New Parent Academy Workshops to Kick Off On January 11

January 5, 2011

   Montgomery County Public Schools today announced a new lineup of free workshops this winter to empower, inform and support parents.

   The MCPS Parent Academy will present 35 workshops between January 11 and March 30, featuring a broad array of important topics that are relevant to parents across the school system.

   Three sessions will focus on the proposed MCPS operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year and feature Dr. Marshall Spatz, the budget director for the school system. A series of four workshops will educate parents on the special education process and how to become effective advocates for their children. Those sessions will be facilitated by the Montgomery County Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. 

   The YMCA Youth and Family Services will present three workshops designed to help parents develop strategies and skills for raising responsible children.

   Many more topics also will be covered in the workshops, including how to teach teenagers to be smarter, safer drivers, and how to communicate effectively with teachers and principals.

   “At MCPS, we believe that a strong connection between students’ homes and classrooms is vital to academic success and that’s why we put a high priority on offering these workshops for parents,” said Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools. “The Parent Academy offers something worthwhile for every parent in our system.”

   These popular workshops—offered to all MCPS parents for free—take place at locations across Montgomery County. Some workshops are presented in Spanish, and free childcare and interpretation services are available upon request. The Department of Family and Community Partnerships, which oversees the Parent Academy, has forged numerous alliances with community-based organizations to provide top-notch programming and content and other support for the workshops.

   “The research shows time and again that students whose parents are actively engaged in their schooling have a much greater chance for academic success in K-12 and beyond,” said Eric A. Davis, director of the Department of Family and Community Partnerships. “The Parent Academy workshops that MCPS offers are designed to help parents and guardians guarantee that success by teaching them how they can support their students both at home and in the classroom.”

   MCPS offers a multitude of programs and services to help parents support learning at home and smoothly navigate the school system.

   The Parent Guide—an online, multimedia source packed with information about the school system—is a one-stop shop that presents an array of resources to answer essential questions about MCPS.  The Parent Guide to Special Education is designed especially for parents of students already receiving special education services in MCPS and whose children may be eligible for such services.

   To see the full schedule of workshops and to register, visit the Parent Academy website.



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