MPS opens new Parent Resource Centers

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Consider it a customized parent-teacher conference at your own convenience.  There’s a computer lab where you can check students' grades and assignments.  Parents can also have a one-on-one conversation about a child's progress and behavior in school.  At North Division High School, all of that takes place inside the new Parent Resource Center.

“We want to continue to engage them and we thought maybe creating this neighborhood connection would be a good way to start,” Tamara Grigsby, MPS’s Manager of Parental and Community Involvement said.

It's a new concept at Milwaukee Public Schools to encourage more parent involvement.

For Shanita Hunter, whose son is a freshman, it's a way to address concerns and come up with solutions.

“To know what's going on with them, to know what they're learning, what they're not learning or doing or not doing, because all kids are different in school than they are at home,” Hunter said.

What makes these centers unique is that parents like Hunter not only get to help with their child's education, but work on their own education, too.

“I didn't finish school, so I came here for the GED preparation program,” Hunter said.

It's a one-stop shop for the working parent.

“They have an opportunity to go on and do job searches. They have some training opportunities with our Microsoft Office products,” parent information specialist Laura Polk said.

By keeping them involved, school officials hope, in turn, it'll boost achievement among students that need the most support.

“I think there's no one bang-for-your-buck solution.  I think we have to do a lot of things, but I think it begins with getting parents at the table,” Grigsby said.

There are five parent resource centers within MPS.  In addition to North Division, the four other centers are located at Audubon, Morse-Marshall, South Division and Washington High Schools.  They are open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.