"We view the use of coaches (to be sure that professional learning is embedded in teachers’ day-to-day practice) as a more valuable approach than a stand-alone staff development program." - Tim Mains

Listen on:
iTunes | Android | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | Overcast | Email

Audio version:


Our guest today is Tim Mains. He is the Superintendent at Pine Bush Central School District in Middletown, New York. Tim is an experienced educator who has worked in various capacities from teacher to principal in K-12 urban, suburban, and rural school districts. He has a strong commitment to improving educational outcomes by engaging families as partners with the school.

In this episode, Tim shares the “Dual Capacity Framework” and explains how viewing parents as partners can change the entire approach to education. He gives specific strategies for taking the first steps towards parent engagement - even for schools who have limited financial resources available to initiate the starting point.

Listen and take note of how Tim has used strategic planning to accomplish very different goals in very different school systems; it’s the plan that acts as the guidebook to success.

In our discussion, we cover:

3:10 Alexis asks Tim to describe a “typical” day for him.

8:45 Tim responds to the question: What do you wish that you had known on your first day on the job in education?

10:40 Tim begins to explain what it means to make parents the partners of the school in the process of educating young people.

14:14 Alexis offers two schools of thought about parent engagement, and asks for Tim’s thoughts about the different approaches.

17:20 Alexis asks Tim, “As a new principal, what actions would you prioritize in order to engage parents?”

20:30 Alexis and Tim discuss the ways that a school can take the first steps toward parent engagement even when the school has limited finances available to start.

25:20 Tim responds to Alexis’ question about whether he is using the same techniques and approaches to parent engagement that he had used in a different school system with different challenges.

27:30 Tim discusses the value of using instructional coaches to help teachers implement any changes that are initiated in schools.

31:20 Tim expands on how to use strategic planning to set and accomplish goals in a school.

34:00 Alexis asks Tim to contrast the ideas of communication from the top down vs. on-the-ground direct communication.


8:50 “Not everything has to be perfect, and ‘not perfect’ should not mask the understanding that I’m doing some things well. Don’t let ‘perfect’ be the enemy of ‘good’.

18:50 “Rather than blaming parents for the conditions that they are in and the way that their kids are coming to school, we need to see parents as partners.

29:00 “We view the use of coaches (to be sure that professional learning is embedded in teachers’ day-to-day practice) as a more valuable approach than a stand-alone staff development program.

37:40 “One of the reasons I’m in schools all the time is that there is a lot of informal communication that occurs because I’m in the classroom.

Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:

Dr. Karen Mapp - The Dual Capacity Framework https://swopeparentengagement.weebly.com/dual-capacity-framework.html

Where to learn more about Tim Mains:

School Contact - https://www.pinebushschools.org/contact-us/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/TimOMains

Tim on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-mains-67390b26/

Where to learn more about Enrollhand:

Website: www.enrollhand.com

Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com

Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/