Tim Scott: Parents are partners in their child's education

Tim Scott

Last month, I wrote about the hard work and dedication of the teachers and staff working in our district. However, the work of educators doesn’t stop when students leave the classroom. The efforts and collaboration of parents, guardians and families with the school district are vitally important to the development and education of a child.

It is no secret that family engagement leads to better outcomes for students. As a parent myself, I know it can be overwhelming at times to figure out the best ways to get involved in your child’s school. Especially when you’re balancing work schedules, sports, multiple students and everything else in life. Today, I wanted to take a few moments to share a few simple ways for families to get more involved and connected with their student’s school.

At the December board meeting, I asked each of our principals to share their school’s percentage of completed parent conferences. Several schools are in the high 90s up to 100% completion of parent conferences already for this year. If you haven’t done so already this school year, I would urge all parents to make time to speak with their child’s teacher. This is the best way to stay connected to what is going on day-to-day in your child’s classroom. If for some reason your child’s teacher hasn’t reached out to you to make an appointment for a conference, I urge you to call the teacher. A parent conference should provide you with a good idea of how your child is doing academically in class and what, if any, supports your child may need to continue to reach their highest potential.

In November, I spent several days taking photographs with the district’s kindergarten students during American Education Week. Afterward, I sent a letter home with the photograph to each student’s family encouraging them to take time to read with their student and to keep graduation from high school as the goal. When parents instill the importance of education in their children that message leaves an indelible impression on them to persevere in the pursuit of their education.

There are a variety of online resources provided by our district specifically for parent involvement. Our board meetings are open to the public and live-streamed on our website. The recordings are saved in an archive also on our website. I know not everyone has the time in their day to watch hours-long board meetings, so our communications staff sends out an email summary within a week of each board meeting. You can subscribe to our board highlights email on our website at this link: https://www.daltonpublicschools.com/about/board-of-education.

Every other Tuesday, our family engagement coordinators along with other school staff help produce a 10-minute Spanish radio show for La Que Buena Radio (101.9 FM). We recently began recording these shows in both Spanish and English for all families to access. These videos cover topics including bullying, discipline, parent-teacher communication and more. You can find these videos on our website at this link: https://www.daltonpublicschools.com/district-resources/parent-and-staff-resources/parent-videos.

We take our responsibility to provide your child with a high-quality education very seriously, but we can’t do it alone. By actively participating in your child’s education, you are reinforcing the value and importance you place on his or her academic performance. Working together, I know we can best serve every student and help them grow academically, socially and emotionally.

Tim Scott is superintendent of Dalton Public Schools.

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