Advisory Council

CFSP Advisory Council

The goal of CFSP Advisory Council is to establish a stable forum for families and stakeholders to communicate ideas, share expertise and link resources to elevate family engagement practice and policy in Connecticut.

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Parent/Family Membership (57%)
Stakeholder Membership (43%)

Biological parents, foster care providers, adoptive parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, or fictive kin.


Educators, professionals in schools, early childhood settings, after school settings and community organization, etc.


Businesses, Educational Institutions, Health Care, Government, Military, Faith-Based Organizations, Media, Volunteers, etc.

The Working Groups

The Innovative Work Groups offer Advisory Council members an opportunity to network, learn from others, and contribute ideas. These work groups include sub-committees dedicated to: 

Executive Committee

The CFSP Executive Advisory Committee provides leadership to the Advisory Council by convening quarterly meetings, acting as ambassadors for family engagement, making recommendations, advocating, and seeking partnerships to sustain enhanced family engagement policy and practice statewide.

Members include two Co-Chairs (one parent, one stakeholder), one secretary, three members of the Innovative Work Groups, and one national representative.


Productive, respectful, and responsive dialogue is foundational to building trusting relationships among families, schools, and community partners. 

The goal of the Communications Innovative Work Group is to work in collaboration to identify a communication need and develop a plan of action. Potential areas to consider are a CFSP website communication plan, resources for families about home learning, family engagement ambassadors, and parent-led training.

Links to Learning

Students gain emotionally, socially, and academically when there are strong connections between home and school.

The goal of the Innovate Links to Learning Innovative Work Group is to work in collaboration to identify a process, plan, or activity to establish opportunities for families and schools to share learning outcomes (hope and dreams) for students. Potential areas to consider are Parent -Teacher Home Visiting Programs, Parent-Teacher Compacts, Student Lead Conferences, Welcoming Schools, Parent-led School Orientation, and programming that supports ELL Families.

Parent Leadership

Building the capacity of families through leadership and advocacy to improve educational outcomes for all students is a priority for the CFSP Grant.

The goal of the Parent Leadership/Dual Capacity Innovative Work Group is to work in collaboration to identify, create, or expand leadership opportunities that promote an equal voice for families. Potential areas to consider are collaborating with current parent leadership training in CT, parent cafés, parent ambassador programming, equity training for families, and building a narrative that focuses on family strengths.

Alicia Thompson  Christine Ruman  Gaby De Sousa  Judy Carson* Mary Lou Molloy  Rebecca Adams Rieder 
Amy Yarbrough  Craig Cook  Jamie Bowen Kerry Lentz Maxine Nugent  Regan Allan
Anjali Illecas Dana Little  Janine McMahon Kevin Booker  Melvette Hill  Rich Mutts 
Anne Henderson David Scata  Jeffrey Wiltsee Kim DePierto  Nia Austin  Robin Drago 
Betsy LeBorious  Debra Nickischer  Jennifer Benevento  Kwasi Ntem-Mensah  Nikki Hurse  Sandra Ferreria-Molina
Brianna Beckstrand Diana Planas Jerome Roberts Lauren Castagnola  Octavia Moore*  Valerian Parillon
Camille Smith  Donna Marino* Jim Gaudreau  Leslie Escobales Patrice McCarthy Vijayalakshmi Sivasankar
Caroline Austin  Elena Trustworthy  Joyce Bosco  Linda Briceeno-Ziegler Quentin Phipps Yukio Ildo*
Carolyn Cricco Francisco Baires Jozii Ruiz  Mariam Yeung Rachel Ferrari* *Executive Committee

Meetings & Recordings

Advisory Council – 1/21/21
Advisory Council – 4/8/21
Advisory Council – 9/23/20
Advisory Council – 10/22/20

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The Connecticut Family School Partnerships bring together the expertise and resources of five diverse educational and family advocacy agencies committed to developing a Connecticut family engagement model that creates a culture of full, equal and equitable partnerships between families, schools, and community partners to elevate student success.


55 Van Dyke Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106



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