By Michelle Caceres

Navigating the public school system can be as difficult as driving on an icy roadway, but thanks to Parent University, a free series of informational sessions, parents can get answers to their most perplexing questions about how to support their child’s academic life from Kindergarten through twelfth grade.

The next Parent University will take place on Saturday, November 15 from 7:30 a.m.–12 Noon at East Bay High School, located at 7710 Big Bend Rd.

The events are hosted in partnership with Alliance for Public Schools (a group formed in 2012 by parents and community members who believed that public education must be a shared community value and priority), Hillsborough County Public Schools, United Way Suncoast and Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association (HCTA) Hillsborough.

“This is an excellent opportunity for parents to get the information they need,” said Alliance for Public Schools Executive Director Melissa Erickson.

Participants will attend a general session followed by two classes. Class topics range from reading resources, STEM, tips on how choose an elementary or middle school, college and career readiness, fostering self-advocacy in gifted students and supporting students with disabilities.

A catered lunch will be provided courtesy of Hillsborough PTA. Free childcare (parents must pre-register for this program) is available, offered by Hillsborough Out of School Time Program (HOST) for Kindergarten through fifth grade students.

Erickson said “Parent University assists parents in navigating academic and support programs in Hillsborough County Public Schools, teaches effective strategies families can use to help their child succeed, and offers techniques to advocate for resources necessary within schools.”

“In addition to the classes, representatives from Hillsborough County Public Schools’ magnet and choice programs will be available with information,” she added.

For more information about Parent University or to register for the program, visit www.hillsboroughparentu.org or call 272-4499. For more information about Alliance for Public Schools or to learn about ways to get involved, visit www.all4schools.org.