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November 19, 2009
Superintendent Castillo Recognizes National Parental Involvement Day
SALEM - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo commemorated National Parental Involvement Day today, recognizing several outstanding parental outreach efforts across Oregon and encouraging all parents to take time to be engaged in their children’s education.
“The evidence is overwhelming that parents play a critical role in their child’s success. Whether it is better grades, less discipline problems or overall lifetime achievement, parents who take the time to be engaged in their students’ education make a real difference,” said Castillo. “I encourage every parent to make the time in their busy schedules to stay involved in their local school – it will make a big difference for their child and help improve education for all Oregon students.”
Parental involvement in education can be as simple as checking homework folders, attending teacher-parent conferences, getting on the computer with a child so they can find more information on a subject, helping with homework or preparation for a test, or checking in regularly with a teacher or counselor. Parents can volunteer as a member of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), advisory or site councils or through other opportunities at their local schools.
Parental involvement also means being informed about a child’s education – what they are learning and what is happening in their classroom. By being informed, parents can ask teachers and administrators the right questions and know what they can do at home to help their child succeed. At its most basic level, being involved means making sure children know that his or her parent values a good education more than anything else.
Superintendent Castillo also noted several outstanding parental involvement programs across the State including the Nyssa School District, the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality and the Black Parenthood Initiative.
The Nyssa School District puts a real commitment on connecting with all parents, sending a positive message that validates parents’ role and responsibilities in education. If a parent cannot make time to visit the school, teachers will make a home visit. “We really work to be open ended with parents, sharing the good as well as the bad to let them know what we can do to make students more successful,” said Nyssa Superintendent Don Grotting.
The Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equity’s Parental Organizing Project includes workshops to teach parents how to effectively navigate the education system and partner with their children for success. Project workshops include culturally-appropriate, language-accessible information in a child- and family-friendly way that helps empower parents and families.
The Black Parent Initiative assists Black parents in ensuring that their children achieve educational excellence. Through innovative partnerships, the Initiative provides stronger systems of support for Black parents, helping improve children’s chances for educational success. Parent advocates at two Portland-area schools, for instance, conduct outreach to parents on upcoming school events, volunteer opportunities, community projects and support groups.
“Across Oregon we have several exciting initiatives boosting parent participation in education – both within school districts and through outside groups,” said Castillo. “It is my hope these efforts will serve as models for what we can be doing across Oregon to encourage parents to be more involved in their children’s education. And that’s something that will benefit all of us as we prepare the next generation to succeed.”
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