Parent Advocacy

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    The Parent-Guardian Connection

     

    Parent Guardian Connection

    The Parent-Guardian Connection has been created to provide a virtual forum, where parents and guardians can all connect. The Parent-Guardian Connection will provide you the opportunity to fellowship with families across Pinellas County; to be supported, share resources, engage and connect.

     

    Session IV:  Empath Health Services Overview- Thursday February 18, 2021.  If you weren't able to join us, you may watch the recording here Parent-Guardian Connection-Session IV 

    Empath Health provided an overview about the services they provide to support students, families, and caretakers.  Please take about 30 minutes to learn more about the resources they have.   

    Session III: Managing Parental Stress- Tuesday, October 6th 5:30-6:30  If you weren't able to join us, you may watch the recording here Parent Guardian Connection- Session III

    The COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful time for parents and caregivers. It is easy to become overwhelmed. There is uncertainty, often times job loss, decreased social interactions, working from home, teaching our children and managing their concerns. Even families who were initially coping well are starting to struggle as the changes in our routines are lasting much longer than we originally thought. The good news is that we are all in this together. There are specific tools and techniques we can use to gain better control of our thoughts and emotions and help our children cope.

    Session II: School is in Session, Now What? If you weren't able to join us, you may watch the recording here Parent Guardian Connection-Session II

    As we all adapt to our "new normal" we can't neglect the things that make our lives easier as parents/guardians.  We now must focus on creating plans to make this transition back to school manageable for each of us.  Topics discussed:

    • Parent, teacher, and student expectations for the first month of school
    • Building successful plans for parent driven outcomes
    • Meal planning and nutrition
    • What about a "Parent Buddy?" 
    • Upcoming Parent Academy Workshops

    Session I:  "The Emotional and Mental Wellbeing of our Children".  If you weren't able to join us you may watch the recording here PARENT GUARDIAN CONNECTION MEETING

    The presenter was Dr. Carleah East, Clinical Psychotherapist. Dr. East is the Owner of S.M.I.L.E. Psychology and Associates, LLC and she spoke on the following topics:

    -Parent concerns about the mental and emotional wellbeing of their children.
    -Children dealing with isolation and depression during Covid-19.
    -How to navigate “Hard Conversation” with your children.
    -How to help parents and students with the participatory anxiety of returning to school.

    Email Keosha Simmons, Parent Advocate, simmonskeo@pcsb.org with your ideas for future Parent-Guardian Connection topics. 

     

    ***Resource Alert***

    • Dr. East Speaks: Tips on dealing with back to school anxiety

    • Please visit our Pinellas County Schools- Family Engagement Page for a variety of Parent Power Hour Webinars.  All webinars are recorded and posted in the resource section below.  Parent Academy Power Hour Webinars

    • Dads In The School- Dads play an integral role in the development, health and educational performance of a child.  That impact does not end once a child reached middle and high school.  Dads in the school provides a variety of resources for our PCS DADS! Dads In The School

     

     

     


    Parent Advocacy


    Research shows that when families and educators work collaboratively to resolve disagreements, the outcomes are more mutually satisfying and benefit the child long-term.  Adversarial approaches to disagreement lead to difficult meetings and broken relationships.

    The Parental Advocacy Program for Pinellas County Schools is here to assist families of students in Pinellas County, by serving as a bridge between parents and schools. 

    The program is designed to provide support to parents when responding to concerns about:
    Advancement

    Retention
    Discipline
    Suspension
    Expulsion
    Special Needs of Students
    Other Educational Concerns

    Ways Parent Advocacy can help you: 

    To serve as a liaison among families, schools, and the community.
    To train parents in ways to advocate for their children.
    To provide opportunities for school personnel to obtain information and skills to enhance family involvement.

    What does a Parent Advocate do? 
    Improves positive and collaborative communications between the student, family, and community

    Brainstorms solutions that lead to improved relationships with all stakeholders Clarifies policies and procedures as they relate to academics, behavioral supports, discipline, and other educational concerns

    What does a Parent Advocate NOT do? 
    Creates a hostile environment and dominates a meeting without the student's best interest in mind

    Reverses the decision of an Area Superintendent Acts solely as a witness or consults with an attorney

    Frequently Asked Questions:
    My child has a 504 plan and I don’t think all the accommodations are in place.  What should I do? 
    First, check with the teacher or service provider to ensure that they are aware of and enacting all accommodations per the plan.  If you still feel that the staff is not providing the appropriate accommodations, then the principal should be notified.  The principal will then investigate your concerns with the relevant staff members.


    My child has a 504 plan or IEP.  I’m thinking about using a McKay scholarship to move to another public school in the county.  If I provide my student’s transportation, what is the next step?  
    You can call 588-6000 ext. 1373.  This is the number to the Pinellas County Schools McKay Office.  They can assist you with any questions you might have.

    I’m seeking an initial Exceptional Student Education evaluation? What happens next? 
    The school and parent need to meet within 30 days of the parent’s request to do one of the following:
    Sign consent for evaluation. Provide written notice of refusal for all or parts of the request Agree to some alternate course of action that is clearly documented and signed by the parent. If your student has an Individual Education Plan (I.E.P.) and receives Exceptional Student Education (E.S.E.) services, then please call 727-588-6062.


     If you would like to ask a question, discuss a concern, or report an issue, then please visit the Parent Advocacy Form

    “As you move through this world advocating for what you believe in, do it with love and an open heart, not with anger and a closed heart.” ~Jenn Bruer

    Parent Advocate Contact:
    Keosha Simmons

    Email:simmonskeo@pcsb.org
    301 4th Street, SW
    Largo, Florida 33770
    (727) 588-6000 ext. 1369

    Get Engaged