BY RICHARD A. CARRANZA
As we approach the end of an unprecedented year, I reflect on the past eight months with a deep sense of gratitude and awe for the unwavering commitment parents have shown to their children and New York City. I always say parents are our partners in everything we do, and at no point has that ever been more true than throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Each of you has gone above and beyond during this crisis, and your continued investment and engagement in our school communities has been vital as we move forward together.
As a parent myself, I know how challenging it can be even in normal times to feel pulled in different directions simultaneously. In this moment, it seems as though society’s expectations of parents has increased tenfold—and we need you to know we are here to support you every step of the way. We are expanding every effort to lift up and empower parents as our partners for the good of our children and this city.
In that spirit, I am proud to announce the launch of Parent University: a new online platform that offers pre-recorded courses, live events, and activities to help families connect and support students at every grade band, in multiple languages.
We know our families are busier than ever, and this platform is designed to meet the ongoing needs of parents through a variety of on-demand resources that harness best practices across multiple subject areas and grade levels. We invite all families across the five boroughs to create a free account and register for workshops, attend events, access trainings, and more through the Parent University website.
There are currently more than 95 courses offered through the program that cover a wide range of topics. From reading strategies for students with disabilities and help multiplying fractions to learning how to use Google Classroom and preparing for PTA elections, there is something on Parent University for everyone.
Parent University will also provide even more ways for us to share important news, updates, and information with families. I am so excited that this new platform will take our efforts to communicate vital information to parents and guardians one step further during this crisis and beyond.
Now more than ever, it is critically important that we find creative new ways to lift up our families and strengthen our school communities—and that’s what Parent University is all about. This crisis has demanded so much flexibility and patience from you, and we are here to meet you where you are. Our commitment is to empower parents as partners throughout the learning journey, and I hope you will take time to explore the Parent University website, access resources, and register for an upcoming workshop at https://parentu.schools.nyc/.
Richard A. Carranza is the New York City Schools Chancellor.