My name is Amneris Narvaez, and I am the Springfield Organizer. My professional journey began in the education field upon graduation from Westfield State University with a Bachelor's degree in Special Education. I worked in the Springfield Public Schools as a special education teacher for seven years before coming to work for Stand for Children Massachusetts.
As a former teacher and parent of a student in the Springfield Public Schools, I am both passionate and dedicated to the mission of advocating for access to quality education for my daughter and all children. We have a responsibility to them, to hold our educational institutions to the highest standard and make certain that there is equal opportunity for all community members.
My experience as an educator, allows me to see first-hand how parent engagement is directly correlated to student achievement outcomes and has been proven to reduce dropout rates. I also understand the critical role parents play in their children’s education, as a greater amount of their time is spent at home. Therefore, I work hard to form relationships at school with my daughter’s teachers, school principals, and parent facilitators. I also try to be as active in her school as possible, volunteering for events and participating in the School Centered Decision Making Team (SCDM), just to name a few ways.
Every day, I encourage parents to take an active role in their children’s education. Most schools’ kick-off the year with an open house. A parent’s attendance at an open house not only gives them an opportunity to meet their child’s teacher but also ensures awareness of the expectations for academic excellence and acceptable behavior. Most importantly, it gives us, the parents the opportunity to be tuned into what your child’s school day consists of and a chance to request a follow-up parent-teacher conference directly with teachers. It’s also an excellent way to explore the school, get to know the building, procedures and community resources available to support families with wrap around services such as afterschool or health and wellness programs.
Moving beyond the classroom environment, I encourage parents to engage in parent development opportunities provided by in-district and out-of-district partners. Stand for Children and other organizations; provide professional development for parents to help support their children’s educational needs. School Committee meetings are held on a bi-weekly basis and an excellent source of information about what’s happening in the school district. School committee meetings are open to the public and can be one of the best platforms for parents to raise concerns or ideas.
Together, we the parents, teachers, administrators, community organizations, can make the quality of the education available to our children the best it can be. To learn more about how you can get involved in your child's education, please contact me or my colleague Veronica.