The Connecticut Commission on Children
The Connecticut Commission on Children
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18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, Conn.  06106-1591
Phone: (860) 240-0290  Fax: (860) 240-0248
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Parents Supporting Educational Excellence (Parents SEE)

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Read an April 2009 evaluation of Parents SEE and PLTI
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Parents Supporting Educational Excellence (Parents SEE) provides motivated family members with practical strategies for working with other parents, educators, and community leaders to examine education policies and practices.

Participants join a strong community of parents interested in the details, the context, and the strategies to promote school practices that increase achievement and success for all students.

They learn what to expect from schools, how to partner with them, and how to be successful civic leaders on education issues. During each session, participants acquire knowledge, engage in dialogue that encourages understanding of diverse viewpoints and experiences, and practice the skills needed to effect constructive change.

By the end of the course, parents are poised to address with confidence public policies and civic engagement to improve schools for all children.

The 12-week course was designed by the Connecticut Center for School Change and the Connecticut Commission on Children.

Continuing education credits (CEUs) are offered by the state Department of Education.

More about the program

What are the goals of Parents SEE?

What are the fundamental concepts and core beliefs of the program?

How can Parents SEE benefit parents, children, schools, and communities?

What do participants need to learn in order to get these benefits?

What specific learning outcomes does Parents SEE help develop?

Who are the participants?

Who provides support to this program?

Who are the facilitators?

What happens in a typical session?

How do participants receive a certificate?

What's the curriculum?

 

What are the goals of Parents SEE?

The goals of Parents SEE are to:


What are the fundamental concepts and core beliefs of the program?


Parents SEE is based on four core beliefs:

The Parents SEE curriculum develops four fundamental concepts by providing knowledge and application tools, developing understanding, and opportunity for practice with feedback within a community of trust and support. The four concepts are:


How can Parents SEE benefit parents, children, schools, and communities?

Research studies show a clear linkage between student achievement and family involvement. When schools, families, and community groups work together, students do better in school and have a higher probability of success. Students whose parents are involved in their education are more likely to:

The linkage between parental involvement and student achievement is the reason for Parents SEE.

Parents, children, schools, and communities benefit:


What do participants need to learn in order to get these benefits?


There are three overarching concepts and relationships that the participants come to understand as a result of their participation in this course:

Participants address these broad but essential questions:

1. What do effective schools look like?

2. What is change?

3. How and why do schools change?

4. What is our educational system?

5. How does your school district function?

6. What is a citizen's/parent's role in how the school district functions?

7. Why do some students succeed in school while others do not?

8. What is a parent's role in children's learning and school improvement?

9. When are improvements in schools warranted?

10. What are key education policies?

11. How do parents lead in schools?

12. What do knowledge, skills and a civic tool kit mean for effective parent leadership in education?


What specific learning outcomes does Parents SEE help develop?

Knowledge. As a result of Parents SEE, participants will know:


Skills. As a result of Parents SEE, participants will be able to do these things in relation to education:


Who are the participants?

Each class has 15-20 participants.

Parents SEE recognizes that multiple generations raise children. The program is open to parents and grandparents. Participants in each class represent diverse ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds, have varied life experiences, and express different civic and educational interests. All are committed to improving student learning and to partnering with schools.

Parents SEE supports participation. To support participant attendance, the following is provided:


Who provides support to this program?

Parents SEE is offered by a community with the support of the school system. A Local Community Design Team that reflects the demographic profile of the community oversees and supports the course. The responsibilities of the Design Team are to:


Who are the facilitators?

Sessions have two facilitators: one with a background in education, and one with experience in parent leadership training. Facilitators are trained, certified, and matched with communities by the Parents SEE Oversight Team from the Connecticut Commission on Children and the Connecticut Center for School Change. In addition to preparing and guiding activities in each session, facilitators provide support and individual resources to participants.


What happens in a typical session?

The program begins with a five-hour Saturday retreat, followed by 12 three-hour sessions. The evening sessions generally run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Although there are exceptions, the schedule for a typical session is:

5:30-6:00: Dinner
6:00-6:10: Opening
6:10-7:10: Activity One
7:10-7:20: Break
7:20-8:15: Activity Two
8:15-8:30: Closing
 

How do participants receive a certificate?

In order to graduate and receive a certificate, participants must:


What's the curriculum?

In each session, parents focus on a question. Together, they uncover skills in leadership, partnering, change, and educational policies and practices.

Retreat: Getting started and course overview

Session 1: What do effective schools look like?

Session 2: What is change?

Session 3: How and why do schools change?

Session 4: What is our educational system?

Session 5: How does your school district function?

Session 6: What is a citizen's/parent's role in how the school district functions?

Session 7: Why do some students succeed in school while others do not?

Session 8: What is a parent's role in children's learning and school improvement?

Session 9: When are improvements in schools warranted?

Session 10: What are key education policies?

Session 11: How do parents lead in schools?

Session 12: What do knowledge, skills and a civic tool kit mean for effective parent leadership in education?

Contact:

Doug Edwards, Statewide Coordinator

Phone: (860) 586-2340

Fax: (860) 586-7360

E-mail

Mailing address: 151 New Park Avenue, Suite 203, Hartford, CT  06106

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