EPAA offers families multiple venues for involvement. The examples below highlight events on campus to invite all our families, English and non-English speaking, to help build culture and community for our school. There are a number of community events and parent engagement opportunities to which parents and families are invited to participate.
Advisory Program: For eighty minutes, three times a week, every student at EPAA meets in their Advisory team. There is a , along with supports for academic monitoring. The Advisor is the main point of contact for students and their parents or guardians. The students have a lower house advisor for 9th-10th grade, then changes advisors to the upper house for grades 11th-12th.
Student Led Conferences: Once each semester the advisor meets with the parents/guardians for a Student Led Conference (SLC). Teachers are and given professional development time twice a year in order to hold these meetings. It is during these conferences that an advisor can directly address any concerns, while also celebrating the success of a student.
Monthly Parent Meetings: In addition to the School Site Council (SSC) / English Learner Advisory Council (ELAC) meetings that include parents as well as students in decision making, the principal also holds monthly "Cafecitos," or morning coffees, where parents are invited to share concerns and hear updates about the school. The monthly SSC/ELAC agenda is shared at both meetings, allowing parents/families who are unable to attend due to work a monthly morning and evening option.
Back to School Night is an evening for parents and families to meet all seven of their child's EPAA teachers, advocates, advisors and support staff. Each teacher shares their syllabus, personal information and office hours. Office hours are a weekly opportunity for students to receive extra help from all of their teachers outside of class time.
International Cultural Day: An event that we host annually to celebrate the vast array of cultures that are represented on our campus. It provides an opportunity for families to bring food to share with the entire school, students to perform traditional dances and wear traditional garb. We invite all families to participate.
The Parent Project: A 12-week course that is offered in English/Spanish to EPAA parents. Each class is scheduled one day per week for three hours. Parents learn parenting skills, outside resources, and parental support from other parents. Skills learned are as follows: appropriate ways to discipline, learning ways to support to stop the use of substance use, improving communication skills, support in learning to improve grades and school attendance. We offer this in partnership with the San Mateo County Office of Education and Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center.
Cash for College: A workshop, hosted by the College & Career Center, that provides families support in completing important financial aid documents for their students' college funding, whether it be through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act (CADAA). The support is offered in both English and Spanish. Then in March/April, we review and explain financial aid packages with students/parents, in English and Spanish (the majority in Spanish), so families understand award letter.
Dog City Showcase of Culture and Leadership: An annual event that brings together students, parents, teachers, staff, and community members. Students share poems, songs, cultural dances, and other performances. This has also included visual art "pop-up" galleries built with support from the community organization EPACenter Arts. This evening event invites all parents, guardians, and community members to come celebrate the cultures and creativities of EPAA students. More recently, this has grown to include the local Boys and Girls Club, and is organized in collaboration with their high school programs.
Goblin Walk: A Halloween carnival where our students and staff can bring the younger members of our community to EPAA for safe, holiday fun.
EPAA Egg Hunt: a Spring carnival where our students and staff can bring the younger members of our community to EPAA for safe, holiday fun.
Winter Celebration & La Posada: An annual tradition that welcomes our students and their families to campus for a winter holiday dinner celebration. Families bring food and participate in crafts, games and an informal holiday program. A highlight of the event is a visit from Santa and gifts for all of the families and young siblings.
Family Dinner: An annual gathering, presented by the Black Student Union, for our African American students, families and allies to celebrate culture and history that takes place at the culmination of Black History Month.
School Messenger: the district system for communicating with families regarding attendance as well as announcements regarding school events, programs and parent meetings. Using this platform, we are able to communicate with parents via phone call, email and text message. This platform also provides us with important data regarding what parents we are reaching as well as the students for whom we need updated contact information.
Parent Liaison: We rely heavily on our Parent Liaison to communicate regularly with parents regarding these community events. The Parent Liaison is also available to all teachers and staff for positive phone calls home and to help convey messages that teachers might have regarding a student's learning. Our Parent Liaison is able to communicate in both English and Spanish.