School district’s new Parent Assistance Center up and running
Parents and the community now have the option of seeking information through a new Parent Assistance Center that Lee County Public Schools created.
Parent Assistance Center Coordinator Dr. Ruthie Lohmeyer, who has worked in the district for 26 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal, was approved for the job on July 1.
“This is really exciting because I am on the ground floor running the pioneer project for the school district,” she said. “What I can do with this center, is put the right people in touch with each other.”
The center was created due to Chairman Thomas Scott recognizing the need for improving family relations with the school district, she said, which also involved Chief Academic Advisor Dr. Constance Jones.
The center’s mission is to “provide information and quick references to navigate the district in a seamless and easy fashion as they guide their children toward success.”
The minute the center went live, Lohmeyer began receiving calls for simple questions of specific school numbers and what schools were in certain zones. She said she was able to set up a tour at Heights Elementary School for a family, so it could see what the school was like and what it has to offer.
The center, she said, is about saving parents, community members and the school district partners time in answering questions they may have.
Lohmeyer said she wants to eliminate the little things that could aggravate and cause people not to have respect and pride for the school district.
“We are fortunate to have a new superintendent that believes in community respect,” she said about Dr. Joseph Burke.
Lohmeyer said the center is a one-stop-shop for information, which is all people want.
One of the perks about the center that Lohmeyer is excited about is having information in her hands regarding what each school in the district offers for families.
“We have a whole booklet of what all of our schools do to involve parents and students,” she said. “I like to be the person that can say that training is going on at certain schools.”
Lohmeyer said she wants to lead parents to a school in the area that is offering a program they want.
She said she is expecting a large volume of calls and parents visiting the center the week before school starts.
“I look forward to being busy. If I can save them one step in the whole process, that is awesome,” Lohmeyer said.
With tons of information at her fingertips, she also wants to inform the public of when certain events are being held that will benefit them and their families.
This Sunday at Harborside, 1375 Monroe St., in Fort Myers, the 12th annual Big Backpack Event will be held from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Last year the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida provided more than 2,000 backpacks full of supplies to children. The event attracted more than 15,000 people.
Backpacks full of school supplies will be given to the first 2,000 elementary school children between the ages of 5-12 who attend the event. Eye exams, fingerprinting and hair cuts will also be available for free for those in attendance.
“It is a great way to bring everyone together who are going through a tough time,” Lohmeyer said.
Those who have a question they need answered about the district can call Lohmeyer at 239-337-8574, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the website at studentservices.leeschools.net/PAC/welcome.htm or visit the center at 2855 Colonial Blvd., in Fort Myers.
Since she is the only person at the center, she said to leave a message if she does not pick up and she will return the call as soon as possible.