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St. Vrain Valley Schools launches Parent University

A new program aims to provide parents and caregivers with resources to strengthen the district community.
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St. Vrain Valley Schools is launching an education program for parents and caregivers that will offer them training and resources to support their children’s success, said Diane Lauer, assistant superintendent of priority programs and academic support with the district.

The St. Vrain Parent University, which is set to offer its first class Feb. 7, aims to “strengthen the connection between home and school,” Lauer said.

“A lot of these opportunities really can expand the knowledge base for all of us adults,” she explained. “I think that what will make these sessions really special though, is that they will come from a parenting lens — so that will be the approach on what we can do in our home, what we can do in our families, and that will make these sessions just a little different from traditional professional development that we provide our educators from that teacher lens.”

The program is designed to boost parental participation in local schools, allow them to network, offer them information about resources to become effective advocates for their children, and to help them develop positive parenting skills, Lauer said.

Classes will be offered once a month — throughout the spring semester — on a range of important topics, she explained.

“Some of those are around study skills, around building resilience in their children, helping them navigate peer relationships, being able to manage technology screen time at home, and a number of other topics around dyslexia and supporting students with significant and special needs — just to name a few.”

The new program isn’t just for parents — teachers are also encouraged to attend classes, Lauer said.

“A number of our teachers may not have children of their own — I know when I was a young teacher, one of the most challenging aspects I found, was supporting families with children, because I did not have my own,” Lauer said. “So our teachers who are able to participate in these sessions as well, it can definitely deepen their well of understanding of how to support students in the home.”

Parents with the Leadership St. Vrain group were surveyed, and they provided important topics to share with families, Lauer said. The Parenting Engagement Network is also supporting the Parent University.

“They have vetted some really high-quality facilitators that we are reaching out to for our kickoff,” Lauer explained.

The first class — Helping Teens Navigate Peer Relationships — is scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Innovation Center, 33 Quail Road.

Subsequent class schedules will be posted on the district’s central website, school webpages, newsletters and other communications, Lauer said.

The St. Vrain Parent University organizers plan to hold classes in locations across the district, so parents and caregivers from many areas will have the opportunity to participate easily, she explained.

Amber Fisher

About the Author: Amber Fisher

I'm thrilled to be an assistant editor with the Longmont Leader after spending the past decade reporting for news outlets across North America. When I'm not writing, you can find me snowboarding, reading fiction and running (poorly).
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