engage - collaborate - reflect - strengthen

Parents Supporting Educational Excellence (Parents SEE)

Overview

Parents SEE is a 12-week leadership course for parents developed by the Center, in cooperation with the Connecticut Commission on Children.

Participants of Parents SEE experience a strong community of parents interested in the details, the context, and the strategies to promote school practices that increase achievement for all students. They learn what to expect from schools, how to partner with them, and how to be a successful civic leader on education issues.

Beliefs

Parents SEE is based on four pivotal foundational beliefs:

  1. All children can and will learn if there are high expectations for their performance.
  2. Our society has the responsibility to formally educate all children.
  3. Parental involvement in education is essential to student success.
  4. Informed civic engagement makes schools better and helps children achieve at higher levels.

Goals

  • Provide parents with the skills and knowledge necessary for them to become leaders, change agents and active participants in education policy development and governance, at the school, district, and state levels.
  • Facilitate partnerships between school personnel and parents in developing policies and programs to improve student learning.
  • Help parents develop and express their interests within a public policy framework – as individuals, with peers, and as members of groups.

Impact

According to an evaluation by RMC Research Corporation, Parents SEE training provides parents with new skills and knowledge. (Pre-training percentages are shown in parenthesis)

  • 90% (26%) of graduates afreed they “know how schools are organized and run”
  • 84% (19%) agreed they “know how federal and state education policies affect my school and school district”
  • 74% (26%) agreed they “know how school budgets are decided”
  • 89% (25%) “know how a Board of Education functions, including what board members are supposed to do.”

Alumni report increased levels of involvement in school and community activities as well as increased responsibilities and aspirations for further engagement. They report increases in the ways they are involved in education, school and community activities.

  • 77% do more to “reach out to diverse parents, including parents from communities and backgrounds different from their own.”
  • 69% do more to “recruit other parents to become involved in school events.”
  • 48% are more involved in “leading a parent-school-community partnership activity.”