Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Schools celebrate parents on National Parent Involvement Day

Schools across the district hosted a variety of events that brought parents to campus in honor of National Parent Involvement Day Nov. 21. From shadowing students and chatting with principals, to receptions filled with food and music, schools said “thank you” to parents for the important role they play in their child’s education.

Dad and son at Whitman Elementary.
Parents at Crown Point Junior Music Academy joined their students for lunch while being treated to musical performances by the school’s Suzuki Violin players, CPMA orchestra and jazz bands, and Pacific Beach Middle School’s string group.
"There must have been over 100 families present,” said Principal Muriel Bartolini. “It was so great to see how happy each child was to be able to eat lunch with his or her parents.”

Across town at Whitman Elementary, parents spent about 30 minutes observing their students in the classroom. In Mr. Brady’s second-grade classroom, several students showed their parents how they use netbooks to enrich their studies. The PTSA also hosted refreshments in the library for parents while Interim Principal Angela Zarzosa shared information about the new Common Core Standards and Local Control Funding Formula.

“I think our event was successful in reaching out to parents, as I saw many parents who had not attended these types of events before,” said Celeste Bobryk-Ozaki, Whitman PTA treasurer and one of the event’s organizers. "As a community member, I believe in the district's Vision 2020 Plan, a quality school in every neighborhood, and this includes a parent engagement program."

At both Serra and Patrick Henry high schools, parents had the opportunity to shadow their students for a few classes, while other schools hosted receptions for parents and opportunities to talk with the school’s principal. The underlying idea behind all of the events was to thank parents for their contributions and emphasize how important they are to their child’s education.

Milton Martin, vice principal at Sandburg Elementary, took time out of his busy work day to show support for his son, Nicholas, who is a sophomore at Patrick Henry High.  

"As parents many times we wean ourselves from participating in our children's lives as they get older, but our teenage children need us just as much, if not more, than they did when they were younger," Martin said. "I also wanted to also meet some of the students our son supports in the "Circle Of Friends," program. I'm very proud of our son for having such a compassionate heart and wanted to encourage him to continue in that vein." 

National Parent Involvement Day is a collaborative effort between the district’s Parent Outreach and Engagement Department and the San Diego Unified Council of PTAs to recognize parents/guardians and the invaluable role they play in supporting a child's learning at home and at school.

Other activities in the district in honor of National Parent Involvement Day included:
  • University City High School hosted a special “Chat with the Principal.” The PTSA provided refreshments and appreciation gifts to all attendees and the principal gave a presentation entitled "The Benefits of Celebrating Effort and Recognizing Achievement - a Look at Western versus Eastern Cultures."
  • Language Academy welcomed Walter Lam, president & CEO of Alliance for African Assistance, who spoke about the importance of parent involvement. A proclamation by the City of San Diego was also presented, recognizing Nov. 21 as National Parent Involvement Day. In addition, more than 20 Language Academy middle school students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement.
  • Marshall Middle School hosted a breakfast and principal chat.
  • Standley Middle School hosted events for parents throughout the day, including coffee, cookies and pizza with the principal. Each event included a demonstration for parents of the new PowerSchool Parent Portal.
  • Sandberg Elementary hosted "Family Reading Night," where students, dressed in their PJs, munched on milk and cookies and listened to the principal, teachers and parents read short stories.
  • Zamorano Elementary hosted a morning reception and allowed parents to observe their children in the classroom.
  • Loma Portal Elementary hosted as Western BBQ for parents to eat lunch with their child

This was the district’s second year celebrating National Parent Involvement Day. The national event was started 19 years ago by Project Appleseed. For more information on National Parent Involvement Day, contact Bea Fernandez at bfernandez@sandi.net or your school's PTA representative.