A Parent Engagement Forum

Inspire, Experience, Transform

Thurs. May 31st – Sat. June 2nd 2018
University of Saskatchewan Campus

Forum Goal

Walk Alongside: A Parent Engagement Forum will offer participants the opportunity to deepen their understanding of what parent engagement is, why it matters, and how to embed it in practice.

Forum Poster

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Forum Vision

Together we will work to interrupt the taken for grantedness of schooling to create a landscape on which parent knowledge is honoured and used alongside teacher knowledge to shape curriculum, teaching, and learning.

Walk Alongside:  A Parent Engagement Forum will offer teams of parents and educators from all backgrounds the opportunity to work together in a gentle revolution to have parent and family engagement become an integral aspect of all schools.

Parent Engagement Teams

Why a Parent Engagement Forum?

Decades of research demonstrate that when parents are engaged in their children's teaching and learning:

  • Students achieve better
  • Teachers benefit from the support
  • Parents have a voice in decisions which affect them

What will you experience?

  • Extended workshops
  • Community-based experiences
  • Facilitated team planning time
  • Inter-team dialogue
  • Relational learning environment
  • Personalized follow-up

What will you leave with?

A parent engagement action plan created by your team members, contextualized for your setting.

Why a team registration?

To effect systematic parent engagement it will take the voices and effort of of a number of people working together in purposeful, complimentary ways.

Who is a team?

Your team is four individuals, at least one a parent, representing diverse levels and positions within your school, school division, early learning centre, community agency, health care setting, government branch, division or ministry. For teams larger than four, register additional members at an individual fee.

Keynote Speakers

Debbie Pushor, PhD

Debbie Pushor is a mother of three adult sons, Cohen, Quinn, and Teague, and a former public school teacher, consultant, principal and central services administrator. She currently works as a Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.  In her program of research, Debbie has engaged in narrative inquiries into parent engagement and leadership, a curriculum of parents, and parent knowledge.In her undergraduate and graduate teaching, Debbie makes central an often absent or underrepresented conversation about the positioning of parents in relation to school landscapes.  Debbie, in collaboration with the Parent Engagement Collaborative, published a book entitled, Portals of Promise: Transforming Beliefs and Practices through a Curriculum of Parents (Sense Publishers, 2013).  Living as Mapmakers: Charting a Course with Children Guided by Parent Knowledge (Sense Publishers, 2015), co-written with the Parent Engagement Collaborative II, builds from and extends this earlier work.

Amy Basaraba, MEd

Amy Basaraba is Vice Principal of Howard Coad Public School in Sasktoon. She is a Michif woman whose Métis lineage originates in the Red River Settlement, Manitoba, and extends to Batoche, Saskatchewan. She has a Master’s degree in Curriculum Studies with a focus on Early Childhood Education from the University of Saskatchewan. Amy published a chapter in Portals of Promise: Transforming Beliefs and Practices through a Curriculum of Parents (Sense Publishers, 2013), where she focused on the instrumental role Indigenous families have as educators of all teachers, students, families, and community. Amy’s passion is in First Nations, Inuit and Métis worldviews, ways of knowing, and ways of doing through authentic inclusion, alongside the current curriculum for Pre-Kindergarten-Grade 8 teachers and students. Amy is the mother of 5 children.

Momina Khan, MEd

Momina Khan immigrated to Canada with her husband in 2000. She is the mother of four children. In her doctoral research, Momina raises questions about who is represented in schools and who is marginalized, whose knowledge counts and whose knowledge is silenced. Through sharing and unpacking her poetry, personal lived experiences, and her mother stories of her four children’s encounters with school and curriculum, Momina challenges the dominant institutional narrative of school and opens space for transformation. Everyday her children live in liminality as holders of dual identities, languages, cultures, and religious beliefs, juxtaposed against a social story of Canadian classroom teaching and learning. Momina accentuates that ethnically diverse Canadian children are often confused when growing up in in-between spaces of identities, pressured to fit in at school and in Canadian society. As she recognizes that such challenges pose a serious threat to children’s sense of self and their belonging to the place and people, she foregrounds how, at the same time, we have parents, untapped resources, who can clearly fill the gaps between school and home landscapes. Storying how minority parents have a depth of lived experience, knowledge, and insight to bring to the school landscape, in her doctoral work, Momina positions parents as key partners in creating inclusive curriculum, schools, and engaged communities. Ms Kahn holds a Master of Science degree in Management Studies, a Master of Education degree, and is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.



Thurs. May 31st – Sat. June 2nd 2018
University of Saskatchewan Campus

Stay Connected

Email: walk.alongside@usask.ca

Twitter: @WalkAlongsideSK

Download the Program

Program at a Glance

Community Experiences

Community Experience 1 – Indigenous Sweatlodge Experience

Take part in the Linklater Family Community Sweatlodge on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation and learn from Indigenous ceremony and the teachings of elders.

    • 10:30 – 11:00 Travel by bus to Whitecap First Nation
    • 11:00-2:00 Participate in Sweatlodge ceremony and lunch circle following the ceremony
    • 2:00-3:00 Debrief/Learn from Elders’ teachings
    • 3:00-3:30 Travel by bus to College of Education

Community Experience 2 – Core Community Experience

Learn with and from core community members as you have lunch with guests at the Friendship Inn, a community centre in which vulnerable people find safe sanctuary, and as you are introduced to the strengths and richness of the core neighborhood as you walk with a resident member.

    • 10:30-11:00 Travel by bus to the Friendship Inn
    • 11:00-11:30 Participate in orientation to the Friendship Inn/Contexts of poverty in Saskatoon
    • 11:30-1:00 Eat and visit with guests at the Friendship Inn
    • 1:00-2:30 Divide into groups, go on community walk led by community member
    • 2:30-3:00 Debrief your experiences
    • 3:00-3:30 Travel by bus to College of Education

Community Experience 3 – Newcomer Experience

Learn about a newcomer family’s culture and traditions as they prepare a traditional meal for you and tell you their story of their journey to Saskatoon. Tour the Saskatoon Misbah School and the attend the mosque for Juma prayers.

    • 10:30-1:00 Cooking demonstration by newcomers, enjoy the lunch they prepared while they share their story
    • 1:00-1:30 Travel to Saskatoon Misbah School
    • 1:30-2:00 Attend Juma Prayers
    • 2:00-2:30 Divide into 2 groups: Group 1 talks with the Imam, Group 2 tours the school
    • 2:30-3:00 Group 1 tours the school, Group 2 talks with the Imam
    • 3:00-3:30 Travel by bus to the College of Education

Community Experience 4 – Parent Engagement in Out of School Times and Places Experience

Experience parent engagement in out of school times and places. Visit with parents at Ronald McDonald House, a comfortable and caring home that enables families to stay by the side of their sick child, engaged in improving their wellbeing and being a part of their learning and life, throughout the course of their illness. Meet the teachers at Royal University Hospital who provide schooling to sick children in relationship with their parents and families. Learn about how the state of the art, soon to open Children’s Hospital was designed in response to consultation with patients and parents.

    • 10:30-11:00 am - Divide into 2 groups. Group 1 walks to Ronald McDonald House. Group 2 walks to RUH.
    • 11:00-12:00 pm - Participate in program overview/tour facility. (11:45 Group 2 walks to Ronald McDonald House.)
    • 12:00-1:00 pm   - Have lunch with parents, children and staff at Ronald McDonald House
    • 1:00-2:00 pm     - Groups spend time in alternate locations. (Group 1 walks to RUH, begins session at 1:15.)
    • 2:00-2:15 pm     - Transition: Groups reconvene at Children’s Hospital
    • 2:15-3:15 pm     - Learn about the engagement process in the Children’s Hospital   design
    • 3:15-3:30 pm     - Walk back to College of Education

About Us

Debbie Pushor and the Parent Engagement Collaborative IV

In 2010, Dr. Debbie Pushor began offering three graduate teacher education courses in the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, that comprise a curriculum of parents, offered under the overarching title, Situating Children’s Learning in the Context of Families and Communities. The courses offer students the opportunity to consciously develop philosophical, theoretical, pedagogical, and practical approaches to their work with parents and families.

Graduate student cohorts have captured their experiences immersed in this curriculum of parents – what they took up, how it shaped their knowledge, attitudes, and practices, and how they lived it out as they returned to their classrooms, schools, early learning centres, and other educational sites – in a variety of ways.

Parent Engagement Collaborative IV has planned and is excited to facilitate Walk Alongside: A Parent Engagement Forum, May 31-June 2, 2018.

Parent Engagement Forum members include:

    • Jennifer Buettner – Saskatoon Public Schools
    • Chris Ludba Danyluk – Good Spirit School Division
    • Melissa McFarlane – North East School Division
    • Lori O’Leary – Saskatchewan Polytechnic
    • Crystal Houle – Saskatoon Public Schools
    • Dan Houle – Saskatoon Public Schools
    • Debbie Pushor – Department of Curriculum Studies, College of Education
    • Justin Sauer – Prairie Spirit School Division
    • Eric Walker – Prairie Spirit School Division
    • Tammy Wuttunee – Saskatoon Public Schools.
Walk Alongside Team

Parent Engagement Collaborative III is in the midst of producing a video series entitled, Care as a Bridge between Us: Living a Pedagogy of Parent and Teacher Engagement (anticipated release date March, 2018).

Parent Engagement Collaborative II published Living as Mapmakers: Charting a Course with Children Guided by Parent Knowledge (Sense Publishers, 2015).

Parent Engagement Collaborative I published Portals of Promise: Transforming Beliefs and Practices through a Curriculum of Parents (Sense Publishers, 2013).