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Parental involvement key to our childrens education

caines | 7/11/2013, 5:30 a.m.

In the June 19th editorial of The Miami Times entitled, Parents need to join the PTA, instead of listening to the grapevine, your editorial board spoke on the increasing need for more parental involvement in the educational lives of children. Such non-involvement may lead to communities accepting false information and passing it along to others. It supported its viewpoint by mentioning the strong parental response to the false rumor regarding the closing of two public schools, Charles R. Drew Elementary and Holmes Elementary, saying that it provides evidence that the community needs to get more involved on issues pertaining to their childrens education. I agree with this sentiment because I believe that there needs to be a stronger presence of parents in regards to educational issues. Part of the Districts responsibility is to keep the community involved on school-focused decisions. Parental involvement can not only give us a perspective from the communitys point of view, but can also help us reach better solutions to controversial issues. In return, their voices are heard and swift decisions are made. There are many ways to stay involved. One includes attending the monthly-held School Board meetings. All parents have the ability to sign up to speak at these events, giving them the opportunity to express themselves to their assigned district School Board member. Even though each district representative can be reached via phone, letter, or e-mail, these events openly discuss the educational concerns of the public. Also, becoming a member of the Parent Teacher Association [PTA] strengthens parental influence. These members gather on a monthly basis to address educational, health, and social issues relevant to each childs school. This allows parents to share their intake on current matters at hand and network with teachers and other parents on the same interest of education. Furthermore, I encourage parents to become a member of the Educational Excellence School Advisory Council [EESAC]. This program focuses on bringing together the community and involving everyone on decisions which affect school instruction and the delivery of programs. It allows parents to sit on the school committee in representation of the broader school community. These committees provide recommendations to school staff, which in turn provides those recommendations to the board members, who later vote on the proposed changes. I want the parents of District 2 to be well informed. It is very important to stay engaged in the matters within each school district. Parents can start by building relationships with their childs teachers, guidance counselors, assistant principals, principals and regional directors. Setting appointments with these individuals will keep parents updated on the schools progress on future activities. Our students deserve high quality education and it is through the relationship between schools and parents that this happens. Even though I am a great advocate for the community, I am an even greater advocate with the parents participation of District 2. By Dr. DorothyBendross-MindingallSchool Board member, M-DCPS