The Richmond County School System is starting the 2013-14 year off by putting a stronger emphasis on parental engagement – not to be confused with parental involvement, Superintendent Frank Roberson said.
Asking parents to get involved can often scare them away because the word suggests a time commitment. Engagement, however, is just as effective but less threatening, he said.
It is being aware of your child’s test dates, what subjects they are focusing on in school or how to motivate them on their assignments.
To help parents become more engaged, the Richmond County School System is holding a free seminar Aug. 10 where heads of families can learn strategies on how to be more active in their child’s schooling. Roberson will lead the conversation with tips on how to keep track of testing schedules and assignments and how to access information on the school system’s Web site.
“We have a disproportionate number of African American children not performing as well as we know they can in school,” Roberson said. “We are trying to engage heads of families, and in the process we’ll be giving them specific strategies to use to be successful in school.”
Roberson said the school system is reaching out to community leaders and churches to reach as many parents as possible.
The idea for the seminar came from a discussion between board members and Roberson about how to improve test scores across the district.
“The engagement issue – it’s an old term but a new approach,” he said.