Mount Vernon High School Parent Academy for the Migrant/Bilingual community is one of those successful practices created and implemented by Veronica Gonzales, Family-School Migrant Liaison and her team. The Parent Academy is a five-week program offered one evening a week. This program empowers parents by providing them guidance and tools for navigating academic systems that serve their children. The program is in its 4th year for the district and 2nd year at the high school. At the beginning of the year, 22 parents attended and 18 completed the program. The class topics included growth mindset, standards, high school credits, grades, attendance, life after high school, postsecondary training and income level expectations.
In addition, there are opportunities for parents to visit postsecondary institutions. Recently, their Migrant/Bilingual Advocacy and family outreach took 23 parents from the district to visit Bellingham Technical College (BTC) & Western Washington University (WWU). Parents were excited to be able to experience these college campuses. They spent two hours at BTC, where they enjoyed a presentation and toured many of the programs they offer. Then the group moved on to WWU where two engaging tour guides who were first-generation students, described the support WWU gave them. They enjoyed lunch at the Viking cafeteria and then met with Bulldog Alumnus, Tina Castillo from admissions.
What did parents have to say about the visits?
” I really could see my child here.”
” This was a great opportunity for us parents.”
” BTC has amazing programs.”
” You can feel the energy.”
” Western is huge, but there is a ton of support.”
“I can see myself coming to BTC!”
The team’s next project is a visit to Seattle University and the University of Washington.
Job well done, Mount Vernon!