Parent Perusals

January 4, 2018

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Parent Leadership Opportunity

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What is the Parent Leadership Academy?

The Parent Leadership Academy is a collaborative partnership of the Alamo Colleges, San Antonio College, Education Service Center, Region 20 Family Engagement Program, and San Antonio ISD Family Engagement Department, to enhance family engagement in the education of their families.

The Parent Leadership Academy is free and open to parents/caregivers in the Region 20 area who are interested in becoming a parent leader and advocate for the family and community.

APPLY here.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Parent Leadership Academy

1. Who can apply to participate in the Parent Leadership Academy (PLA)?

The Parent Leadership Academy is open for any parent/grandparent/caregiver/foster parent/family member that would like to develop more leadership skills to become a stronger parent leader in your home, in the school, and in the community.

2. San Antonio ISD and San Antonio College are partners in this program. Does this mean my child has to attend SAISD and/or I have to be a part of Alamo Colleges?

No. SAISD, San Antonio College and Region 20 all share the financial responsibilities of the program AND each entity contributes to the development of the program. Each entity contributes the strengths of their program to the Parent Leadership Academy that make it a very unique learning opportunity.

The Parent Leadership Academy is open to anyone that resides within the Region 20 area (counties include Bexar, Comal, Atascosa, Dimmitt, Bandera, Frio, Guadalupe, Kinney, Kendall, Kerr, LaSalle, Maverick, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Wilson and Zavala).

Each cohort has representation of multiple school districts that participate.

3. Is participation in the Parent Leadership Academy free?

Yes it is!

4. What are the requirements to be able to graduate in the Parent Leadership Academy?

For more detailed information, including dates, locations and description of courses, please download the application packet below.


  • Attend the orientation session
  • Attend the mid-point session
  • Attend the required closing session
  • Attend 6 other required courses
  • Attend 2 electives classes of your choice
  • Develop a portfolio that showcases your learning
  • Attend required graduation ceremony

5. What happens if I can't attend all the courses?

We know life happens and sometimes that causes you to miss a course. All courses are so important and we want you to attend them all.

We allow one "free" absence of a course with no make-up. If you miss a 2nd course, we allow a make-up. If you miss a 3rd course, we ask that you continue in the program and you can participate in graduation, but you will receive a participation certificate. You will have the opportunity to complete your missed courses in the next cohort and receive your completion certificate at that time.

6. I work and can't attend the classes in the day. Does this mean I can't participate?

We work really hard to offer the classes in a variety of time frames to try to accommodate all the different schedules. We will never be able to get it perfect for everybody. We hope that knowing the dates/times in advance will allow you to make the plans needed to be able to attend. The elective courses are also offered via webinar that allow you to participate via computer at another location.

7. I don't have childcare. Can I bring my children to the classes?

At this time, we do not offer childcare at any of the locations that the courses are held. Children are not allowed due to safety precautions and we do not want to take away the learning from others by having children in the courses. We want you to be able to participate fully without distractions!

8. Can Spanish speaking families participate?

Yes! If we know in advance, we can provide an interpreter at each of the courses. At this time, our materials are not translated in Spanish, but we hope to accommodate this in the future.

9. Have other questions?

Email or call Kimberly Baumgardner at or 210-370-5431

Parent Leadership Academy Applications are Ready!

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 spring cohort for the Parent Leadership Academy! To learn more about the Parent Leadership Academy, download the application packet below.

Deadline to Apply is Wednesday, January 17th.

2018 TAPPestry Conference: Saturday, February 17th

TAPPestry is an annual conference that brings together Parents/Caregivers, Teachers, Administrators, and other Professionals that have or work with children with special needs.

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TAPPestry Registration is OPEN!

Download the flyers below!

Conference information is posted at!

New Year Begins with Community Meetings for the State Board of Education (SBOE)

A community meeting is scheduled this month in San Antonio to gather public input for the new Long-Range Plan for Public Education that is now being developed.

The State Board of Education, with assistance from an 18-member steering committee, plans to adopt goals for the public education system through the year 2030.

To determine what these specific goals should be, the board is collecting comments around four broad topics:

  • Educator preparation, recruitment, and retention
  • Equity and access to funding, technology, and advanced courses
  • Student engagement and empowerment to provide effective support systems for students and prepare them for life after high school
  • Family engagement and empowerment to help parents become strong advocates for their children in the education system.

To gather information about these topics, the board is hosting nine meetings around the state and will soon release an online survey.

The San Antonio meeting will be:

Jan. 9 – 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Region 20 Education Service Center located at 1314 Hines Ave.

To register, go to .

Reaching the Wounded Student

Bexar CARES invites parents, foster parents, school employees, mental health/medical professionals, case managers & others to attend a FREE training featuring:

Dr. Joe Hendershott

Parent, Foster Parent, Educator and Author of "Reaching the Wounded Student"

The training will focus on: effects of trauma, how to encourage students to succeed, building empathetic connections, and cultivating community.

When: Monday, January 22nd

Time: 8:30 a.m.--4:00 p.m.

Location: Tri-Point Event Center

Continental Breakfast and Lunch included with Registration.

Limited childcare is available on a first-come basis for children ages 0-5. To reserve childcare email: or call Leanne at 210-261-3539

REGISTER for Reaching the Wounded Student!

Download the flyer below for more information!


HealthRHYTHMS® is a research-based life enhancement tool. It is a group drumming recreational music-making (RMM) protocol based upon published studies by a research team led by Barry Bittman, M.D., a neurologist.

Studies have demonstrated a boost to the immune system, improved mood states, and reduced stress and burnout.

No previous musical experience is needed and all instruments will be provided.

HealthRhythms ® is NOT a drumming lesson or performance-based class. It promotes communication and self-expression through drums and percussion. Your instructor, Jorge Ochoa, is a trained REMO HealthRhythms Facilitator.

Adults 18 and over please.

Class Dates: Mondays, 1/22/2018- 2/26/2018

Time: 7:15-8:15 PM

Cost: $49

Register at 210-397-8100 (option2) or

Class location:

Northside Independent School District Learning Center

Room: C116

NLC-Building C

6632 Bandera Road

San Antonio, TX 78238

Download the flyer below!

TamboFUNction Drumming for ALL kids in Pre-K/Kinder and older children with special needs starts 1/22

Class addresses pre-academic, sensory-motor, and social-emotional skills.

Class is limited to 10 students.

All instruments provided. No previous musical required.

Examples of skills addressed using drums and percussion include:

• Attention/focus

• Impulse/self-control

• Taking turns

• Sharing

• Communication reinforcement

• Creative self-expression

• Leadership

• Confidence/self-esteem

• Basic color/shape identification

• Prepositional/positional concepts

• Sensory-motor skills

• Numbers

• Left/ right discrimination

... and FUN!

More info/registration:

Note: These are not drum lesson classes & you do not have to be a resident of Northside ISD to participate.

For more information contact:

Jorge Ochoa, OTROccupational Therapist Group Drumming
Facebook & YouTube: TamboRhythms

Download the flyer below!

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Get Your Family Routine Back on Track

Personally speaking as nice as it was to have an extended break, I dreaded getting back in our routine, but I quickly realized that our ROUTINE is what made my household feel somewhat normal (whatever normal is)!

Some of you started back to school this week while others get back to school next week.

Regardless of the time of year, we all go through periods where our family routine is simply out of whack!

These tips shared by WebMD are easy and practical!

I totally agree with #1 and #2. It sure felt good last night to have a meal together with just my family and talk about our break and go through our nighttime routine! It also made a difference with my girls when I had to wake them up this morning!

I hope these help you as much as they helped me!


Routines are fragile things. Switch up the structure of your day because of a trip, school break, or daylight saving time, and your family can veer off course.

True, it’s good for kids to learn to go with the flow. But “we all thrive on predictability and routine,” says Jeanette Sawyer Cohen, PhD, a clinical psychologist and child development consultant in New York City. “Knowing what to expect helps us feel safe and secure.”

Plus, when your kids stick to a routine, they’re more likely to eat wisely and sleep soundly -- healthy choices that you'll want to become lifelong habits.

How can you get your family back on a schedule? Focus on a few key moments in every day to make healthy choices.

Start With Bedtime

The first piece of the puzzle is the last part of your day. “Sleep affects our ability to concentrate, helps us avoid mistakes, and keeps our immune system in top shape,” explains Susan Newman, PhD, a social psychologist in Sergeantsville, NJ, and author of Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day.

Start slowly by getting kids to bed 10 minutes earlier each night until you reach their ideal bedtime. Younger kids can make a chart that lets them track their progress. Older kids may be more likely to cooperate if you set an example and stick to an early bedtime for yourself.

You might describe how you didn’t do well at work one day because you stayed up too late the night before, Newman suggests. Then, “announce that you’re going to bed early too so you don’t have another terrible, awful day.”

Put Family Mealtime on the Schedule

As often as you can, get your family to sit down for meals together. With hectic work schedules and after-school events, sticking to the same mealtime can be a challenge. Still, find a way to label your dinner routines -- even if it changes day by day, Cohen suggests.

For instance, maybe the days your kids have soccer and will eat dinner earlier than usual are “sandwich days.” The evenings you work late are “babysitter days,” and nights you’re all together are “family dinner nights.” “Naming these different experiences makes the variety feel more routine,” Cohen says.

Be a Good Role Model

Your kids take cues from what YOU do. (Yes, even teens who pretend they don’t.) If your day’s all over the place, you eat your meals in the car, and sometimes don’t go to bed until the wee hours of the morning, “your child is absorbing that ‘push to the limit’ attitude and the habits that go with it,” Newman says. The more you set healthy limits for yourself, the more likely your child will be to follow suit.

Get Moving

One of the best things you can do for your kids’ health? Show them that staying active should be a part of everyday life. Once homework is done, limit their screen time to no more than 2 hours a day. Then, schedule a set time when your whole family moves together. Swim at the pool, play tag outside, or take a family hike. “Make it normal to take the stairs, walk from a farther parking spot, or rake leaves together,” Newman says.

Plan Ahead for Next Time

Don’t put off a family trip just because it will upset your schedule. Some kids are flexible and adjust easily. Others will get better at handling change the more they practice.

But to make your time away -- and return home -- smoother, “find a way to maintain some sense of continuity,” Cohen says. Even away from home, younger kids can be tucked in with their favorite stuffed animal and sung their usual good-night song. Older kids can follow their usual dinner and bedtime routines, even if they don’t happen at the same time as they do at home.

But remember: Don’t go overboard.

“As parents, you’re not running a training camp,” Newman says. “Nothing horrible will happen if you’re flexible from time to time.”

Taken from WebMD's Raising Fit Kids Series.

Your Kid Just Learned to Read. What Books Come Next?

I love this! I have a kindergartner who is a pre-reader and as a mom I often wonder what are good books that I should expose to my daughter that can be engaging and at her level.

The books in this list have given me some ideas to check out at the library! I hope you find it helpful too!

Check out the list!

January Math Problem of the Day Calendars (Grades K-2, 3-5 & 6-8)

These math calendars are a great way to bring math in your home in an engaging and FUN way! I keep mine on my refrigerator and find that my daughter gravitates toward it and works on it without me even prompting her!

AND it's easy for you---each day the solution to the problem is equal to the date! :-)

How to Use the Problem of the Day Calendars:

This could make it a fun addition to your daily calendar time if you teach younger ones.

But this can also mean that older kids simply write the solution without actually doing any math.

If you combine the daily math problem with a math journal, you can give a variety of prompts to extend their thinking and learning to help resist this temptation.

For example, ask them to draw a picture of how they solved it. Or ask them to explain how they solved it and then write a problem of their own with that solution.

Another idea is to cut the calendar up like a puzzle and then have kids solve all the problems at once and glue them into a blank calendar.

Download the January calendars below!

Thank you to Math Geek Mama for making January's calendar FREE!

Learn more about the math problem calendars from Math Geek Mama here.

A New Year Means New Parent Trainings! Check them out & Plan to Attend!

Upcoming ESC-20 FREE Parent Trainings in January 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Grandparents who are raising grandchildren began to take notice of the lack of resources and lack of knowledge that many grandparents are facing. This training will be led by a group of grandparents who will share information on how to become an advocate for your grandchildren, how to find and/or start a support group and ways to educate yourself on legal, health and financial issues and how to reach out to community resources.

**Interpreter provided by request. Call 210-370-5466 by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, January 5th.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.

Graduation Requirements for Students Receiving Special Education Services

Parents will learn requirements needed for students receiving special education services in Texas to graduate. In this training, we will take an in-depth look at the law and cover the graduation plans Texas currently has in place to graduate from high school.

**Interpreter provided by request. Call 210-370-5466 by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, January 8th.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.

It’s a Whole New World Out There…And Success Starts Here!

This fun, energetic and interactive session is designed to update parents about the 21st Century workplace needs of the employer and the future employability needs of their child(ren). Using data from the Texas Workforce Commission, The United States Census, Department of Labor Statistics, and more, parents will walk away with a better understanding of how they can empower their child(ren) to be the very best they can be and to build the skill sets to “sell” themselves as the best “products” on the market for any and all employers in the world.

**Interpreter provided by request. Call 210-370-5466 by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, January 12th.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.

Parenting in the Digital Age

Our children's access to technology can both empower and endanger them. Come to this training to learn what to look out for as parents in your child's digital interactions. What is reasonable in usage? How do you find out about apps, games and websites? Should children and teens have social media accounts? How should you handle cyberbullying?

You will leave this training with practical advice and tools to assist you in your role as a 21st Century parent!

**Interpreter provided by request. Call 210-370-5466 by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, January 19th.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.

Texas Transition 101

Parents will receive an in-depth look at the transition process and understand how to use the TEA Transition & Employment Guide, as an informative resource tool. This training will cover the importance of the transition process, self-determination, and the importance of your child’s transition plan to help them be successful after public school.

**Interpreter provided by request. Call 210-370-5466 by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, January 22nd.

Saturday, January 27, 2018, 9:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.

The 7 Habits of Successful Families

It’s no secret that many families today are in trouble. The 7 Habits of Successful Families training offers a much-needed framework for applying universal, self-evident principles that enable family members to communicate their challenges and overcome them successfully together. In this training, parents will learn to:

· Apply an “Inside-Out Approach” to problem solving and goal creation;

· Resolve differences in marriage and family relationships by creatively cooperating together;

· Establish a better work/life balance;

· Become more effective in raising emotionally healthy and empowered children;

· Employ the skills of Empathic Listening and synergy; and

· Learn to effectively discipline and motivate children.

**Interpreter provided by request. Call 210-370-5466 by 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 25th.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.

Bridging the Math Gap Between School and Home (Kindergarten—Grade 2)

In this training, participants will learn how to help their child by bridging the math concepts taught in school to home life. Hands-on activities will be used to show how math is being learned in the classroom. The math will focus on developing number sense.

**Interpreter provided by request. Call 210-370-5466 by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, January 29th.

To Register for Parent Trainings:

Call or email Lori Williams at (210) 370-5466 or

Parent Trainings are also offered via webinar!

To participate in the parent trainings via webinar, email to receive the webinar link and electronic handouts the day before the training.

Please note: Webinars are not offered for evening or Saturday trainings.

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