Alachua County School Board’s Parent Academy Offers Suite of Programs & ResourcesMarch 5th, 2016 by gainesvillechamber
A recent Alachua County Public Schools brief, described the efforts of the Alachua County Public Schools system to develop a support system for parents due to the increased state standards and the accountability for students, teachers and the education system. The Superintendent and his Board envisioned a place for parents to find hope, answers, support and education. Through this mission and vision, The Parent Academy manifested to aide parents’ growth in the areas of education, empowerment and engagement.
Parental involvement is varied amongst schools and grade levels, therefore it is reasonable to conclude the type of support parents need is unique and requires a modern, sometimes unconventional approach. Since the onset of The Parent Academy in September 2015, the development of programs to create opportunities for parental involvement and engagement has increased significantly. Several programs have been developed and aligned with the goals of The Parent Academy and in turn will assist in facilitating the needs of our parents.
The Parent Academy Programs
HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters)
HIPPY is a grant funded home based program with a goal of teaching parents to perform as their child’s first teacher. Parents are supported through weekly home visits with a mentor and practice teaching through role play with their home mentor. This program is offered to parents with children ages three, four and five.
The Parent Emissary program is grant funded by the City of Gainesville. The City of Gainesville and Alachua County Public Schools have united to provide parents with a support system to encourage the healthy development of our students and families. The Parent Emissary program recruits volunteers to prepare systems of support for parents with identified student concerns in the areas of attendance, academics, behavior and parenting skills.
The Parent Academy has begun its work with seven targeted schools throughout Alachua County. Collaboratively, targeted schools and The Parent Academy will work to give parents a pronounced voice through surveys and opportunities for feedback. The input garnered from parents will drive the direction of courses, workshops and educational opportunities provided to parents at their school site.
Mobile Learning Lab
The mobile learning labs are renovated school buses reformatted to serve as mobile computer labs. This innovative direction Alachua County Public Schools has embarked upon, will open doors of opportunities for parents personally, professionally and in advocatory capacities. Along with GED programs, the mobile learning labs will offer financial literacy workshops, training on advocacy and parenting skills and student achievement techniques. These are the initial offerings parents will be able to take advantage of in their community across all of Alachua County.
Through collaboration with various school district departments and partnerships throughout the community, The Parent Academy will focus on engaging and supporting parents during their child’s prekindergarten juncture to proactively develop parents and focus on school readiness. The future of Alachua County Public Schools and The Parent Academy will continue to nurture and develop parents in their role as their child’s most important teacher. The district’s goal is to continually empower and educate parents with the intent of fostering active engagement and increasing student achievement.
The school district look forward to working with our community to ignite change and cultivate a better tomorrow for our students and families.
For more information, contact Natalie Strappy, Parent Academy Director, for more information.