Past Extra Credits|
Giving Arizona Parents "A Greater Voice"
The No Child Left Behind Act encourages parents to get involved in improving their child's school. As part of that effort, school districts must develop strategies to promote effective parental involvement. The following are highlights from a recent Sierra Vista Herald article, "No Child Left Behind has given parents a greater voice," detailing how four Arizona school districts are reaching out to parents:
- Tombstone Unified District: "Henry Bos, federal programs director for Tombstone school district, recently coordinated two 'schoolhouse meetings,' designed to give parents a better understanding of NCLB and standardized testing. ... 'Parents really are concerned. Sometimes we forget that parents are just as concerned as we are (about their child's education),' Bos told the school board. ... [Board President Jay] Rodriguez said these meetings are valuable to parents as well as educators. It draws the parents into their children's education process and helps parents understand the value of regular testing to make sure each child continues to show progress at school. She also said school accountability is important. The accountability required by the state and NCLB is a way of ensuring children are receiving quality education."
- Sierra Vista Unified District: "Each of the district's nine schools has plans in place to promote parental involvement in the schools and to make sure parents are informed about NCLB and other education issues. For example, each of the schools have site councils, leadership teams, and Parent-Teacher-Student Organizations. Schools use results from parent surveys to guide education planning. According to Sierra Vista's NCLB plan, parents receive information via newsletters, parent workshops, parent conferences, the school district Web site, school brochures and meetings. In addition, parents of children participating in the federal Title I reading program are invited to pizza nights, which are informational meetings that provide childcare in addition to food."
- Palominas Elementary District: "Palominas school district ... sends newsletters to parents and has had parent meetings. ... Parents are given information about reading strategies they may use at home to strengthen their child's reading skills, [curriculum director Dee] Puff said. During one of the parent meetings, a mother suggested that band and choir concerts be scheduled during the day to encourage more parents to visit the schools. Puff said all three schools had winter concerts, and plans are in the works for spring concerts. During these visits to the schools, parents have opportunities to learn more about becoming involved with their child's education, Puff said. In addition, parents are given additional information about NCLB and standardized tests."
- Bisbee Unified District: "Bisbee Superintendent Paul McDonald said the important issue [of increasing parental involvement] resulted in him having three meetings with parents. ... [He] said each of the three schools has a site council or an advisory committee set up with an equal number of parents, teachers and staff members."
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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.
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Last Modified: 01/25/2008