Participants at the Parents as Partners Conference

The PWCS Special Education Department and Parent Resource Center (PRC) hosted the annual Parents as Partners: Building Bridges Between Home, School, and Community Conference at Forest Park High School. The event brought together more than 180 parents and family members for a day of learning, collaborating, and building strong partnerships with schools to support students.

The conference featured a keynote address by Dr. Chiquita Seaborne, an experienced family engagement specialist and special projects coordinator with the Virginia Department of Education. Seaborne shared valuable insights with parents and school staff, emphasizing the critical role they play in providing students with disabilities with the necessary tools for success in both their academic journey and life beyond the classroom.

“Partnership includes educating and empowering families,” shared Dr. Seaborne. “I have to applaud Prince William County Public Schools for asking us to partner in their efforts to educate families of students with disabilities.”

Attendees had the opportunity to explore a vendor fair, where representatives from local organizations offered assistance and highlighted recreational opportunities. Additionally, the conference hosted a series of information workshops led by experts in various special education fields. Topics covered included individualized education plans, assistive technologies, and strategies for fostering an inclusive learning environment.

Parents and caregivers in attendance expressed their appreciation for the chance to network with workshop leaders and connect with other parents who share similar experiences. The conference provided a supportive space for dialogue, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas.

While the conference is an annual highlight, families can access support and resources year-round through the PWCS Parent Resource Center There are also opportunities for families of students with disabilities to participate in free trainings and access resources at the Virginia Department of Education special education webpage.

The Parents as Partners Conference underscores PWCS’ commitment to empowering families and educators as they work together to create an inclusive and supportive educational environment for all students.