Parent University

Parents of students at S.C. Lee Junior High School find themselves back in school at Parent University, a monthly educational opportunity for parents to learn what their children are doing in school and how they can support them at home.

Parents grabbed their backpacks and headed back to school for their second lesson of the year at S.C. Lee Junior High School. The school’s Parent University program encourages parents to attend meetings and learn how to track how well and what their students are doing in school.

In the second round of class, Cove Junior High School librarian Sandra Carswell demonstrated how to use digital resources such as online encyclopedia articles, images, eBooks, reference books, magazines, newspapers and journal articles useful for homework, research assignments and projects. Carswell focused on the tools students use most at the junior high including TexQuest, Destiny and LibGuides.

TexQuest is a collection of premium authoritative digital resources such as Britannica Encyclopedias, Gale Databases and EbscoEbooks, provided through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and funded by the Texas Legislature.

Parents including Jessica Jenkins and Michelle Goodwin were surprised at how many resources the school provides for students to be successful when doing research or homework assignments.

“The variety of resources available for students is great,” Jenkins said.

Each resource also provides all the necessary components for students to be successful with their reading and writing assignments.

“I can’t believe how easy it is to create citations for a bibliography using these resources,” Goodwin said.

Carswell also explained Destiny, the school district’s online library public access catalog available to students outside of school by using their Schoology accounts. From their accounts, students can see the books they have checked out, renew books and accesses the TexQuest online resources.

Carswell also explained that LibGuides is a webpage she creates in collaboration with teachers for class research projects.

“The teacher’s handouts are linked for each project, selected resources and books for the specific project are included, and tools and examples are provided for easy student and parent access from home,” Carswell said.

The training ended with school counselors Maggie Velarde and Melissa Dewald sharing videos to explain the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset in students.

Sixth-grade parent Christine Tate was surprised at how easy it was to identify which mindsetsher children possessed after the differences were explained.

“I have two children and it was easy to tell one has a growth mindset and one has a fixed mindset,” Tate said.

Velarde and Dewald stressed the importance of recognizing and encouraging growth mindset attributes in students so that they strive for challenges and grow from their mistakes.

S.C. Lee Junior High plans to hold parent university classes monthly on a variety of topics in which parents have expressed an interest.

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