ParentNet® is a school-based initiative that prepares parents to become school leaders and facilitators of grade-level meetings. Guided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Dual Capacity-building Framework, this parent-to-parent model brings together parents and educators of each school grade-level to share and discuss academic goals and student social-emotional development. The ParentNet model was created at the Overlake School in Redmond, WA in 1992 and since then, it has been implemented in schools across the nation.  Read more about the history of ParentNet here.

ParentNet grade-level meetings are organized and facilitated by parent leaders trained by the Washington Family Engagement Trust. Facilitators partner with their school to bring together other parents and school staff for grade-level meetings which are held at the school and include food, refreshments, language interpreters and other accommodations.   Meeting participants come away not only with new knowledge but with the ability and desire to apply what they have learned.

Characteristics of ParentNet

ParentNet is based on group learning and focused on building collaborative networks. The meetings create safe, respectful environments for shared adult learning and the development of strong school-family partnerships and social networks.

ParentNet facilitators are given opportunities to learn and apply new skills. Skill mastery requires coaching and practice. During ParentNet Facilitator training sessions, school staff and parents receive training, tools and have the opportunity to practice new skills and receive feedback and coaching from peers, and trainers.

ParentNet grade-level meetings are aligned with school and district achievement goals. Parents and educators have a chance to share and discuss grade-level academic goals together.

ParentNet builds re­spectful and trusting relationships between home and school. ParentNet meetings are welcoming, participatory, cross-cultural events that serve as the foundation for shared goals and responsibility for student achievement.

ParentNet promotes cross-cultural communication and understanding. Parents and educators from diverse backgrounds and walks of life come together to learn and think differently about the roles they play in student achievement and in the improvement of their schools and communities.

ParentNet Facilitators report increased self-confidence, new leadership and public speaking skills, stronger connections to their school and better understanding about supporting their children’s education. ParentNet meeting participants report hearing new and relevant academic information they would not have heard otherwise, meeting parents they did not know, learning important academic and developmental information/tips they can apply at home, increased connection to their school.  Schools report increased parental interest and participation in student learning, better understanding of diverse families, improved home-school communication and feeling more confident about parental support for their school.

ParentNet schools

Welcome to our ParentNet Schools!

  • Horizon Elementary School – Mukilteo School District
  • College Place Elementary - Edmonds School District
  • Olympic View Middle School – Mukilteo School District
  • Marysville-Pilchuck High School – Marysville School District

ParentNet can be implemented in preschool, elementary and secondary schools and it is available in English and Spanish.For more information about implementing this school initiative contact: