New School Year Offers New Outlets for Parent Involvement

HISD Parent Prep Academy and Parent Super Centers offering courses to empower parents

August 28, 2012

This week, nearly 200,000 HISD students returned to schools across the district for the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Team HISD is looking forward to a successful year, and is encouraging parents to get involved in their child's education and to stay informed of the latest district and school based initiatives. "Parent engagement is the cornerstone of student academic success," said HISD Parent Engagement Senior Manager Kelly Cline. "Schools and families need to work together to ensure our students get the rigorous education they need to compete in today's society."

Here are some ways parents can get involved.

Parent Prep Academy:

HISD's Parent Engagement Department is offering a new set of topics and new locations during the 2012-2013 school year for its popular Parent Prep Academy—a series of free courses designed to strengthen families by developing life-long learners. Course offerings provide information and resources to parents that support their efforts to become empowered, engaged, and well as serve as advocates for their child's education. Classes begin in September. To sign up, call the Parent Engagement Department at 713-556-7290.

Parent Prep Academy for parents of students with disabilities:

HISD's Parent Engagement Department in collaboration with the Office of Special Education Services is proving a series of free workshops for parents on a variety of topics including: "How to Actively Participate in ARD/IEP Meetings" and "Identification and Intervention for ADHD/ADD". New topics added this year include autism and speech therapy. For a list of dates, time and locations, the Office of Special Education Services at 713-556-7041.

Parent Super Centers:

HISD, Microsoft, and the Houston Public Library have partnered to launch Parent Super Centers at five schools across the district. Each center is equipped with 12 desktop computers fully loaded with the latest version of Microsoft Office, Internet access, laser printers and other software. Schools with Parent Super Centers include Sam Houston High School, Sutton Elementary, Kelso Elementary, Deady Middle School and Hartman Middle School. In addition to providing parents computer access, a special Parent Prep Academy will be held at these centers to offer parents free computer training as well as courses in nutrition and health and wellness. To sign up, call the Parent Engagement Department at 713-556-7290.

PTA/PTO/PTSA groups:

Schools throughout HISD have PTA (Parent-Teacher Associations) PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) and PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student-Association) groups that help facilitate parental involvement in school activities and fundraising as well as participation in district initiatives and events. For more information about joining a parent group, visit the front office of your child's school or if you would like assistance forming a group on your campus, call the Parent Engagement Department at 713-556-7290.

VIPS—Volunteers in Public Schools:

Each year, thousands of parents and community partners support HISD students and teachers by volunteering their time as tutors or classroom assistants or by providing support in school libraries, clinics, offices, and cafeterias. To become a VIPS, interested individuals must register online and pass a criminal background check. To start the process, visit

HIPPY—Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters

HIPPY teaches parents of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds how to encourage and develop their child's potential. Services are delivered by home instructors who are active parents from the community. Currently, there are HIPPY programs operating in numerous schools throughout HISD. To find out whether your child qualifies for the HIPPY program, contact your neighborhood elementary school or the HISD Parent Engagement Department at 713-556-7290.