Articles tagged with Parents

What would you do if parents lobbied your school board on adding athletic offerings

The August edition of ASBJ ‘s Adviser Poll poses this question to our readers:

A group of parents lobbied the school board to make archery one of the athletic offerings at the high school level. Their middle school children were very involved with the sport and they wanted them to continue in junior and varsity teams at the high school. The school board was hesitant because of the costs but the parents promised they would raise money to cover the expenses. What should the board do?

Vote and tell us what you think on our Facebook page.

 

Naomi Dillon|July 31st, 2012|Categories: American School Board Journal, Athletics, School Boards|Tags: , , |

Law gives schools flexibility on location of special services, NSBA says

Federal law requires school districts to provide students with disabilities a free appropriate public education, but it is up to the district to decide where that requirement can best be met, NSBA and the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) said in a brief filed for R.K. v. Board of Education of Scott County, Kentucky recently in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case was initiated in 2009, when “R.K,” a student with Type I diabetes, was in kindergartener in Scott County, Ky. Initially, R.K. needed insulin injections during the school day, but later he began using an insulin pump that required accurate input of certain dietary information.

The NSBA-KSBA brief noted that the Kentucky Board of Nursing had advised schools not to delegate the responsibility for monitoring insulin pumps to other staff. With this recommendation in mind, the district told R. K.’s parents that he could attend one of two elementary with onsite nurses. However, the parents said the district had an obligation to educate R.K. at his neighborhood school, and sued.

A district court judge ruled in June that R.K. had no “absolute right” to attend his neighborhood school, and the parents appealed the decision to the 6th Circuit.

The NBSA-KSBA brief says there is a fundamental difference between an “educational placement” decision, concerning the types of services and supports offered to a student, and the “physical location” where those services are provided.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) requires that students be educated in “the least restrictive environment,” the brief says. However, in the Kentucky case, NSBA and KSBA said, “the student does not allege he has been removed from education with his non-disabled peers; his sole allegation is that he was denied assignment to his neighborhood school.”

NSBA General Counsel Francisco M. Negrón Jr. said Section 504 does not require districts to educate children with disabilities in their neighborhood school.

“The court should not read into Section 504 a requirement that a school district be required to provide all disability-related services to students in their neighborhood schools,” Negrón said.

“In addition to minimizing the role of the individualized education program staffing process, such a ruling could needlessly increase costs by minimizing the flexibility of school districts in managing limited resources.”

NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant said a decision against the school district threatens the “common practice of deploying the districts’ resources in a many that is both fiscally responsible and educationally sound.”

Lawrence Hardy|October 20th, 2011|Categories: School Law, Special Education, Student Achievement, Wellness|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

NSBA releases family engagement resource

A new document by the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) School Health Programs, which was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aims to cultivate the relationship between schools and families, with an eye toward nurturing healthy students and a healthy school environment.

Families as Partners: Fostering Family Engagement for Healthy and Successful Students, provides an overview of this critical component of student and school success and offers guidance, strategies, and resources for developing and implementing effective family engagement policies and practices.

According to the document, family engagement in schools has been shown to reduce risky behaviors and improve academic achievement and attitudes about school among students.

The publication also suggests that building connections around school and children’s health issues not only serves as a less intimidating entry point for families, but can reap multiple benefits.

“Family engagement is important to a positive school climate, as well as, to the development of promising school health policies and practices that benefit all students and prepare them for a healthy and successful future,” said Anne L. Bryant, NSBA’s executive director.

It should be noted that families come in all shapes and sizes, and the use of the word family is an all-inclusive generic term. Regardless of their makeup, according to the document, “families and school staff share the responsibility to counter unhealthy influences and help students lead healthy, productive lives.”

And coordinated school health—an eight-step model that the CDC developed— is a sensible way to address risky behaviors among students. Not surprisingly, one of the key components in the CDC coordinated school health framework is family involvement.

Families as Partners highlights a handful of well-regarded strategies to bolster family involvement, including the model developed by noted Johns Hopkins University sociology professor Joyce L. Epstein.

Among the steps a district should take is a review of their own policies on family involvement. Chances are districts can build on their existing efforts to address family engagement in health, nutrition, and safety.

In tandem with an internal review, is an external strategy to bring families into the fold, whether it’s through community meetings, surveys, standing committees, or other opportunities where two-way dialogue can occur.

Besides the Families as Partners document, more smart tips and best practices, including a fact sheet on health and learning, sample family engagement policies, and sample surveys to engage families, can be found on the new family engagement webpage on NSBA’s website.

 

 

Naomi Dillon|September 28th, 2011|Categories: Nutrition, School Climate, Student Achievement, Wellness|Tags: , |

NSBA in the News: “A different kind of parent involvement—in school policy”

This week, the Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet” blog features a commentary by Idette B. Groff, a member of the Conestoga Valley, Penn., school board and a member of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association’s Board of Directors.  Groff wrote about ways her school board revamped and expanded its communications plans to ensure all parents were involved in issues such as the budget process.

The column is the latest in a series of entries by school board members from across the country, including:

“The problem school boards have with the public,” by Michael Rochholz, board president of the Schoolcraft Community Schools in Schoolcraft, Mich. and member of the Michigan Association of School Boards.

“Are school boards part of the problem or the solution?” by Anne M. Byrne, a member of the New York’s Nanuet school board and of NSBA’s Board of Directors.

“Should children have to compete for their education?” by Mary Fertakis, a member of Washington’s Tukwila School District Board of Directors and President-elect of the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

 

 

 

Joetta Sack-Min|August 31st, 2011|Categories: Board governance, School Boards|Tags: , |

CPE study shows impact of parental involvement on achievement

Get parents involved in their children’s education, and good things are bound to happen. That’s a statement that most everyone invested in the public schools — including parents, teachers, administrators, and school board members – can support.

But “parent involvement,” though widely praised, is a rather nebulous term encompassing a broad range of activities, from volunteering in the classroom, to helping children with homework, to serving on the PTA. Are certain types volunteering more effective than others when it comes to supporting a school’s most basic mission: raising student achievement?

The Center for Public Education — a research arm of the National School Boards Association – looked at this question by examining dozens of studies on various types of parent involvement.  Its conclusion:  The best things school leaders can do to improve achievement is to involve parents in the academic life of their children — by asking parents to monitor homework assignments, for example, and by setting high goals and encouraging college preparation.

“Families working in close partnerships with teachers can have a measurable impact on their children’s academic achievement, particularly when they are focused on helping students do well in school,” said Patte Barth, director of the Center. “While parent involvement is no substitute for good classroom instruction, it can make the job much easier for everyone — teachers, parents, guardians, and students themselves.”

Parents want to be involved in their children’s education, something that holds true regardless of their race and ethnicity or income level. For example, the study found that 82 percent of white parents checked their children’s homework. And those numbers were even higher for African-American parents (94 percent) and Hispanics (91 percent.) According to the report’s Executive Summary, studies “have shown that lower-income and minority parents often have the same level of involvement in education as others – even though it may not necessarily be reflected at PTA meetings or school fundraisers.”

“The vast majority of parents are involved and want their children to succeed,” Barth said. “However, the school may not be seeing it.”

The report — “Back to School: How Parent Involvement Affects Student Achievement” – looked at literacy programs in Minnesota and initiatives in West Virginia in which parents received learning packages in reading and math and training on how to use them. Among of the most effective programs, the report said, is an initiative run by Johns Hopkins University called TIPS (Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork).

A study of a TIPS writing program in Baltimore found that parent involvement at two middle schools increased the writing scores for 700 sixth- and eighth-grade students. And the more TIPS homework the students did, the better their language arts grades.

 

Lawrence Hardy|August 30th, 2011|Categories: Center for Public Education, Educational Research, Reports, Student Achievement|Tags: , , |
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