CA BOCES Launches Parent University to Support Parents, Caregivers

Olean, NY – January 12, 2021 – In response to feedback from local school districts and communities, Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES (CA BOCES) recently announced a new parent support and education training program – Parent University – aimed at providing resources and guidance as parents and caregivers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic with their students.


The new program – which is currently planned to run through June in 20 regional school districts – will provide education and support for parents and caregivers in key areas like managing home behavior, learning in a virtual environment, understanding social emotional connections, managing anxiety, and embracing self-care routines as a parent.


CA BOCES Community Schools Coordinator, Katie Mendell, who developed the programming and will serve as lead facilitator, said that the courses were designed with parents in mind. “Each session will be offered in a small group format and will last an hour,” she said. “This allows attendees to be comfortable, ask questions, and network with other parents who might be experiencing similar issues in the home.”


Tim Clarke, CA BOCES Senior Program Manager for Professional Development, said that he believes the program will be most helpful because it was developed through district and community input. “…The idea of Parent University came as an idea from our Community Schools Advisory Committee,” he said. “Our staff worked with the advisory members to assess the needs of their communities and to develop a series of family-focused learning experiences to help with some of the concerns that have emerged for families during the pandemic.  We’re grateful to have been able to build this with districts and grateful for the relationships Katie Mendell has built within our school districts to make a program like this possible…”


Community members should look for enrollment announcements from their home school districts. Each session will be offered virtually, with limited attendance, and will be free of charge to attendees.