Parent Academy Looks to Connect Home and School

The SHS Parent Academy offers parents the opportunity to collaborate with with the school and students to improve education and culture.

courtesy of Pixabay.com

The SHS Parent Academy offers parents the opportunity to collaborate with with the school and students to improve education and culture.

Chan Mi Park, Scribe Editor

Schaumburg High School, seeking to respond to parents’ needs, established the Parent Academy to develop a collaborative community that will enable adults to better support their students.

With the pandemic and the onslaught of online learning, many parents were struggling to help their children through a new learning environment. In order to address this problem and help the parents feel more a part of the community, SHS developed Parent Academy over the summer. 

“One of the things that we include in each session is social and emotional learning,” Mrs. Smith explained. “It is providing support and strategies to parents so that they can help support their own children at home, taking away that barrier between home and school.”

SHS utilizes Parent Academy to gauge what resources and aid parents need. Parents can then bridge the gap between school and home with/for their students. Because of Parent Academy, community members will become resources for students hopefully strengthening relationships all around.

Culture is a vital aspect of every family, and every family has their own culture. That diversity can sometimes cause a challenge when students and families do not feel well-acclimated to a school culture. Through Parent Academy, the school wishes to learn and be more open about the varying familial cultures that exist in order to facilitate a better understanding of the situation of students.

“A culturally responsive lens is essentially looking at everything through the lens of each family,” Mr. Melton said. “Oftentimes at school we frame things in our perspective, so… [w]e want to adapt to help support these different perspectives, and open our perspective to the idea that we don’t know everything or see everything the same way as educators. In order for us to be really engaged with our parent community, we have be able to understand their perspectives, and we also have to understand and be able to respond to some of the needs they have regarding culture.”

It is providing support and strategies to parents so that they can help support their own children at home, taking away that barrier between home and school.”

— Mrs. Smith

 

Parent Academy was established this year, and through careful development, the goal is to expand its network to reach all parents and to cement its foundation into the school. 

“Our hope is that we can continue to grow and develop different things and ideas for each Parent Academy session, so that it can continue to blossom as the years go on,” Mrs. Smith said.

For parents who are unable to attend due to varying situations, all meetings are recorded and put onto the Schaumburg Highschool YouTube page. Additionally, the parent survey that assesses parents’ needs, is available under the Parent Academy section of the Schaumburg High School website.

“What we really want to do is connect with parents who might not otherwise have come to evening presentations, or parents who might not have access,” Mr. Melton said. “This is why we have babysitting layered in and bringing community resources so that there are opportunities for parents when they do come that they are not only exposed to the topics but they also understand some of the things that are out there in the community that can help them and support them in different ways.”

Ultimately, students benefit the most with Parent Academy. Even though the academy itself centers around parents, supporting students is at the center of it all.

“Really the goal is to bring all those things together, so that we are talking and exchanging information, to establish a much stronger support layer for students. All of it benefits the student ultimately.”

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