Diman Family Connection and Parent Academy offer resources for families

FALL RIVER — Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School is trying a new tactic to help parents and families get involved in their children’s education, with a new outreach program that aims to answer any questions a family might have.

“We only have them from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.… if they go home to a facility that’s not ready to take them in, it’s a missed opportunity,” said Andrew Rebello, principal at Diman.

Earlier this year, the school launched what is called the Diman Family Connection and Parent Academy. A new page on Diman’s website is filled with links to resources of all kinds, from information on school bus routes to a way to contact the school’s IT department.

Rebello said the school conducted a community survey to see what resources families would like to see and looked at data from the school’s website to see where the most people are clicking. Many of them wanted things like a clear way to check their student’s report card and ways to contact their teachers.

There are also recordings of parent forums from past years on topics such as AP classes, dual enrollment, and college and career readiness.

Some families are already familiar with all of the programs and resources Diman offers, Rebello said. But this is meant to reach families that don’t.

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There’s a search bar for families to type in any questions they can’t find answered elsewhere, so they can be connected with the best person to help.

“A lot of people said ‘I don’t even know who to talk to,'” Rebello said.

The web page does not only contain logistics information. A key feature of the new resource is a collection of virtual presentations and information on tough topics like grandparents raising teenagers, student anxiety and social media use.

The new resource has been in the works since the beginning of this school year.

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“I think we have all learned from the pandemic. Parents really had a ringside seat for their child’s education starting in March 2020,” Rebello said.

He pointed to studies showing that families and parents who are actively involved in raising children lead to more positive outcomes, such as better grades and higher graduation rates. A parent who checks their child’s report card and regularly talks to them about how school is going can make a big difference, he said. And, high school can sometimes see families become less engaged in a teenager’s education as they get older.

“We saw the power of involving families,” he said.

Audrey Cooney can be contacted at [email protected] Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.

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