Parent Information Resource Centers, or PIRCs, are federally funded programs under Title V of the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), through the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement. In all, there are about 60 PIRCs across the United States, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Parents Reaching Out is the home for the New Mexico PIRC.
PIRCs are required to be statewide, serving all families in rural and urban areas, with a focus, on low income, minority, and limited English proficient (LEP) children. At least half of a PIRC’s funds must go towards serving these at-risk, low income families and children.
PIRCs were funded to provide technical assistance to families and educational agencies in understanding the components of the ESEA, which include Accountability, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), Public School Choice, and Supplemental Education Services (SES).
PIRCs also help implement successful school-based and/or school-linked parental involvement programs, effective parental involvement policies, and activities that address the educational needs of all children and lead to improvements in student academic achievement. To do this, the NM PIRC helps schools implement The Epstein Model for School-Family-Community Partnerships or Action Teams for Partnerships (ATPs).
ATPs help schools meet the requirements of Section 1118 of the ESEA and, in New Mexico, the requirements of NM House Bill 212. The Epstein Model also aligns with the New Mexico Toolkit for School, Family, and Community Partnerships. Ultimately, the NM PIRC assists families, schools, and communities with becoming true partners for the academic success of all children.
As the NM PIRC, Parents Reaching Out is a member of the National Network of Partnerships Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University. The NNPS works with schools, districts, states, and organizations utilizing the Epstein Model to “use research-based approaches to organize and sustain excellent programs of family and community involvement that will increase student success in school.”
The NM PIRC is a founding member and proud partner of the New Mexico Family/Parent Involvement Advisory Council (FPIAC), a council that serves in an advisory role to the New Mexico Public Education Department (NM PED). The FPIAC explores and advises the future direction of parental involvement in New Mexico schools.
Currently, with the support of the New Mexico Public Education Department, the New Mexico PIRC is collaborating with New Mexico School Districts and individual school sites to implement Action Teams for Partnerships, for a total of 20 Action Teams in the 2009 – 2010 school year. Our partnerships also include 17 early childhood agencies, including Head Start, a GRADS (Graduation Reality and Dual-Role Skills) program, and several Parents as Teachers (PAT) providers. Find out more about these and other PIRC Partnerships.