MONROVIA, CA – Hilda Olmos was all smiles as she accepted her graduation certificate from Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), a nine-week program offered by Monrovia Unified that teaches parents how to prepare their children for higher education, understand university entrance requirements, and navigate the complexities of financial aid and scholarships.
“I wanted to go to college, but I didn’t know anything about what courses to take or how to pay for it,” said Olmos, whose 10th grade daughter, Desiree, aspires to be a first-generation college student at Stanford Medical school. “The PIQE program has taught me what I need to know so that my children can have the opportunity I wasn’t able to have for myself.”
Olmos was one of 37 Monrovia High PIQE graduates celebrated in a Nov. 27 ceremony as their children came to cheer them on.
“Our students are most successful when we approach education not just for them, but also when we look at how we can educate those around them,” Monrovia High School Principal Kirk McGinnis explained.
Monrovia Unified offers PIQE classes to parents of elementary, middle, and high school students. At the high school level, parents learn about California Standards, the importance of GPA and how to motivate their students to improve academic performance. Workshops for elementary and middle school parents include positive discipline techniques that encourage academic achievement and how to prepare for teacher conferences.
Workshops provide a platform for parents to participate in open discussions and to receive advice from their peers and PIQE mentors. The program is offered in the mornings and evenings, with classes taught in Spanish and English.
“My mom is very busy, so it means a lot to me that she took the time to attend these classes that I know will help me in the long run to push harder and really apply myself,” Desiree Olmos said.
PIQE graduates are eligible to enroll in the second year of the program, which includes workshops that focus on leadership and provides more in-depth information on the topics explored in the first series.
“We are proud of our PIQE parents for graduating from a valuable program that helps improve the future of their children,” Monrovia Unified Board President Terrence Williams said. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our parents the opportunity to strengthen their skills and gain knowledge that will directly help their children succeed in achieving their goals through high school and beyond.”
After successfully piloting the program at one school in 2015-16, Monrovia Unified now offers PIQE at all District sites.
“Parent engagement through programs like PIQE is a strong demonstration of our community’s commitment to our students’ education,” Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “Empowering our parents through education is incredibly beneficial for our students. We offer parents the opportunity to participate in this valuable program every year, and they should contact their child’s school for more information on how to enroll.”
112618_MUSD_MHSPIQE: Hilda Olmos proudly displays her graduation certificate from Monrovia Unified’s Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) program. She now feels empowered to help her daughter, Desiree (left), fulfill her dream of attending Stanford.