What is Family Engagement?

Families play significant roles in supporting their children’s learning, in guiding their children successfully through a complex school system, and in strongly advocating for their children and for effective public schools. School and non-school supports compliment one another to create an integrated set of community-wide resources that support learning and development.
  • Family engagement is a shared responsibility, and is successful when the school and community create meaningful ways in which families can commit to actively support their children’s learning and development.
  • Family engagement is continuous across a child’s life and entails an enduring commitment; changing the parental roles as children mature into young adulthood.
  • Effective family engagement cuts across and reinforces learning in the multiple settings where children learn— at home, in school, in after school programs, and in the community. 

PACE Academy's Partnership Approach to Family Engagement
Research clearly emphasizes the importance of strong partnerships between home and school. When families and teachers and school leaders work to build positive partnerships for the success of student learning and development, students are  motivated to achieve academically, they have greater success of grade level promotion and better social/emotional skills.

PACE Academy has adopted Joyce Epstein's model of six key elements of parent involvement to help us initiate the family engagement relationship. We recognize that our families and educators have diverse needs and expectations; what works in the life of one child/family may not work for another.   Epstein's model allows for educators and families to work together, to establish a meaningful partnership that works best for all parties, and gives families many opportunities to engage in school-life.

The Six Keys to Epstein's model are:
  1. Parenting - We encourage families to establish home environments that are safe, supportive of the child and are conducive for learning at home.
  2. Communicating - We have adopted effective forms of school-to-home and home-to school communications tools. Power School Parent Portal, Schoology and Sangha are ways for parents, teachers and the school to saty engaged in the educational process
  3. Volunteering - We encourage parents to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours each school year. We use Track-It-Forward to manage volunteer hours. Attending monthly parent meetings, parent-teacher conferences add to ones volunteer hours.
  4. Learning at Home - At our monthly parent meetings and curriculum family night activities, we provide information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with homework and other curriculum-related activities, decisions, and planning.
  5. Decision Making - Parents are encouraged to be a part of the School Improvement Team. School Improvement Planning meetings and board meetings are held each month.
  6. Collaborating with Community - Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning and development.
Daily School Attendance
To benefit from the primary purpose of the school experience, it is essential that each student maintain regular and punctual daily attendance in all classes. Class attendance is necessary for learning and academic achievement; as well as for developing the habits and responsibilities of punctuality, dependability, and self-discipline.  Attendance is a high priority at PACE. Research shows that   student achievement and attendance are directly correlated.
The State of Michigan has a Compulsory Education Law (MCLA 380.1561), which makes it the responsibility of the parents or guardians to see that any child between the ages of 6 and 16 attends school properly equipped to participate in the school activities. The child’s attendance must be continuous and consecutive for the school year. Violations of this law occur “if a child is repeatedly tardy to or absent from school without valid excuse.” This includes patterns of tardiness, early dismissal or absences.
 At PACE the school day begins at 7:45AM, students arriving to school at 8:10AM are considered tardy.

Excused Absences
All prearranged, authorized, and illness-related absences will be treated as   excused absences.  Proper documentation must be presented in order for absences, tardies and early dismissals to be excused.
The following examples are examples of instances for which absences, tardiness and early dismissals might be excused:
  • Medical or dental treatment, exam, and recuperation
  • Personal illness (with official medical documentation)
  • Death in the family (Please provide obituary or funeral program)
  • Serious illness in immediate family
  • Educational experience. Pre-approved absence by school administrator before the child is absent
  • Religious observances.
  • Officially documented instances of car trouble (One excused occurrence per semester)

It is important that the school is notified of absences, tardiness or early dismissals.  We ask that we be notified in advance whenever possible.  It is also important to report all communicable illnesses as soon as possible. 
All attendance issues and illnesses should be reported by visiting the school's website,, or by calling the attendance monitor at 248-569-1060 ext. 2117.
McKinney Vento Act
The McKinney-Vento Act is the primary piece of federal legislation that deals with the education of children and youth who are experiencing homelessness.  Its purpose is to remove the barriers to education for children and youth who are homeless and to ensure school access and stability, support for educational success and child-centered decision-making.

Who is Homeless?
Under McKinney-Vento, the term "homeless children and youths"--
(A) Means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence
(B) Includes the following--

(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;

(ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

(iv) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
Click the link below if you believe meet the definition of "Homeless" as stated above.
Resources at School
Trina Hardaway, School Nurse
248-569-1060 ext. 2002

Trina Weaver, School Social Worker
248-569-1060 ext. 2011

Leslie Reid, School Guidance Counselor
248-569-1060 ext. 2223

Patricia Snyder, Tutoring and Federal Programs Coordinator
248-569-1060 ext. 2253

LaNesha Tanner, Student Data Information Manager
248-569-1060 ext. 2007

Ava Mullen, Office of Family and Student Support
248-569-1060 ext. 2117
  • Parent Meetings and Family Engagement Activities
  • Parents-As-Partners Newsletter
  • McKinney-Vento Liaison- Homelessness Support
  • Foster Care Liaison
  • Volunteer Services
  • Student Attendance
  • Uniform Assistance/Donations
  • Parent Resources
Community Resource Information

Michigan 2-1-1 Call Center Help Line
Knowing you need help is one thing. Finding someone who can help you is another. The best number to dial is 2-1-1. Find out more below.
View PDF Document
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) offers a number of programs that provide temporary assistance to families when times are tough. The link below will take you directly to the MDHHS website.

Comcast Internet Essentials
This program provides eligible families with affordable home Internet service and a low cost computer. Families will be eligible if they have at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program. For additional information please go to
Utility Services

Budget Billing Plan
Pay the same amount each month, taking the seasonal ups and downs out of the equation. Contact your local gas and/or electric company to enroll.


DTE Energy Assistance Highlights
An overview of assistance options for families having, or expect to have, problems paying their energy bills.
Payment Assistance Programs

Michigan Dept of Health & Human Services
Heat and Utilities


T.H.A.W. The Heat and Warmth Fund

(800) 866-THAW (8429)


Wayne Metro Community Action Agency
Phone: (313) 388-9799


United Way
Dial 211 for information on energy assistance programs.

Clothing & Furniture Resources

Oakland County

Baldwin Center
Phone:  (248) 332-6101
*Clothing closet and soup kitchen.


Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan
Phone: (248) 332-1300


Yad Ezra
Oak Park, MI
Phone: (248) 548-3663
*Provides groceries. To obtain this service, the person needs ID for the head of the household and social security numbers and date-of-births for everyone residing in the home.

Wayne County

Cass Community United Methodist Center
Phone: (313) 883-2277


Community Assistance Program
Provides clothes, food
5027 West Boston
Detroit MI
Phone: (313) 834-6633


Help's On the Way
Provides clothes, food
5358 South Beech Daly Rd.
Dearborn Heights, MI 48125
Phone: (313) 908-7104


Salvation Army Family Stores and Donation Centers
Low cost furniture and clothing
Detroit: (313) 835-3736
Livonia: (734) 425-7573
Romulus: (734) 467-5849
Westland: (734) 722-3660


St. Vincent de Paul (through local Catholic Churches)
Phone: (313) 393-2930

Financial Resources

Green Path Debt Solutions
Phone: (800) 550-1961
*Credit counseling and budgeting, assistance, last resort for close with disabilities


Wayne-Metropolitan Community Services Agency
Region 3 office Wayne metro
Phone: (734) 729-7635


United Way 211 Referral and Information Line
Financial Literacy and Credit Counseling will be referred by zip code.
For information on financial assistance from the Michigan Department of Human Services, apply to your local county office. 

Food Resources

For Emergency Food Assistance information, dial 211.  

To locate a food pantry in your area go to

Always call food donation agencies prior to you visit to ensure their service schedules have not changed.


Baldwin Center
Phone: (248) 332-6101
Clothing Closet and Soup Kitchen
Serving Pontiac area residents


Catholic Social Services of Oakland County Emergency Food Program
Phone: (734) 662-4462


Phone: (248) 334-5555
*Provides food and has clothing closet

Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry
25670 Northline Road
Taylor, MI  48180
(734) 442-0031
Also has resources on website about other sources in the Downriver area.


Focus Hope Food Assistance
Phone: (313) 494-5500


Phone: (866) GLEANER
*Gleaners is an emergency food distribution system. To receive emergency food assistance call the United Way Information and Referral Line at 211 or see Gleaners website under “Need Food”.


Macomb Food Program (Macomb County residents only)
Phone: (586) 469-6004

New Life Food Pantry
16975 Twelve Mile Rd.
Roseville, MI
Phone: (586) 771-0308


Open Door Outreach Center-food, clothing, referrals
Phone: (248) 360-2930
*Serves specific areas in Commerce Township, West Bloomfield, Waterford, and White Lake, CALL FIRST.


Warren Community Food Pantry
8150 Chapp
Warren, MI
Phone: (586) 755-6767

Homeless Shelters

United Way of Southeastern Michigan Referral Line
Dial 211 from your phone or visit

ChristNet Rotating Shelter
Phone: 734-671-1300


Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS)
26 Peterboro, Detroit MI
Phone: 313-831-3777


Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries
150 Stimson Street, Detroit
Phone: 313-993-4700


Wayne County Family Center
30600 Michigan Avenue, Westland, MI
Phone: 734-721-0590
Shelter for homeless families


Cass Community Social Services
11850 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit, MI
Phone: 313-883-2277


United Way of Southeastern Michigan
Dial 211 on your phone or visit

Housing Resources


Phone: (313) 964-5070


Detroit Housing Commission
Phone: (313) 877-8000


Detroit Non-Profit Housing Association
Phone: (313) 972-1111

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministry
2015 Webb
Detroit, MO 48206
Phone: (313) 883-5614
*Is a six month to two year program designed to meet the needs of homeless women (with or without children). This program provides a safe, clean, nurturing environment where women are able to determine the primary and secondary reasons why they are homeless and address those issues. The goal of the program is to address the individual’s needs and help them to resolve the reasons for homelessness, enabling them to become independent and establish themselves and their families as productive, self-sufficient members of the community.


Macomb Coalition for Emergency Shelter
P.O. Box 856
Mt. Clemens, MO 48046-0856
Phone:  (586) 783-0916
*Advocacy group for placement services


Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)
Detroit: (313) 456-3540
Outside Detroit: (800) 552-1183
MSHDA provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve safe and decent affordable housing.

The Michigan Housing Locator is Michigan's primary source for marketing affordable housing. 


North Bloomfield Properties
Phone: (248) 366-8484
*Provides a list of rental properties for low-income individuals.


Oakland County Housing/ Counseling
Phone: (248) 858-5402
*Tenants rights advocacy, information and resources related to housing, first time buyer clinics and mortgage counseling.


Pontiac Housing Commission
Phone: (248) 338-4551
*Section 8 Housing Office and voucher program


United Community Housing Coalition
Phone: (313) 963-3310


United Way Community Services 24/7 helpline
Home Phone: 211;  Cell Phone: 1-800-552-1183  


Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services
Phone: (313) 964-1975

Grief Support for Families

Sandcastles - SandCastles Grief Support Programs provides a caring place for children, teens and their families who have experienced a death. SandCastles offers quality community-based family grief services, which encourage peer support and are enhanced by educational outreach. For an appointment contact 313-874-6881.
Michigan Resources for Grieving Families
Click this link for a listing of statewide resources for grieving families.
Parent Volunteer Policy
Thank you for expressing an interest in volunteering at PACE Academy. Volunteers are an essential part of our efforts to promote academic excellence and a supportive relationship between our staff, students, and community. PACE Academy is strengthened by the work of individuals like you, who freely share their talents, time and resources. Whether it’s one hour,
one day, assistance with a special project or chaperoning a field trip, your efforts make a difference for our students!
Please be sure to carefully read the Volunteer Information and Guidelines. These guidelines have been established for the safety of both students and volunteers.

Upon completion, simply stop by the main office and fill out the ICHAT Background Check form and submit it to the school office. Please note, the completed form must be submitted to the office for approval at least 72 hours prior to volunteering.

We track volunteer hours via "Track It Forward", an electronic volunteer management system.  Once you have cleared the ICHAT process you will receive an email from "Track It Forward" encouraging you to began logging your volunteer hours.  We take volunteering very seriously; at the end of the year our volunteers who have reached or exceeded the recommended 20 hours of services will be honored at our annual volunteer reception.

  • For the safety of our students, all prospective volunteers will be subject to a criminal background check through ICHAT. PACE Academy will cover all costs associated with processing the background check. All information included in the report will be kept in a confidential file at PACE Academy.
  • The results of the ICHAT background check are valid for one year only. All volunteers must obtain approval each school year.
  • Once your application has been processed and your volunteer status is determined, you will be notified by school personnel. This process takes approximately 72 hours during the work week.
  • If you have not been contacted after 48 hours of submitting your ICHAT form, please contact the Main Office at 248-569- 1060.
  • Please note: All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

  • Always report to the main office first to sign in and receive a visitor ID badge.
  • Be sure ID badge is visible at all times while participating in volunteer activities.
  • Upon departure, make a final stop in the main office to sign out and return visitor badge.

All volunteers must strictly adhere to the PACE Academy Volunteer Guidelines.

Appropriate dress is required at all times and should reflect the school’s dress code. Remember that you are setting an example for our students. Examples of inappropriate attire includes: hats, baseball caps, scarves, yoga pants, pajama pants, provocative clothing, etc.

Child Neglect and Abuse Reporting
If a student discloses that they are in a dangerous situation or if you have reason to suspect neglect/abuse, please report this immediately and privately to the assistant principal or principal.

As you work with staff and students, remember that the problems, abilities, relationships and confidences of students, their parents, and staff should never be discussed with anyone other than a professional staff member of our school.

The school and each classroom has an established discipline policy. Please talk with the teacher to see how you can support this policy. When issues arise concerning student behavior, your responsibility is to inform the teacher or other supervising school personnel. Please do not address the child(ren) directly.

Emergency Drills
If you are present during a drill, follow the lead of the nearest faculty or staff member.

Field Trips
While many volunteer opportunities are available at PACE Academy, serving as a chaperone for field trips is one of the most popular. When volunteering time as a field trip chaperone, the  following guidelines apply:
Chaperones must:
  1. Sign in and out at the school office.
  2. Wear the volunteer badge provided by PACE.
  3. Report directly to the classroom.
  4. Follow the itinerary provided by the teacher(s) in charge.
  5. Maintain contact with all students in the assigned group.
  6. Report students not following rules to the teacher in charge.
  7. See that the students under your charge are obeying the rules. These rules should be enforced consistently.
  8. Contact the teacher immediately if any problems arise with a student.
Only individuals that have been designated by the district as approved volunteers are permitted to chaperone or accompany a class on a field trip. The volunteer’s undivided attention is needed when serving as a chaperone, therefore, siblings or other children are not permitted to attend field trips.

Helping the Teacher and Class
Volunteers work under the direction of the classroom teacher or office staff member who defines the volunteer’s duties and expectations. When serving as a classroom volunteer, the teacher(s) will work with you to create a schedule. If for any reason you will not be able to volunteer at your scheduled time, please notify the classroom teacher in advance.

Volunteer vs. Parent
When working in the building, please adhere to the volunteer schedule and try to keep your roles as volunteer and parent separate. If your child has a problem, let your child work out the problem with others and the teacher through established classroom routines and procedures. If you need to speak with a teacher about a situation involving your child, please make
arrangements to do so at a time agreed upon with the teacher that does not interrupt instructional time.
**Volunteer time is limited to one hour per day in your child’s classroom, unless otherwise requested by the teacher. Contact Ms. A. Mullen for other volunteer opportunities.**

Impartiality and Objectivity
A volunteer shall not favor one side or party more than another in all school situations. Personal feelings shall not enter or interfere with work as a volunteer.

Names and Labels
Every child brings to school his or her own specific skills and abilities and grows and learns at his/her own pace. Please do not make value judgments or label the abilities of any child. Please be careful not to compare your child to another in the class as they are all unique individuals.

Respect for Authority
A volunteer shall respect the authority of all school personnel. If you have a problem, issue or disagreement, please bring it to the assistant principal or principal’s attention privately, at an appropriate time.

Safe Touch Area
Handshakes and high fives are considered appropriate friendly touches. Never touch a child inappropriately or in anger. If a student is unruly or disrespectful, refer him/her to the classroom teacher. School personnel are mandated reporters. Should a child be touched inappropriately by a volunteer, the school district is obligated to file a report with the Department of Children and Family Services.

Safe Verbal Communication
Let your conversation demonstrate respect for others and yourself. Avoid language that may be perceived as discriminatory, sexist or offensive.

Tobacco Products, Drugs and Alcohol
Volunteers are prohibited from using or being under the influence of tobacco products, drugs, or alcohol.

The workrooms are available for volunteer use. Please allow faculty and staff first priority on using the equipment.

PACE Academy reserves the right to suspend and/or revoke volunteer approval, and it may contact the local law enforcement should a volunteer pose a danger in any way. We want your volunteer time at PACE Academy to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the principal.

Thank you for partnering with us in the pursuit of academic success for all!
Ava Mullen
Family & Student Support Coordinator
McKinney-Vento Liaison
Foster Care Liaison

PACE Academy
23777 Southfield Rd.
Southfield, MI  48075
248-569-1060 ext. 2117