Parent Leadership Institute

The Parent Leadership Institute (PLI) is an innovative project of the Gwinnett Parent Coalition to Dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline (Gwinnett SToPP). PLI has a parent focus, pairing grassroots leadership training with school advocacy training.

What does the program entail?

PLI is an extensive training utilizing the University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute Community Leadership Program curriculum as a core foundation of its training layered with education advocacy and school discipline reform tools. Understanding the “School to Prison Pipeline” is an integral part of the program. The “School to Prison Pipeline” (STPP) is a national trend wherein students are funneled out of the regular education setting and into alternative education and the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The PLI program includes a weekend retreat, monthly comprehensive training sessions, independent homework assignments and school-community projects. The monthly training sessions will be held primarily in Gwinnett County. As a requirement of graduation, participants will be assigned to project teams to implement a school-community project designed to impact a feeder into the School to Prison Pipeline, ultimately improving the climate for learning in schools. Project results will be shared with school boards, public officials, and the community. Upon graduation, participants will benefit from being an engaged parent partner which data shows ultimately improves the achievement and graduation rates for students.

Why Participate in PLI?

PLI is a unique experience where parents and community members gain grassroots advocacy training in concert with education advocacy. Participants will learn local, state and federal education structure; parent intervention strategies; data gathering and analysis; Positive Behavior Supports; Special Education; criminal justice links to the STPP and so much more. Participants will gain a wealth of knowledge, resources, heightened involvement, and new associations in their school-community.

Note: This is a rigorous, highly-valuable training program that includes access to national leaders in the fields of education reform, first amendment issues, civil rights law and data accountability. We offer this training to Gwinnett County citizens at a nominal charge because we believe the community needs leaders equipped to speak with legislators, advocate for children facing unfair discipline and serve with us as activists. In return, we require commitment to the program over the course of several months and dedication to your team as you complete your project.  

If you are unable to invest the time needed to complete your training, please consider signing up for individual classes or defer your application to a subsequent year. Space is limited.