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Parents resources abound in miami schools

Parents Resources Abound in Miami Schools

The Miami Schools district is one of immense size. It serves students from all walks of life. In order to stay connected with their students’ first teachers (the parents) the Miami Schools have devised several ways to encourage parents to become involved in their children’s school experience. Some of these avenues are: The Office of Parental Involvement, The Parent Academy, the Bilingual Parent Outreach Program (offered by the Division of Bilingual Education and World Languages), and the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) or the PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association).

Each Miami School has a Parent Teacher Association or a Parent Teacher Student Association. This is a local organization that generally meets at individual Miami Schools. It is connected to the Dade County Council PTA/PTSA, which is part of the Florida PTA. The PTA’s mission is as follows:

• to support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community, and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children;

• to assist parents in developing skills needed to raise, protect, and prepare their children; and

• to encourage parent and public involvement in [Miami Schools].

The Bilingual Parent Outreach Program offers a series of free workshops on various topics, in an effort to increase participation of LEP (Limited English Proficiency) and/or immigrant families in their children’s education in the Miami Schools. Research indicates that most parents of immigrant students are reluctant to get involved in their children’s school functions due to language or cultural barriers. The workshops that the Bilingual Parent Outreach Program offers are hosted in Spanish and/or Haitian Creole, with the hope that parents will feel more comfortable in getting involved in the Miami Schools their children attend.

The Parent Academy, or TPA, offers Miami Schools’ parents the opportunity to experience an academic, collegiate environment while learning how to help their students succeed. There are a multitude of classes available to parents, including “The A.B.C.s of Miami…Schools” on “How to Help My Child With Math!” Parents can also take classes on how to help their child, and life skills classes such as “How to Write a Resume for a New Job”. For the parents who want to earn their degrees, the TPA offers accelerated coursework.

The Office of Parental Involvement strives to encourage all parents to take an active part in their children’s education experience while studying at Miami Schools. In a recent letter to parents, Rudolph F. Crew, Superintendent of Schools and Gary M. Pappas, Chairman of The Education Fund had this to say: “Parental involvement is at the heart of student achievement, and you play a pivotal role in the education of your children. …To help you continue on this path, [Miami Schools] and The Education Fund have created the Parent Resource Guide – a ‘one-stop’ source with helpful tips and information to guide you as you advocate for your child. …The Parent Resource Guide is meant to be a source for sharing information that will empower you to impact your child’s success [while attending a Miami School] and after graduation.”

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