Parent University

by The Parent Teacher Home Visit Project

44 parents graduate!  Luther Burbank High School's Parent University just finished another successful year of teaching and working with parents towards the common goal of academic and social success for their students. 44 men and women completed nine sessions and took various college fieldtrips in order to walk the stage for graduation. The graduation had two parent speakers who shared with the audience how home visits and Parent University has helped them to be better parents.  One parent shared about her experience in education and how these classes have encouraged her to go back to school and set an example for her children. Burbank partners with the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project to invite families to attend the classes and UC Davis helps to engage parents on various topics ranging from college requirements to healthy eating habits.  The most popular session continues to be the student panel; where students share honest and heartfelt testimony about their experience as a high school student and how parents can help them along their journey through education and into adulthood. The program has been running for six years and is in demand to be brought back again next year. As always, thanks for your support and generous donations! 


So far Luther Burbank High School's Parent University is off to a great start. The parents once again have created the curriculum on what they want to learn. On average they have about 70-80 parents join them for each session.  They have chosen seven different topics to discuss and two field trips to various colleges around California. Their schedule so far has covered the following topics:

09.18.12 : Orientation &  Bully Prevention

10.23.12: Post-High School Options—Alternatives, Vocational Careers

11.27.12: Students & Parents  Perspectives

Up next:

12.18.12 : Paying for College Scholarships & Financial Aid

In January they have scheduled a field trip to a private college in the bay area.


Parents Graduate!

 Another year has ended at Parent University in Sacramento at Luther Burbank High School. During the past nine months parents met monthly discussing and learning about topics through a curriculum they created.  Every year instructors first sit down with parents discussing what they would like to learn this year through Parent University.  After initial brainstorming conversations a curriculum was created and nine classes were set up.  Classes ranged from graduation requirements to listening to student panels to taking two field trips to local colleges and universities.  At the end of this school year over 60 parents graduated in a beautiful ceremony at the school.

Thanks for your support and we look forward to next year!

Parent University is off to a terrific start for the 2011-2012 school year.  After the incoming freshmen receive a transitional home visit (this is a visit where school staff go out and connect with incoming freshmen and their families over the summer) they invite the freshmen to attend orientation and the parents/guardians are invited to attend monthly classes back at the high school.  The first class started back in September; the topic focused on welcoming/orientating the parents to the high school.  This session, as well as, many others have had an average attendance of close to 80 people.  All topics covered at Parent University have been chosen by the parents participating.  The faculty and staff at Luther Burbank felt it was important to involve the parents in the decision making process of what was going to be offered at the university.  Most parent programs in education are forced upon parents, with very little input on what the parents want to learn; which is why Parent University at Burbank High School is so successful because parents choose what they want to learn.

Other topics covered so far are:

  • High School Success
  • Tools For College
  • Student Perspective ( a panel of students speak honestly about what it is like in high school and how their families can support them through out the 4 years).
  • Paying For College

The class meets 5 more times, including a field trip to UC Berkeley and Saint Mary's.


Parent University Update:

We kicked off our the 2011-2012 Parent University classes with our first orientation session on September 27th.  We had well over 70 parents in attendance, including a group of new Freshmen parents.  The parents arrived enthusiastic and eager to learn. They were introspective as we reflected on the following questions: What are their hopes for their child and what college do they and/or their child want announced after their name at graduation? The parents had the opportunity to dialogue with other parents about the two questions, then they were asked to dialogue with their children about the same two questions.  Parents were invited to share their thoughts aloud.  Many of the parents shared college and continued academic success as a goal.  They also discussed the importance of sharing these goals/expectations with their children in an open dialogue, which would enable their children to express their own self-expectations and goals.  Many parents were excited to go home and have the dialogue with their children and were genuinely interested in finding out what colleges their children were thinking about. For some parents, this would be the first dialogue they will have had with their children about college.

In October, we had  our 2nd session focusing on building successful high school students.  We had about 80 parents in attendance. The parents heard from Mr. Peterson and Ms. Lee, two administrators at Luther Burbank High School.  Mr. Peterson spoke to the parents about what a successful student looks like.  The analogies he used to exemplify successful students  (Runners and Cyclists) versus unsuccessful students (Park sitters) really hit home with the parents.  Mr. Peterson helped parents to visualize what successful students look like and provided parents with some strategies on ways to support their student’s success.  Ms. Lee engaged parents on an informative conversation about the California High School Exit Exam and how to read/interpret a high school transcript.  Parents were given information on how to advocate for and support their student’s academic progress so they effectively pass all classes as well as the California High School Exit Exam. It was great for parents to hear from two administrators who spoke to them about student success, as opposed to hearing from administrators only about disciplinary-related topics.

The 2011-2012 Parent University is getting off to a fantastic start and we’re looking forward to an exciting year.  We’re looking forward to a phenomenal year of meaningful and authentic parent engagement!


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Organization Information

The Parent Teacher Home Visit Project

Location: Sacramento, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
The Parent Teacher Home Visit Project
Project Leader:
Lisa Levasseur
local project director/teacher
Sacramento, CA United States

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