Parents as Partners: Focusing resources, ideas, and strategies to ensure student success at home


Photo By August de Richelieu

From concerns over finances and job security, to questions about health and safety, families of school-aged children are being pulled in many directions right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, including San Diego Unified parents, caregivers and students.

Parents as Partners was developed earlier this year to address issues that families may be dealing with during Distance Learning. Hour-long Zoom discussions are moderated by a panel of professionals, providing real-time interaction and accessibility for any family that wants to participate. Subject matter is decided by a task force of district teachers, principals, nurses, parents, and other stakeholders in the community.

Two Parents as Partners sessions have already been held (May 20 and May 27). There is one more scheduled meeting on June 3, 2020. Both a morning and evening session will be offered (the same material will be covered). Translation services are also available.
At a session, parents and caregivers log in to the meeting through a Zoom link to both see and hear the material being presented. A portion of time is reserved for questions and answers related to that day’s subject matter.

The May 20 session was an overview of Distance Learning centering on available resources and strategies for daily student participation. On May 27, the topic was life skills for students, such as cooking and good hygiene, and underscored the need to celebrate and strengthen a family’s cultural identity during Distance Learning.

June 3 is the final scheduled meeting for the 2019-2020 school year. It will center on wellness, mindfulness, and techniques to lessen the stress. At this time, no summer sessions are planned.

In addition to Parents as Partners, San Diego Unified has weekly Facebook Live chats from Superintendent Cindy Marten. The half-hour presentations include school district updates and provide an opportunity for anyone to submit a question. Questions will be answered as time permits during the chat, or subsequently by the SDUSD Communications Department.

The district also has a special section of their website dedicated to “Day in the Life” videos, showing the serious and lighter sides of coping with current realities from the viewpoints of parents, students, teachers, and SDUSD staff members.

“This has been an amazing opportunity to connect with our families in their homes,” said San Diego Unified Instructional Support Officer Theresa Laskowski. “It’s been great to see them, to hear from them and to strengthen the partnership between home and school.”

If you’d like to attend the upcoming session of Parents as Partners, the following options are available:

Wednesday, June 3, 10-11 a.m.
Wednesday, June 3, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

SOURCE: San Diego Unified School District