FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, May 5, 2017
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO - Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced that CPS will more than double the number of Parent Universities in the city as part of a significant expansion of resources for families and communities.
The Parent University program was launched by the Emanuel Administration in 2015 to engage and support parents, building upon the 46 Parent Engagement Centers established since the Mayor took office. Today’s expansion more than doubles the number of Parent University locations, increasing from 5 to 13, and launches 5 new Parent University Training Centers – a new, innovative subset of the Parent University model.
“The expansion of Parent Universities is another example of how we can work together to invest in the success of our children, while also making sure that parents and the entire community have the resources necessary for a brighter future,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The most important thing we can do to help our students achieve their potential is to engage parents and empower them to support their children every step of the way.”
Over the past two years, 3,000 parents and community members across the city have participated in Parent University. Parent University is an innovative neighborhood-based program that uses a combination of in-person and online learning to help parents access more information about educational opportunities that can drive success for both parents and their children. Parent University also helps parents learn more about the District’s many initiatives and provides guidance on becoming involved in activities and programming at their child’s school.
“Strengthening engagement with parents and communities is a key part of CPS’ vision to provide more opportunities for students and families, and Parent Universities are a key component of our roadmap to success,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Supportive families and communities lead to better outcomes for our children, and we will continue to find innovative ways to provide more opportunities for parent engagement.”
Engaging Parents and Communities: A Multifaceted Model for Success
When CPS families succeed, our children and city thrive. That’s why we’ve adopted a multi-faceted parent engagement model and aggressive expansion goals in order to provide as many parents and community members with engagement opportunities as possible. Each Parent University and Engagement Center is tailored to meet the unique needs of each community.
13 Parent University Sites: Today’s announcement builds upon the success of the 5 existing Parent University sites and expands the program to 8 additional sites so that each of CPS’ 13 networks has access to critical services. Parent Universities are run and administered by CPS staff at locations across the city. In addition to current sites at Spencer Elementary, Clemente High School, Smyth Elementary, Dyett High School and Corliss High School, the following new locations will be established as part of this expansion:
· Cleveland Elementary (Summer 2017)
· Sullivan High School (Summer 2017)
· Logandale Elementary (Summer 2017)
· Perez Elementary (May 2017)
· Gage Park High School (Summer 2017)
· Bogan High School (Summer 2017)
· Joplin Elementary (Summer 201\7)
· Bouchet Elementary (Summer 2017)
5 Parent University Training Centers: Training Centers are the newest facet of CPS’ unique Parent University model. These centers offer similar programming and resources to Parent Universities, but they are run and administered by enthusiastic volunteer parent ambassadors who are eager to help spread knowledge and services to their surrounding communities. The new parent University Training Center Locations are being established at the following sites:
· Earle Elementary (Currently Open)
· Fenger High School (Currently Open)
· Miles Davis Elementary (Currently Open)
· Michelle Clark High School (Summer 2017)
· Steinmetz High School (Summer 2017)
46 Parent Engagement Centers: Parent Engagement sites serve as a one-stop-shop for school-specific engagement and training. Whereas Parent University Centers serve families from multiple schools, Parent Engagement Centers focus on localized engagement for the school site. Parent Engagement Centers are run by volunteer parent ambassadors.
About Parent University:
Each Parent University is equipped with a computer lab, a parent resource room, an office area and an activity room, and offers a variety of computer programs designed to teach school, job and life skills that can be key to positive development. Offerings touch on a variety of subjects, including money and time management, Microsoft Office, online research, job search and career building strategies, public speaking and team building techniques.
Parent University participants have an opportunity to earn digital “achievement badges” for completing tasks such as attending a report card pickup, participating in a workshop and volunteering at a school function. Badges can be used to link one learning opportunity to the next and serve as an indicator of achievement to colleges and employers.
All virtual and in-person learning opportunities across citywide Parent Universities are absolutely free to all CPS parents and guardians. Parents can sign up at https://chicagocityoflearning.org/parentuniversity
Chicago Public Schools serves 381,000 students in 652 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.