School District of Philadelphia launches Virtual Family Academy

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The School District of Philadelphia launches its Virtual Family Academy on Thursday.

Students or their families can log in for the first course on Thursday afternoon.

"We are in this together so it's a support for the parents," said mother Elizabeth Hernandez.

Hernandez has two daughters who attend Stearne in Frankford. She has taken Family Academy classes in person. Now the school district is making these workshops virtual.

"It does give you a lot of help, a lot of information in how to help your student especially and how to advocate for others," Hernandez added.

With school buildings shuttered across the city and students learning from home, District spokesperson Monica Lewis explained schools are looking to provide families additional support in these online workshops.

Topics run the gamut, ranging from managing stress to Google Classroom fundamentals.

The program is specifically designed for families in the district.

"The sessions are designed by staff at the School District of Philadelphia, so our subject matter and experts are working to develop the material- presenters are either district employees or people we work with in the community that are aware of the needs of our community members," Lewis said.

Presentations are expected to last around 40 minutes and will open up for typed-in questions.

Keeping security in mind, there will be no images of participating families.

There's no need to pre-register.

Families in the school district are able to access these seminars on their computer or smart phone.

Next week the school district will launch a different online opportunity called "Face to Face," where families can share advice and strategies with each other.

"'Face to Face' will be an opportunity where families can actually engage in a virtual chat group and hear from other families of how they're coping with the challenges," Lewis told us.
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