By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (October 14, 2016) – Julie Vasquez, Stephenville ISD parent liaison, has been on the job for about two years and has a few goals she’s currently working to accomplish.
“I hope to see more Hispanic involvement in our school system,” Vasquez said.
The first step is breaking down the communication barrier, and Vasquez provides a number of services for Spanish speaking parents.
“I don’t want parents and other caregivers to be afraid to come to our campuses,” she said, adding involvement helps students succeed. “They can call me and I will meet them at any of our schools to translate for them or even help complete paperwork like free and reduced lunch applications. They can also just show up at campus and ask for me by name. The schools have my number, and I can will immediately respond.”
Meanwhile, Vasquez has partnered with district and campus administrators and bilingual teachers to organize informative events to help families become familiar with Stephenville ISD policies, programs, parental portals and instructional tools.
One such event, Bilingual Parent Night, will be held from 5:30 until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18, inside the Chamberlin Elementary cafeteria. The campus is located at 1601 West Frey Street.
“It will be an awesome night,” Vasquez said. “We will have a lot of information to share and can answer questions from parents.”
Parents and caregivers with students enrolled at Central or Chamberlin Elementary, children in early childhood and pre-kindergarten classes up to second grade, will be introduced to the school district’s bilingual program – the Gomez & Gomez Dual Language Enrichment Model.
“Families will also learn about Seesaw,” Vasquez said, referring to the computer application that allows students to document their learning online.
Parents create a Seesaw parent account, which will notify them when their child stores new information in their learning journal.
Details will also be provided on tracking student’s Accelerated Reading (AR) progress, as well as other available learning-enrichment resources.
“We are sharing this information since meet the teacher night is so fast paced and might not have given parents enough time to ask questions,” Vasquez said.
Plans are also underway for future events for Stephenville ISD’s Hispanic community.
Meanwhile, Vasquez said another goal for the 2016-17 school relates to the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program.
“I hope to bring more Hispanic fathers to Stephenville campuses to participate,” she said.
Watch D.O.G.S. are dads, grandfathers, uncles and other male role models who are present at schools and provide assistance with things as simple as opening milk cartons or welcoming students during parent drop off and pick up.
Vasquez said whether father figures are their own dads or someone else’s, students love seeing them at school.
Finally, Vasquez said she wants the Hispanic community to know her door is open and her phone is on whenever assistance is needed.
“I know a lot of families work and cannot contact me during school or business hours, so I am available afterhours as well,” she said. “I am also president of the regional migrant program, and I can help those students get whatever they need.”
Vasquez can also provide assistance with information on area resources to help Stephenville ISD families with clothing, food and school supplies. She can also connect families with local organizations that can provide support when they are faced with domestic violence, substance abuse and other issues.
Vasquez can be reached via email at Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 254-979-6049.
Families can find information on school programs on the Stephenville Parent Liaison Facebook page.