DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Crawford Lewis announced plans in July to improve parental involvement throughout the school system.

The new Parental Involvement Framework came from the work of a task force of parents, teachers, principals and community leaders. The framework serves as an umbrella for multiple initiatives aimed at greater parental involvement.

“One thing we wanted to do was evaluate our schools on the parental involvement programs they currently have in place,” said Audria Berry, the executive director of the Office of School Improvement.

One initiative is an electronic communications system that was piloted during the summer at nine schools in three high school attendance zones, including Brookhaven’s Cross Keys High School. The program, E-Parent Communications, aims to provide instant information via telephone, cellphone and text message at the school level and systemwide.

“Right now, we are dependent upon notes that go home to parents in backpacks, and we all know sometimes those notes don’t make it home,” said Ramona Tyson, the deputy chief superintendent for business, operations and finance.

Another component of the framework is the new Parent Resource Guide.

“It’s a one-stop shop where parents and legal guardians can find out about every component of the school district,” Tyson said.

The guide is available at, and printed copies are in every school’s front office and media center. Versions in Spanish and Somali are planned.