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St. Philip’s School offers community a Parent University

Devon A. Mosley | 4/15/2013, 11:48 a.m.
Children at St. Philip’s School and Community Center. Photo courtesy of St. Philip’s

In an effort to equip parents and other primary caregivers with resources and information to foster their children’s growth, teachers and experts in the parenting and education fields came together at St. Philip’s School and Community Center for a free, semi-annual Parent University on March 26. The program is centered on SPACES – Spiritual, Physical, Academic, Cognitive, Emotional and Social growth. The curriculum of the Morning Star Lecture Series is used during the workshop at the semi-annual parent education program.

Workshop sessions included:

• Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

• Summer Life after the School Year

• Getting Ready for Math

• Men Only – The Impact of a Man

• Understanding How My Child Learns

• Early Childhood: “Hands-on” Learning Everywhere

• Bullying: Aggressive Relationships, the Truth about Bullying

• Understanding and Improving Your Child’s Standardized Test: ERB/CTP-4

• For the Love of Parenting

• We Reap What You Sow

• Parenting Tips for Having a Successful School Year

• Men Only – Perspectives on Being Dad: Presence, Patience, and Persistence

Principal Gwendolyn Barjon, who welcomed attendees during the event’s opening, stated that the workshops were chosen based on repeated issues in connection with students, faculty and parents. The parenting event started in 2007 as an effort to take them to the next level.

The “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” workshop is comprised of a group of grandmothers who talked about their experiences with raising their grandchildren.

“Summer Life after the School Year,” which showed attendees interesting projects parents could do with their young children during the summer time. One project in particular involved three or more styrofoam cups. The parent or child could write the numbers “zero” through “nine” around the rims of the cups in different colors, and stack the cups within one another, rotating each to teach the child the concepts of counting and place values.

Math teacher Tearod Robertson led the next workshop, “Getting Ready for Math,” during which parents learned where their children should be now mathematically and what they should expect to learn next year. To a pleasant surprise, every student at St. Philip’s is in accelerated math and is taught at the next grade level. So, students in the fifth grade learn sixth grade math throughout the academic school year. What’s more, St. Philip’s School does not teach math to its students the traditional way.

“[We use] a mini-STEM format, which means science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Robertson said. “For the first semester, students learn business math; and for the second semester, they learn engineering math.”

To learn business math, sixth graders present articles from The Wall Street Journal or formulate a 13-concept business plan – including expenses, revenue, a commercial, etc. – for their business or career goal.

Not surprisingly, many students at the school want to play professional sports. For these students, Robertson has encouraged students to do projects on how to own a professional team.

As for engineering math in the second semester, he said that his students were collectively creating a three-dimensional model of St. Philip’s School and Community Center, which is simply amazing.