Parent Education Course Helps Families Support Student Learning
Summary: All SPS families are invited to join Family Connectors University, a family-focused online course to help caregivers support their child’s growth.
Online Parent Education Course Helps Families Support their Child’s Education
Empower yourself to support your child’s education by enrolling in Family Connectors University. The 10-week class offers parents and caregivers effective strategies to support student learning and growth in Seattle Public Schools (SPS). This family-friendly class, hosted by SPS and North Seattle College, has been running successfully for more than 10 years.
The class is facilitated by North Seattle College’s Parent Education Instructor Lea Evans and SPS Family Partnerships Coordinator Asosa Sailiai.
Winter Session Starts: Tuesday, Jan. 9
Duration: 10 weeks
Frequency: Once a week
Time and Day of the week: Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Format: Online, Zoom
Cost: $37, Scholarships are available
To enroll: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to the partnership with the college, participants can earn two (2) college credits! SPS offers need-based scholarships to offset the cost for participants who qualify. Please contact Asosa Sailiai to learn more about scholarships at email@example.com.
Morgan enrolled in the series last school year. Despite being an SPS graduate, when it came time for her child to begin 1st grade, Morgan was looking for extra support and guidance on how to navigate the years ahead.
“One of the things that was special is the class was built around what participants wanted to learn,” she said. “I’ve never had a college class that did that. It showed they valued what the families wanted to learn.”
For Morgan, what the class proved was invaluable. The discussions help families learn how to navigate the multitude of resources available for students.
“I know there are so many resources out there — but if you don’t know how to find them you miss out,” she said.
The class also provided a supportive community where she met other parents. It was a reminder that she didn’t have to ‘go it alone.’
Since completing the series, Morgan’s engagement with her school community has continued to flourish. She shares tips with other families about school and district resources and is contributing her time and skills as a regular school volunteer. Morgan has taken a step further by joining the PTSA, amplifying her impact on the broader school community.
Last spring, Jasmine enrolled in the Family Connectors University series. She was motivated by her desire to understand the larger school district system after transferring her child from a small private school to an SPS elementary.
“For me, the class was an opportunity to learn and feel empowered not only as a parent but also as a voter and an advocate for students,” she said.
“The sessions that covered critical topics that can be hot button issues were key for me,” Jasmine said. “It was helpful to learn about the structure and decision-making processes of student supports such as special education.”
Jasmine highlighted the benefits of learning about these topics directly from the staff providing support and services, rather than rely just on articles and reports from secondary news sources.
Recognizing the long list of responsibilities of parenting, Jasmine also found the flexible class schedule to be a game-changer. She was able to attend some classes asynchronously, fitting them into her busy schedule, and joining other sessions at the regularly scheduled time.
Each Family Connectors University Series is Unique
Family Connectors University participants learn specific techniques and new skills. The topics vary from quarter to quarter because each class cohort discusses what topics will be most helpful for them over the course of the 10 weeks.
Recent topics offered during the class include:
- Navigating the school system and advocating for your child
- Keeping kids motivated in school
- Talking about disabilities
- Talking with your child about racism
“The series provides a great overview of district and school functions,” said Asosa Sailiai. “Each class provides an opportunity for families to get more in-depth information on specific topics of their interest.”
2023-24 Family Connectors University Dates
Fall session starts Oct. 10, 2023
Winter session starts Jan. 9, 2024
Spring session starts April 16, 2024