SAN YSIDRO — Nearly 190 parents from three San Ysidro School District elementary schools will receive certificates this month for completing a parent program that promotes a college-going and career-oriented culture.

The Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) program – available at all District schools – took parents from Smythe, Vista Del Mar and Willow elementary schools through a nine-week course that covered topics on how to navigate the school system, collaborate with teachers, counselors and principals and support their child’s emotional development.

Veronica Terriquez, a mother of three whose daughter attends second grade at Willow Elementary, said the program has changed how she encourages her children’s educational goals.

“The PIQE program strengthens my self-esteem as a parent,” Terriquez said. “Before attending the PIQE program, I didn’t know how to talk about college with my kids. Now, I am learning about the college preparation process and what is required for my children to attend college.”

PIQE curriculum is organized by student age: one level for early child development, two levels for elementary school parents and two levels for middle school parents. Each program includes planning sessions, facilitation of classes by certified instructors and guest speakers.

“The PIQE program opens the avenues of communication between the parent and student and the parent and the teacher,” Board of Education President Marcos Diaz said. “Parents are given the opportunity to play an active role in their children’s education, and are encouraged to go home and ask their children questions about the topics they are learning in class and sharing what they’re learning in PIQE with their kids.”

PIQE is offered in nine-week clusters at varying times throughout the academic year, depending on school site. Parents may attend morning and evening sessions, free of charge. Instruction is available in ten languages, depending on parent preferences.

“Research continues to show how important it is to educate parents and equip them with vocabulary and learning concepts that will in turn make college attendance an achievable goal for their children,” Superintendent Dr. Julio Fonseca said. “PIQE is a positive program that serves as a foundation that supports this dialogue and makes college-going a realistic expectation.”

Forty-three parents graduated from Smythe’s program on March 10. The next parent graduations will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 at Vista Del Mar, 4885 Del Sol Blvd., San Diego and at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at Willow Elementary, 226 Willow Road, San Ysidro.

PIQEPROGRAM1: Claudia Hernandez is one of 43 parents from Smythe Elementary who graduated on March 10 from the Parent Institute for Quality Education’s “Parent Engagement in Education Program,” a nine-week college-focused program that educates parents through a variety of workshops.