Down to basics: El Centro parents improve computer skills – Imperial Valley Press

Down to basics: El Centro parents improve computer skills – Imperial Valley Press

EL CENTRO — Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Classroom, contacts, emails and browsers. In today’s tech-savvy world it can be easy to assume everyone is up to date with the myriad programs. Yet, the world moves so fast even those who may have previously had a grasp are at risk of falling back.

When that happens to a parent whose child might need help they are unable to provide, the consequences can be severe. Enter Parent University, adult education at Central Union High School District whose inaugural session aimed to get parents up to speed on the technology now incorporated into their children’s learning.

“The reason I was interested is they were going to teach us how to use the programs my child was using in school during the pandemic,” said parent Jacqueline Camacho, whose son is a senior at Southwest High School. “I wanted to help him a little bit more. I don’t know if we’re going to shut down again.”

In developing Parent U, the district recognized there are parents who wanted to get more involved in their children’s learning but are unsure how to go about it, said Alicia Apodaca, a resource teacher at Central High who helped facilitate the program.

“We’ve got to educate our parents on efforts to educate our students. It can only happen with engagement of our parents, educators and community members. Educators cannot do this alone. We need our parents,” she said.

The needs ranged from dire — parents who knew next to nothing about computers — to those whose knowledge needed some updating, she added.

“Parents learned how to create and email. They had no idea how to do it. Also Google Drive, how to move a mouse, about different types of computers, what to look for in a computer that would best fit their needs,” Apodaca explained.

Parent U was a collaborative effort with Fresno State University, which provided the instruction through ZOOM online video. The four-week course involved two two-hour sessions per week in October and November. There were sessions for both English and Spanish.

There were 36 participants, 12 in English and 24 in Spanish. Parents had the option of taking the class at the Central High adult school or from home.

At the conclusion of the classes the district held a completion ceremony at Southwest on Nov. 30 with food provided by the school’s culinary arts students, prizes and a performance by the Southwest orchestra. It was demonstrative of the effort the district puts into Parent U.

“Parent University is a very important effort from our (school) board members to our families and is funded through our Local Control Accountability Plan,” said district Superintendent Ward Andrus. “We know that when parents are learning, so are their children. Our hope is to provide meaningful learning opportunities to help our parents be more informed and prepared to help their students succeed.”

The source of the monies is Title I, a federal program that offers supplemental funds to qualifying schools, Apodaca explained.

Concerning funding, the classes might be the deal of a lifetime. Fresno St. charged $6,000 for the instruction, comparatively cheap, said Rauna Fox, district assistant superintendent for educational …….