIRC utilizes existing networks of key local stakeholders that are most likely to both directly reach eligible parents of preschool and school-aged children and have already established credibility with these parents. Trained representatives from these stakeholder organizations: 1) teach parents to access and assess the level of learning, school safety and discipline at the school their children will attend and at other schools available to them; and 2) help parents understand their rights to school choice and/or select SES options that match their child’s learning needs.

How the Work Plan Meets the Needs of Parents

Parents in Pennsylvania have access to current research findings and practical application strategies providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively help their children to be successful students and citizens through PA PIRC array of services (highly qualified PAT programs, FSCP workshops and consultation, newsletters, website and local access through partner organizations).

Alignment of Work to Statewide PIRC Efforts

The work of PA State PIRC aligns to the purposes of the statewide PIRC efforts to improve children’s learning by informing, equipping and empowering parents to take a leading role in their children’s learning at home and at school and make decisions about their children’s educational options. PA State PIRC supports schools in welcoming parents/family members and community representatives as active and effective partners in student achievement.

Free Webinar Series
The U.S. Department of Education and its partners invite you to view the archive for the webinar, Bringing it All Together: Family and Community Engagement Policies in Action, which took place on November 16, 2011.

This is the ninth and final webinar in the series, Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement.
United States Department of Education Funding for this project is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, contract number ED-04-CO-0039/0001. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Education.
SEDL Home