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Parent Summit: A pathway for families to support student success

 Video and story by Sydney Northcutt, Communication Internship Program

Studies have shown that students whose parents are actively involved in their education achieve higher grades and test scores, have better social skills, and are more likely to graduate high school and attend college.
FCUSD's third Parent Summit allowed families to gain insight on what their students are learning and how they can support their students both in the classroom and at home. 

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After every Parent Summit parents are asked to complete an evaluation to provide feedback on what they wish to learn about next time. Information about the STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, math) was a popular request from parents who attended the last summit, so FCUSD brought hands-on activities to teach parents about what their students are learning in the classroom.

Lari Powell, FCUSD’s lead STEM teacher was eager to share with parents the STEM curriculum and how they can encourage STEM development at home. “So we are here talking to parents about what we offer in our classrooms, what we offer after school, and what they can do at home to cultivate STEM interest and STEM skills,” said Powell.

Student care programs, specifically the ASES-STARS program (After School Education and Safety) was highlighted at the summit. The director of the program, Linda Burkholder, ran a Jeopardy game designed to provide information to parents about the after school student care program offered by the district. She also provided parents with information about community programs and sites that are beneficial to students and their families.

“This is a way for them to see snapshots of our curriculum, our programs; today we’re also highlighting our after school programs student care and ASES, and the Union at Cordova High School,” said Elena Cabrera, Director of Categorical Programs for FCUSD and head of the event.

The Parent Summit is designed to be a hands-on, interactive, informative event that parents are encouraged to attend to learn more about district programs and the everyday life of their student. Childcare was offered at the summit so parents could engage in the full experience without any distractions. Spanish and Russian translators were also provided to ensure every parent could take full advantage of the program.

Mila, a mother of a kindergartener at Rancho Cordova Elementary said, “I would recommend it [the Parent Summit] because it’s a lot of good information. I learned a lot of stuff that I didn’t know was offered by the schools and FCUSD. . . just how to be involved in your child’s life.”