Fall River Parent Academy

The ability to engage a parent in his or her children’s education has been shown over and over again to be a critical factor in student success rates.  When families become involved in the educational process, students, schools, and communities benefit because strong home-school partnerships help all stakeholders focus on the issue of student achievement (Caplan, 2000). The development of a meaningful partnership between the Fall River community, the public schools, and parents across the city can be the bedrock of a thriving community.

SMI has begun this planning process as state and national policy makers are stressing the need for urban parents to take an active role in their children’s education. Parent Academies are operating or being planned in many communities across the country.  For many years, SMI has been looking at examples and trying to learn from the experience of others including those in Springfield, MA, Miami, FL, Philadelphia, PA, Brockton, MA and others to ensure best practices are imbedded and the model fits Fall River.

While the Academy’s ultimate goal is to improve children’s academic performance, the vision for Fall River is an Academy that not only provides core classes and workshops for parents to help their children, but also includes classes and workshops that are growth courses for parents to learn new skills and opportunities, and certification opportunities whereby parents can increase potential employment and career development.

Fall River Public Schools will be at the forefront of this effort. This will not succeed if it is the responsibility of the public schools alone. This must be a city-wide effort in which educators, businesses, community and civic leadership come together to develop what we envision to be a 21st century learning opportunity for parents in our city.

Partners are essential in planning this groundbreaking opportunity. Fall River educators, community partners, and invested youth workers have been invited to join this discussion of the development of a citywide planning committee to jumpstart the Academy, which we envision opening its doors in 2015/2016. This committee (and its workgroups) will be charged with making recommendations on curriculum, facilities, faculty and fundraising. We will be looking for creative ideas, a committed group of community leaders and a “can do” attitude for our children.

Read more about the Fall River Parent Academy here.

 

In a Nutshell

Founded in 1985 at Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy and Management, School & Main Institute (SMI) has grown into a nationally recognized, independent non-profit training and partnership development organization that has worked with organizations and state agencies in more than 35 states.

Projects

School & Main Institute staff and faculty have years of expertise as organizational leaders, program developers, trainers, and facilitators in the fields of education, workforce preparation, youth and community development.

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