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Family Academy aims to boost parent engagement

The Fulton City School District is launching a series of events throughout the school year that aim to boost parent engagement in their child’s education.

Funded through a combination of The Community School Grant, Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Grant funds and Title 1 grant money, the initiative — called the Family Academy – is a collaborative effort between the school district and community-based partners.

Through these partnerships, the Family Academy will stress the importance of family involvement in student achievement and ensure that parents are well-equipped to help their children succeed academically and in other ways as well.

The academy sessions will cover a broad range of topics, which will be beneficial to students and parents alike, according to FCSD STLE3 program coordinator Mary Ann DeMar.

Academic areas that will be highlighted include math, English language arts, technology, science and social studies.

Community and social issues such as drug use, sleep deprivation and student safety will also be discussion topics.

“Parents will learn different strategies and ways to help them support their students,” DeMar said. “We give them tools and teach them how to access information to help their child at home.”

The Family Academy will primarily be for families with students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

There will be activities for kids to do while their parents attend the academy.

Other academy nights will be for parents only.

During the Family Academy nights, the Title I Parent Advisory Committee will meet separately to talk about family engagement and the Regents Reform Agenda.

The group is facilitated by Betsy Conners, executive director of Instruction and Assessment.

By scheduling the events to happen on the same night, district officials hope more parents will become engaged and provide feedback about their child’s academic experiences.

The first Family Academy is slated from 5:30 – 7 p.m. on Sept. 30 in the Fulton Junior High School cafeteria.

Parents of students in all grade levels are invited to attend the presentation, titled “The 411 on Drugs in Our Community.”