ESSER update: Setting families up for success

Families can transform their students’ success by supporting them physically, emotionally and academically, but first they may need some support of their own. When survey results revealed that Dallas ISD parents were searching for help to better assist their children at home—especially following the learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic—the Family and Community Engagement Department created the Academic Partnering Activities to intervene. 

With a three-year allocation of $156,000 from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund, the Family and Community Engagement Department launched a series of virtual and in-person events to give families the support they needed. 

Virginia Greene, manager of Family and Community Engagement, said her team is using the ESSER funds to provide technical support, hire teachers to develop and record lessons and purchase activity resources to help support families at home. 

Greene’s team provides Facebook Live webinars with an emphasis on math and reading so parents can easily access the sessions. They also record and post teacher-created lessons on the department’s website, and they have a FROG Bus that provides “family resources on the go” by making stops at various campuses to connect with families. 

“It goes back to what the parents are asking,” Greene said. “We always say parents are the first teachers, but they don’t always have the tools they need for academic lessons. We wanted to guide parents with skills that would give them an opportunity to see how they can help their children be academically successful. That’s our ultimate goal: the success of our students.”

The Academic Partnering Activities kicked off in January 2022, and they have already partnered with approximately 300 families. While the Family and Community Engagement Department has been focused primarily on developing the initiative, they plan to make the lessons more manageable and accessible by using materials that families already have at home in addition to the educational resources that parents can request. This will help weave the academic support into parents’ everyday routines, leading them to confidently engage with their children as they are learning at home. 

“We are helping the students continue to learn what they are learning in the classroom,” Greene said. “The Academic Partnering Activities are meant to practice, develop and enhance those skills.”

Visit or to find additional resources and check out the webinars, and remember to spread the word to help our Dallas ISD families succeed. 

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