A message to parents, get involved.

By Greg Sampson

A Message for Parents
School has begun and already we are going through the
contortions of revising master schedules because the district does not give schools
the teachers they need to do it right.
Compromises are being made. Class size restrictions
complicate things because if we have one middle school geometry class of 23
students and can’t add more, what do we do with the extra 3 students who belong
in that class? We don’t have enough teachers for to create a second class.
Whose child is left out?
Why is a Level 4 mathematics student not in an
advanced class? Sometimes it is only that mistakes are made when the district
forces schools to constantly revise the master schedule mere days before
schools open.
We will fix most of it eventually. Some of it we
won’t get to or won’t know about. I’m not blaming the school or the district in
this post. Please get that straight. But I do have a message for parents.
YOU are your child’s advocate. There is no one
better. You must make sure that the school your child attends has done the
right thing in your child’s schedule. You must ask your child to look at the
schedule and, if something does not seem right, contact your child’s school to
find out the reasons. If something needs changing, you are the one who has to
insist that the school make the changes.
Talk to your child everyday about what happened. We
care about your children and work to keep them safe, but sometimes your
children do not feel comfortable talking to adults at the school. They need
you.
Come to us with their concerns. We will help.
You may feel you have been brushed off in the past.
However, at every school there are people who care. This year there is a vibe
that school personnel need to “stay in their lane.” Nevertheless, the
superintendent has also preached that schools need to be oriented to customer
service. Find someone like me. I will make sure that your concerns get to the
right person.
When it comes to special needs children, you have to
double down. Attend IEP meetings. Take a copy home with you. Follow up during
the year to make sure that your child is receiving the support and services the
school is required to provide.
Talk to your child. Find out how often the support
facilitator (SF) comes to the class and works with her/him. How often does the
SF pull the child out of class for small group learning away from the distractions
of other students? When your child has a test, are the accommodations given—not
only the once-a-year state test, but all tests?
You would be surprised what schools will do under
budget pressures applied by the district. Don’t let your child’s education be
compromised. The SES (special education services) audit the state did in the
Spring barely scratched the surface.

Parents, you have the power. Be involved, check
it out, demand that your child’s school provides safety and services.

2 Replies to “A message to parents, get involved.”

  1. Parents totally have the power, for good or for bad. If parents advocate, things get done. Teachers have almost no power. Admin/downtown never really listen to teachers; it's the parents they listen to, especially if they speak loudly.

  2. You are only partially correct when you say, "Teachers have almost no power". Please allow me to correct you; " Teachers have ABSOLUTELY NO POWER".

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