Forest Park, IL...
More than 100 parents attended Parent University at the District 209 offices at Proviso Math and Science Academy on Saturday, August 10.
The Parent University was a series of workshops and a panel discussion designed to prepare parents to help their students in high school and beyond. The University was part of the district’s parent involvement through Title I and the Board of Education’s goal of improving stakeholder involvement. Those who attended were reminded of the need to stay involved in their children’s lives as they progress through high school.
"We have to guide them," said Ms. Rachel Clark, a parent at Proviso East High School who spoke as part of a panel of district parents. "We still have to check on their homework. We have to stay on top of their lives."
Along with the parent panel, the Parent University featured sessions on tips on helping students navigate through high school and how to prepare them for college and a future career. It also included individual sessions about Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Math and Science Academy, facilitated by the building principals and assistant principals.
The Parent University was a collaboration between the district and the Proviso Strengthening College and Career Readiness Committee, which is a partnership among the following groups: Triton College, Community Alliance, Loyola University Medical Center, Neighborhood United Methodist Church, Casa Esperanza, The Need to Know Group, Resurrection Project, the Education Committee of Community Alliance, and District 209.
"The Parent University was a very positive event in which we were able to reach out to parents in our district," said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. "We had a great deal of good information presented, and we are planning to continue this type of outreach in the future."
Others on the parent panel also had their own advice to impart at the Parent University. They encouraged parents to use the resources that their school offers to ensure that their student is doing well.
Ms. Janice Wordlaw, a parent at Proviso West, said that parents need to speak up when they are not satisfied with anything involving their children.
"We have to speak up for our children because our children are dying by the wayside," she said. "We need to show up to these meetings. We have to push our children to be better than us."
Mrs. Sharon Galloway, a parent at PMSA, said that parents needed to support their students by being informed about what is happening in their schools. She said that they should read the district’s website, emails that are sent out, and regularly check PowerSchool for updates on their students’ progress. They also should promote their children’s school and the district in a positive manner.
"Spread the word in your community," Mrs. Galloway said. "When you speak of our district, speak of the good things. Be a cheerleader."
The District is planning more ways to help parents be more involved in the schools, including future Parent Universities and school tours. We thank the parents for attending and the parents and volunteers for their help in making Parent University a success.