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Re: parents/school boards (was shadows and evil)



Juanita,

As a board member in a district in which parents are really involved (in
fact that's how I got to the board), I can tell you from my experience, at
least, that having involved parents "makes" school boards better. We know
that our parents are informed, active and involved and believe me, I would
never want to sit behind the board table and feel that the people in the
audience would ever question if I read my packet or understood what was in
it. We involve our parents in everything we do, from curriculum decisions
to strategic planning to textbook adoption committees, etc. etc. and I think
that's why our kids do well. To think that a parent who wanted to come
visit the school would be turned away is bizarre to me, but I'm sure it
happens in some districts. We have tried to provide structured visits,
i.e., kindergarten orientation events for parents and kids so that most
people can come and I have never heard of a parent or potential parent being
turned down when they requested a meeting with the principal or a visit to
classrooms. And believe me someone on the board would hear about it. Now,
as a caveat, we are a relatively small k-8 district (2000 ADA) in an
affluent, educated parent community so we do not have to address issues like
1/2 our student/parent population's being non-English speaking, etc. etc.
We do have our challenges but not nearly as severe as districts just next to
us whose students are in poverty and don't speak English - some parents not
at all. So I always feel like I have to qualify what I say about our
parental involvement because IT is different than in a lot of communities.
Because of this involvement, our teachers, for the most part, I believe,
have come to see parents as additional resources, not as "problems" or
people who are trying to "tell" them what to do; they really do see us as
partners.

Karen

-----Original Message-----
From: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List
[mailto:ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU]On Behalf Of Juanita Doyon
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2000 12:28 AM
To: ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU
Subject: Re: shadows and evil...


In a message dated 12/29/00 9:38:18 PM Pacific Standard Time,
mkluznik@HOTMAIL.COM writes:

<< I've never heard of a public school not allowing visits. >>

I have. Call first please. I've never had it happen to me, but every
district and school is different. There are how many schools and districts
in this country serving 49 million K-12? Nobody on this list or the
Sepschool list has visited all of them. Anything's possible! Contrary to
popular belief on that list, it's possible that some public schools are
great! Contrary to popular belief on this list, it's possible that some
public schools are lousy! It's time to open the doors and shed light on
some
of public school's dirty little secrets-- wherever they may be. Parent OUR
Schools!

Juanita

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