The School Zone: News


In another excellent example of “making it work during COVID-19,” parents at Panda Path School for Early Learning have continued “attending” parenting classes – now via Zoom – provided by the school’s parent liaison, Maria Grundma, and Communities in Schools Student Support Manager Sonya Ramirez.

Parents receive an electronic flyer from the school announcing the parenting class topic of each week, along with a link to the Zoom session. Recent topics include: discipline, nutrition, establishing limits and daily routines, tips on handling temper tantrums, advice about paying attention to your children, being a role model, and 25 ways to praise your children.

During the online sessions, provided in English and Spanish, participating parents put their names into the Zoom chat box for the chance to win donated door prizes, such as books from the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.

“For me, it is very important that parents are reading books [with their kids] every day,” Grundma said. “It is good for the future of their children.”

Following each weekly session, the parents can pick up an activity packet to do at home with their kids, as well as receive loaned books from the school’s literacy library.

“The parents are really feeling more comfortable and confident with learning via Zoom,” Ramirez said. “I see them logging in for the sessions while at the laundromat, in the grocery store and while cooking at home.”

Time for questions and concerns is built into the sessions, and often leads to follow up calls and requests for additional support.

The Spring Branch ISD Family Education-Engagement-Empowerment (Family E3) framework affirms that families and schools are equal partners in student success, and that all families have the capacity to support their child’s learning. The parenting classes at Panda Path foster family-school connections, and help pre-Kindergarten families build trust and engagement habits that will endure as their children grow up. 

The number of participants in Panda Path’s classes vary from week to week. “If even one person shows up, then that is okay,” said Ramirez. “We’re making a difference.”


Submitted by Becky Wuerth, SBISD Communications

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