Parental Involvement & Support Services

Hands On Minds On believes the more opportunities that exist for parents to be part of a child’s educational experience, the more meaningful the experience for both parent and child.

In addition to Family Reading Nights and the encouragement of parents participation in home literacy activities mentioned earlier, parents and grandparents are provided with several other opportunities to visit their child’s educational environment.

The first occasion takes place the weekend before the school year begins. Students are invited to bring their family members to the school’s annual Family Fun Day. This afternoon of fun and games provides an opportunity for the family to meet the teacher and to get acquainted with the class to which the child is assigned.

Family Fun Day also is a chance for the child to become familiar with the new surroundings prior to the first day of school.  This opportunity to see their class and meet their teacher takes some of the stress and nervousness out of the first day of school.

Within a month of the school year beginning, the school holds an Open House.  At the Open House, parents learn about the guidelines of the school, the expectations of the Preschool Program, and get a more formal orientation from the teacher.

The Open House begins with a school orientation and presentation by the director and is followed by classroom visitations with the classroom teacher.

Parents are also invited to sign up for Parent-Teacher Conferences.  These conferences typically take place within the first 6 weeks of school so that the teacher can review the results of the child’s LAP-D Assessment Pre-Test with each parent.

Additional conference may be held throughout the year as deemed necessary by the teacher or parents.  Parents are also invited to call the school at any time during the day and their call is passed through to the class.  Either the teacher or the teacher assistant is able to speak to the parent about their child.

The school also holds a Parent Academy to give parents the opportunity to learn effective parenting skills as well as developmentally appropriate milestones.  The school contracts with outside agencies to provide these free classes to parent at nights and weekends; free childcare is provided.

Some classes have included; Assistive Technology offered by The University of Miami Deb Tech, Child and Family Safety, offered by FIU, and Effective Parenting Skills, offered by Family Central.

The school also offers various support services to families. Mr. Davis, the co-owner of the school, is a licensed school psychologist.

Mr. Davis holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Disabilities, specializing in children ages birth to five.  Parents who have concerns about how their child is developing, can schedule a free meeting with Mr. Davis who will then spend time with the child and offer classroom or home strategies to parents and teachers.  He can also offer guidance on how to go about getting screenings or assessments as needed. Many parents have taken advantage of this service.

52_2Finally, parents are invited to volunteer their time and talents in the school.

Parents also enjoy taking part in the monthly Parents Night Out. This program enables parents to go out once a month while childcare is provided for their child. Children who participate in this program are dropped off at 6:00 p.m. in their pajamas and are treated to an evening of fun while their parents go out and enjoy themselves.

Likewise, the school is opened Saturdays in December so that parents can go shopping for the holidays without their children.