PMP282: Building ‘Parentships’ with Dr. Kyle Palmer

Kyle Palmer is currently Executive Director of Human Resources for the Center School District of South Kansas City, MO. Before this transition, Dr. Palmer spent the previous ten years as principal of nationally recognized Lewis and Clark Elementary in Liberty, MO. Kyle began his career as a 4th grade teacher in Ankeny, Iowa in 2000.

In 2013, he was named the Distinguished Principal for the Clay-Platte region of Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals in 2013. Under his leadership, Lewis and Clark Elementary was designated as an “National Model PLC School” by Solution Tree in 2013 and 2015 as well as an “ICLE Model School” in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In his “spare time” Kyle consults with the ICLE (International Center for Leadership in Education), Solution Tree, and as a certified John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer, and Coach.

He is the author of the new book, Parentships in a PLC at Work®: Forming and Sustaining School-Home Relationships With Families:

Parents and guardians can be a powerful resource for teachers, but it takes skill and confidence to build partnerships, or parentships, and proactively engage in a positive way. Kyle Palmer draws from his experience as both principal of a model PLC school and as a parent to offer practical strategies for including parents or guardians as part of your collaborative culture focused on student learning.

  • Understand the basics of PLCs and parentships.
  • Learn how parentships can integrate into and enhance the PLC process.
  • Create mission and vision statements for parentships in a PLC.
  • Use specific strategies to enhance your parentship and engage effectively with parents.
  • Maintain an effective parentship into the future.

Dr. Palmer was a previous guest on PMP141 in February 2019. You can hear that interview here:

In this week’s episode, Dr. Palmer answers covers several topics:

  • What motivated him to write this new book
  • Ways education leaders embed “parentships” into their own learning communities
  • Strategies he has seen work that other leaders could consider implementing

Finally, he discusses how politics create an “us versus them” mentality with schools and parents, and Dr. Palmer offers advice for leaders to overcome this divide.

Listen-in as he explains how we must seek parent engagement versus parent “enragement” by setting norms with parent advisories, asking for more targeted feedback, assigning leaders to guide parent groups, and leveraging parent expertise to help motivate and guide student exploration.

You can connect with Dr. Palmer on Twitter via @DrKylePalmer and pre-order his new book at

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker