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parents holding PASS certificates posing

“We have been reassured that the teachers, staff and administrators in the Westminster Public Schools have a vested interest in seeing our students succeed.” ~ Dana Manyothwane

“We have discovered the importance of being involved as parents in our student’s studies and development in school, in supporting them in their plans, respecting their decisions about higher education, even when they may not know what they want to study.” ~ Iris Almaráz 

“I asked myself, ‘Am I, as a parent, prepared for the big step that my daughter is going to take?’ Thanks to Westminster High School, who opened its doors to the PASS program, we parents who took the time to attend the PASS classes learned the steps and requirements that we need to take to guide our children in the process towards college.” ~ Jair Martinez Hernandez

With the largest graduating class to date, Westminster High School (WHS) celebrated 97 parents who successfully completed the Westminster Public Schools (WPS) Parent Academy for Student Success (PASS) on Thursday, May 3, 2018. Among this semester’s group of moms and dads, an impressive 43 boasted perfect attendance to show their dedication to their students’ success. See photos on Facebook here.

Families filled the auditorium to celebrate these parents, who were welcomed by both WPS Superintendent Pamela Swanson and WHS Principal Kiffany Kiewet. Then, special guest speaker Luis Canela, Emmy award-winning sportscaster for the Denver Broncos, inspired the crowd with encouraging words of the importance of living a life of passion.

“With the help and direction that you are giving your children, you are opening doors and you are pointing them toward excellence, ” expressed Canela in both English and Spanish. “We as parents have the great responsibility to prepare our children to walk through those doors and go after those opportunities.”

This group of parents set the bar for parent engagement at WHS. They attended nine weeks of classes to learn how to best support their scholars as they navigate high school and prepare for life after that all-important day after graduation.

“It’s amazing to see the dedication of our families to be here tonight for their kids,” said Principal Kiewet. “One of the things we have been focusing on this year is parent involvement, and I am extremely excited that we had such a great showing at the PASS program.” 

This was the third PASS graduating class since the launch in 2017, with the first two classes held at Scott Carpenter Middle School and Shaw Heights Middle School. The program opened to high school parents this spring, with more than 160 parents who attended the initial meeting. What were the key take-aways from this semester’s WHS group?

“Parents, especially our ninth grade parents, are realizing that there is a lot that has to happen in the four years, and are saying ‘I’m so glad I am here to find out what those things are and what I need to do to stay tuned in to support my kid,’” shared Whitney Allen, PASS program coordinator.

According to Allen, she hopes that these high school parents, and all PASS parents, learned the importance of staying involved in their child’s education and how to become advocates for their students.

“My hope is that our parents remember to become advocates for their child’s education,” she said. “I want to empower them to speak up and ask questions, and know what their kids need to do between ninth and 12thgrades to be able to support and get them to college.”

The PASS program will continue in the 2018-19 school year at Ranum Middle School in the fall, and then Hodgkins Elementary will launch the first elementary school cohort. Classes are offered in both English and Spanish, and all WPS families are invited to attend. The nine-week courses will be held at a different school every semester, with the goal of bringing the program to every school community across the district over the next six years.

For more information on the PASS program and to enroll, visit