State superintendent asks parents for help
Parent involvement in education was the focus of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s statewide back-to-school address last week.
Delaine Eastin said strong school systems require families to act as partners with schools in their commitment to education.
“I am often asked, ‘what is my greatest wish for our schools?’ My unequivocal answer is parent involvement,” said Eastin. “Research indicates that parent involvement is the greatest predictor of student success in schools – more important than family background or socioeconomic status.”
There are three factors parents should be able to control, Eastin said. “Student absenteeism, books in the home and television time.”
Eastin urged all parents to do the following:
n Read with your child, or encourage your child, to read every day. Let your child see you reading.
n Limit and monitor your child’s television viewing and talk together about programs.
n Spend time with your child; play games and do activities together, such as visiting parks, museums, historical sites, zoos and especially libraries.
n Talk with your child about everyday events and school – emphasize the importance of hard work and responsibility.
n Set aside a regular time for homework, making sure your child has a place to work and that assignments are completed.
n Promote good attendance.
n Ask your child’s teacher to provide you with information about what standards your child is expected to meet by the end of the school year and communicate frequently with the teacher about your child’s progress.
n Attend parent-teacher conferences, school meetings, back-to-school night and other school events.
n Volunteer in the classroom, parent center and other school-sponsored activities.
n Promote exercise and good nutrition, and ensure that your child receives an adequate amount of sleep.
n As your child approaches high school, talk to him or her about career aspirations.
n Encourage your child to take rigorous courses in middle school and high school. By meeting higher graduation requirements, your child will meet the eligibility requirements of four-year colleges.
“So, I plead for help from parents,” continued Eastin. “As I have said for many years now, we can educate your children for free, but not for nothing. We need you.”
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