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 JCCS Recognizes and Thanks Engaged Parents

Parents and guardians of students in San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) schools were celebrated recently at the eighth annual Family Service and Leadership Appreciation Day.

The daylong event June 29 recognized the involvement of parents and guardians whose children attend schools in SDCOE’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) programs. The event celebrated the service and leadership exercised through family engagement, leadership voice, and participation in workshops and trainings offered during the 2015-16 school year, said Cynthia Burton, JCCS Family Involvement/Restorative Practices Specialist. This year’s theme was “We Are Family.”

Throughout JCCS, parent and family liaisons work with parents, guardians, and court appointed special advocates to be involved in their children’s education.

“These are disenfranchised parents in our programs who have never been recognized for positive parent engagement because of what their kids have been through,” Burton said.

The parents were recognized for attending various workshops, trainings, and meetings throughout the school year, such as participating with school site councils and the District English Language Advisory Committee. All of the several dozen parents who attended the event received a certificate as an acknowledgement of their engagement. Trophies were presented to parents or guardians of the year who “went above and beyond.” Burton said.

Rosie Bankhead, whose grandson attended Reflections School and SOAR Academy for two years, was among those taking home a trophy. She said that attending the workshops and site council meetings gave her insight into how education works, and how she can help her grandson.

“We could find out what our children needed to stay out of trouble,” Bankhead said. “It was good for me. I learned how to deal with my grandson. I appreciate all of the family liaisons so much.”

Now, her grandson has graduated, and she plans to stay involved.

Parent of the Year awards were presented to Rosie Bankhead, Emmanuel Sandoval, Rosalina Delgadillo, and Vicky Gallagher. Burton and her team also gave special recognition to Jimmy Roberts and Ivory Ingram, Monarch School fathers who attended extensive restorative practices training and now will lead a volunteer team for fathers to encourage participation in restorative practices training.

The parent and family liaisons concluded the awards presentation by telling their stories and honoring their own parents. And the JCCS parents soaked up the moment.

“People came up to us and said it made us all human, that we’re all in this together as parents,” Burton said.