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Richmond County superintendent urges parental engagement at start of new school year

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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.

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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.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Richmond County School System seminar teaching families how to be more active in their child’s schooling

WHERE: Board of Education, 864 Broad St.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Aug. 10

Comments (10) Add comment
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corgimom
28053
Points
corgimom 08/03/13 - 07:16 pm
1
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In my day, the school

In my day, the school district didn't have to tell anybody to do this, parents did this as a matter of course.

It's so sad that anybody would have to tell a parent this.

Bulldog
1296
Points
Bulldog 08/03/13 - 10:56 pm
2
1
Asking parents to get involved can often scare them away

"Asking parents to get involved can often scare them away because the word suggests a time commitment." Wow! No kidding! What?! Spend time on your kids education? Ain't nobody got time fo dat! No wonder kids are failing left and right. The parent(s) don't value education and probably never wanted those kids anyway...

avidreader
2995
Points
avidreader 08/04/13 - 07:15 am
1
1
The Worn Out Myth!

There's this recurring myth in our community that parents who do not pay attention to their children's education are all beasts, or coke heads, or just lazy. Yes, some do fit into these categories, but from my experience many are simply busy. Yes, BUSY -- working two (sometimes three) jobs just to survive and keep their children fed and clothed. This lifestyle does not leave a lot of time for academic nourishment at home. Even though some single moms are paying for their youthful stupidity -- no daddies around, for sure -- they are at least working hard for their children. There are a lot of African American people in our community who are also disenchanted by our welfare system, and they refuse to join up. It's called Pride.

I think part of what Dr. Roberson is attempting to convey is a message of hope for parents who have access to a computer (and let's go with another myth that even the poorest of the poor all have smart phones). With just a few keystrokes a mom can check her kids' grade book entries, disciplinary actions, absenteeism, homework, and upcoming tests and projects. The school calendar is easily accessible, as are test dates and holidays.

At the beginning of every school year I provide parents with an instruction package that takes the guess work out of their hands. I also log email addresses and often communicate with them. This is a very time-consuming process for the first two weeks of the year, but it's worth it, and the process WORKS. I enjoy attending parent/teacher conferences knowing that I have little to say because the parent already knows everything concerning my classroom events. And once again, YES, many parents will pay attention if encouraged. Some teachers do not take the time to contact parents. One simple phone call can sometimes solve a big problem. Many of these mothers want to care, they just need a partner who shares their interests.

And DADS, I left you out of this commentary because once again, it is my experience that when you're involved, the few problems that occur with your children are handled quickly and efficiently.

Amen!

soapy_725
43555
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soapy_725 08/04/13 - 08:48 am
0
0
Engage, Energize & Empower. Barnes & Nobles have copies.
Unpublished

Engage, Energize & Empower. Barnes & Nobles have copies.

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 08/04/13 - 08:49 am
0
0
Engage, Energize & Empower. Lip service to a lost cause.
Unpublished

Engage, Energize & Empower. Lip service to a lost cause.

seenitB4
81577
Points
seenitB4 08/04/13 - 09:41 am
1
0
Thank you avidreader

Many of these mothers want to care, they just need a partner who shares their interests. That is so true .....imho.

mybaskett
218
Points
mybaskett 08/04/13 - 10:26 am
0
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Too busy........

People often use the excuse that they are too busy, they have to work and/or many other reasons why they do not show up at school or have the time to engage their children. Make it work.

When it comes to work, use your personal leave time to participate with your children in school activities other than taking off because you need a break. Dads as well. My husband and I take turns using our personal leave. If both of us can't make it, we create a plan to make it work.

As busy parents we often request the lesson plan for the upcoming week on Fridays. This allows us to plan out the week beginning on Sunday. We do as much homework in advance on sunday, as well as create study guides. This gets us ahead of the game.

gaj265
201
Points
gaj265 08/04/13 - 12:47 pm
0
0
And the children who are not black?

“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.”
The last time I checked, ALL of our students perform better when their parents are "engaged" in the learning process.

validPoint
982
Points
validPoint 08/04/13 - 01:48 pm
0
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Somewhat Complex

The title of "parent" in today's time is somewhat complex. This is so because many have assumed the role, and are not adequately prepared. There are children having children and leaving folk to be responsible for children that really should not have the responsibility. So, who is suffering as a result? The answer is the child, and the burden this places on society as an end result.

It really is a sad thing to think of people being too busy for their children...really sad. Even a small amount of quality time will go a long way.

Sweet son
9713
Points
Sweet son 08/04/13 - 03:17 pm
0
0
?

"The idea for the seminar came from a discussion between board members and Roberson about how to improve test scores across the district."

My child is 10 years out of high school so I guess I don't know what I am talking about. But this idea of "improving test scores" is nothing but a rouse to please higher ups in the State and Federal education departments.

Why not just get back to teachers teaching and children learning. And while the two aforementioned things are going on just simply add in some nurturing and life training.

I believe that these elusive "test scores" would be attained if so much emphasis was not placed on them and more emphasis was placed on teaching children.

Test scores are nothing more than bragging rights for Principals and administrators. It is truly misguided and all wrong!

As for the article, Mr. Roberson is absolutely right about parental involvement but we know that that concept does not exist in many of the RC student's homes. Wouldn't it be great if each child had two loving parents who truly wanted their children to succeed and not end up in single parent homes with not direction!

I guess we all wish that!

corgimom
28053
Points
corgimom 08/04/13 - 04:31 pm
0
0
"Yes, some do fit into these

"Yes, some do fit into these categories, but from my experience many are simply busy. Yes, BUSY -- working two (sometimes three) jobs just to survive and keep their children fed and clothed. "

I was one of those BUSY single mothers, working 2 jobs, but I still TOOK THE TIME to work with my son. Because I knew that his education ultimately was MY responsibility, because I was his parent.

My father worked 2 jobs, my mother had 5 rambunctious kids, but they kept tabs on us. We didn't need to be told to do our homework, it was done as a matter of course. We never thought once about not doing it. It was like getting up in the morning- it was a necessity.

How did parents do it back when none of this was available-"With just a few keystrokes a mom can check her kids' grade book entries, disciplinary actions, absenteeism, homework, and upcoming tests and projects. The school calendar is easily accessible, as are test dates and holidays."

We didn't have disciplinary actions at school, we were too afraid of the disciplinary actions we'd get at home. My parents knew when we were absent, we never skipped classes, and they didn't hover over us to do our homework. It was our homework, not theirs. Upcoming tests and projects? That was our responsibility too, it was our work, not theirs. It was our job to tell them about projects, and if we didn't, and got a bad grade, it was OUR FAULT.

Helicopter parenting doesnt work, you wind up raising an immature child who can't cope with life after they get out of school and mommy can't hold their hand anymore.

tom31510
312
Points
tom31510 08/16/13 - 04:01 pm
0
0
Parents

For someone who stayed on the payroll without doing his job as long as Dr. Robinson did; you'd expect him to lay the blame somewhere else. Need for parental involvement; that's nothing new, educators have been saying that for years. Dr. Roberson's comments are usually back-peddeling and amount to nothing new or constructive. It's pretty obvious things in RC have not improved education wise on his watch.

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