Course aim: involvement in education

By Maureen Morrissey

Parents of special education students who live in DeKalb County will have the opportunity to enroll in a free eight-week education involvement course.

Titled “Parents as Effective Partners,” the course’s “primary purpose is to teach parents to be more actively involved in the education of their children,” said Danielle Strickman, project director of the Disability Access Network of DeKalb County.

Eight to 15 parents are expected to participate in the program, which will meet Monday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cortland School in DeKalb. The course will take place from Oct. 23 through Dec. 11.

In its third year, the course was introduced by Strickman and modeled after similar courses taking place in LaGrange. Funding for the course is provided by DeKalb County Special Education Association and the course is run by The Family Service Agency’s Disability Access Network.

The progam is open to parents of elementary and middle school- aged children with any type of disability. Strickman said there are parents of children with all types of physical and mental disabilities.

Topics to be covered in the class range from discussion of laws having to do with the disabled to projects designed for each parent.

The class will educate the parents on public law 94142. This law guarantees public education for all disabled students.

Also covered in the class will be how parents can improve communication skills. Strickman said the class will help the parents to be more assertive, but not aggressive, with their children. She added “it (the class) will help the parents to be partners, not adversaries, to the educational system which their children are in.”

At the conclusion of the course, the parents will receive individual projects to complete with their children.

To sign up for the class, or for further information, contact the Family Service Agency at 758-8616.