Barnstable Public Schools (BPS) want families to know they are welcome to ask questions, get help filling out forms, and find assistance with any challenges they might encounter regarding their children’s education. In fact, there’s an office for that.
The BPS Family and Community Engagement Center (FCEC) opened its doors July 8, inside the Hyannis Youth and Community Center (HYCC), said Terriann Morin, the center’s coordinator. More than 350 families have already sought assistance, Morin said, with everything from registering for school to catching up with children’s immunizations. Now the FCEC is hosting an open house to let more families know about the services that are available.
The center will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 – the same day that the HYCC celebrates its 10th anniversary with festivities of its own. Morin said families can tour the office, ask questions and learn about Barnstable’s Volunteers in Public Schools program (VIPS). Meanwhile, the HYCC’s activities will include a cake-cutting, public skating, touch-and-truck, open gym, crafts, and other family-friendly pursuits. The event is at the HYCC, 141 Bassett Lane, Hyannis.
Some services offered by the Family and Community Engagement Center:
● Families with children of different ages can register students for all of Barnstable’s public schools in one place. (Previously, they had to travel to individual schools.)
● FCEC Administrative Assistant Aline Gomes speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and English, providing valuable translation services for Barnstable’s growing number of English Learning students and their families.
● During the month of September a Barnstable County Health Department representative will visit the center on Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon to administer immunizations.
● The FCEC has four computers for those who want to fill out online forms but may not have access to computers or internet service at home.
● Morin and Gomes are ready to help with any issue beyond school needs – from housing to food security, to clothing, to health insurance, Morin said. If family members want to ask questions, she or Gomes can refer them to the appropriate agency.
● Anyone who wants to get more involved with their children’s education can learn about opportunities within the schools’ Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) program.
● The center has coloring books and other child-friendly activities for families who want to bring their children with them while they seek assistance.
Find out more about the FCEC with the video below.