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Duquesne City School District

Implementation of Resource-Full Fair

Parental Engagement





Target group
January 2024
The most rewarding thing for our team was that we understood the importance of what we were doing for the community.

About the implementation

Since 2021, Duquesne City has joyously celebrated the return of its 7th and 8th grade students, out-placed in 2012. Rebuilding trust with families has been ongoing, and the principal can envision the end goal: "We understand it takes a village to really serve our children and community. It is important to build a foundation to ensure that our students and families get what they need."

What did you do in practice?

Our community wants to know what’s going on with the district (e.g., sports, academics, different ways to recruit students). It’s a generational community. These parents want to know what’s different now from when they went to school. We began by sending home positive notes from the school. Parents wanted to know who these teachers were and who was behind the notes. So, we created an event that helped make this connection between parents and teachers. In fall 2022 our team coordinated a resource fair that brought together the school district and a great number of community stakeholders.

Why did you do this implementation trial?

Parental engagement is important at any time but especially in our district. It must be two-way though. It is essential for parents to be invested in their student’s education but equally important for the school to be invested in the community.


The overlap of parent-teacher conferences with the resource fair provided teachers the chance to talk about student achievement as well as the resources that DUQ had available at the fair. There were many parents present, an overwhelming response actually. These positive outcomes inspired our team to want to host a second event in the spring.

Parents told us what resources they wanted and would benefit from through our survey.
Parents actively shared positive feedback.
Teachers loved that the event was intentionally planned on parent-teacher conference day.
The event helped feed the relationship between the parent and the teacher.
Numerous community resources turned out in support of our district and families.

Learning Journey

Where We Started
Our PAA team looked for people who were advocates for kids, mentored kids' work and were involved in after school hours. The initial data that we had from parents helped focus us. It also helped that we had a virtual parent engagement group to inform us. We let that drive what we did. Our advice: Tap into the natural resources that you already have. That saves time and money and widens the circle of collaborators.
Aspirational Statement
Our team of parents, teachers and administrators wanted to focus on deeply connecting with our families and understanding the dreams and hopes they had for their kids. With that in mind, we chose this aspirational statement to guide our work: "Supporting our schools to better understand parents' aspirations and motivations for sending their child to school."
Hack: Fall Resource Fair
The fall resource fair showcased community resources and employment opportunities. The survey data had shown that our parents wanted to know more about issues like adult financial literacy and adult mental health. We hosted the resource fair on the same day as parent-teacher conferences, knowing that parents would be in the building. Along with academic learning and supports, we wanted to show them that we, the school, cared about the family as a whole .
Another Hack: The Dukes Showcase
In the spring, we followed up and paired a job fair with The Dukes Showcase. Teachers featured their students and the learners took it from there. Parents were able to hear directly from students about what they were learning in school and the different opportunities they could experience, from e-sports to maker activities. The event was held outside and included family-friendly activities for the children. Teachers and parents were able to connect more deeply about their student's education.
Reflection and Next Steps
We will continue to iterate on the Resource Fair and The Dukes Showcase. As before, we will listen to the data/feedback from the parents to drive what we do next. We don’t want to make assumptions. Everything we do will be student driven. Another plan is to build upon our long-standing virtual family engagement group and start to bring them back into the building. In consideration of our growing ESL population, we are also looking for a parent representative for the Parents As Allies team.


Duquesne City School District is a small suburban public school district in the state of Pennsylvania. It is located in the east hills of Allegheny County, and serves the City of Duquesne, a former mill town on the banks of the Monongahela River. Duquesne City School District encompasses two square miles.

Duquesne City School District