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Department of Education wants parents of school children actively involvedPosted Friday, October 15, 2010, at 11:41 AM
The Indiana Department of Education is asking Hoosier parents to get more involved in the education of their children.
This week the IDOE launched a new website -- www.doe.in.gov/parentpledge -- where parents can read and sign an online pledge.
Indiana's "Parent Pledge" acknowledges parents, grandparents and other caretakers who are already contributing to student successes while encouraging others to get involved with their children's academic achievement.
Specifically, the pledge states:
* My child will read with an adult or be encouraged to read independently each day.
* My child will complete all homework assignments given by school instructors and will be encouraged to ask for help when it is needed.
* My child will arrive at school on time, well rested and prepared for a full day of instruction and learning.
* My child will treat teachers and fellow classmates with respect and compassion. I will make positive behavior the expectation in my household.
* My child will graduate from high school and will understand the importance of a strong education in determining future success.
* I will encourage my child to dream big and always give 100 percent effort.
* I will treat my child's teachers as a valuable resource and work with them to support academic improvement and classroom behavior expectations.
* I will monitor my child's academic growth and stay as involved as possible in my child's education. I will let the teacher know right away if I notice any problems.
This a great idea and brings me back to the now considered "old school" thinking that was employed in my growing-up years in a parochial school in Perry County.
In those days there was a definite close bond between what happened at home and what happened in the classroom.
Nearly all of the parents went to the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings to keep abreast about classroom progress and school activities.
There were frequent one-on-one experiences between teachers and parents either by telephone or face-to-face chats.
There was an unspoken "understanding" that if any kind of trouble or problems with discipline or academic performance in the classroom arose at school, the consequences when one arrived back home would be even more stringent and severe.
You knew for a fact that if you got a whipping at school -- which was acceptable in those days -- you were going to go to the woodshed, so to speak, when you got home that night.
Granted, times have changed and teaching techniques have changed, but parenting skills remain constant.
I heard a comment aired by an Greene County school administrator along those lines this week during a school board meeting that kind of got my attention and made me really question the validity of that statement.
"We can't teach the same way we taught in the '50s," the administrator said.
Do you agree with that statement?
What has changed -- the kids, the parents or the teachers?
The parents still need to be involved and know what their children are doing at school. They need to encourage and guide their children with homework assignments to foster a better learning environment.
The parent pledge emphasizes principles like reading every day, completing homework, attending school and cooperating with educators -- all very good things.
Parents can sign the pledge online at www.doe.in.gov/parentpledge or at one of the more than 80 participating schools.
I guess I was a little disappointed when I looked at the list and found none of the five Greene County school districts, or neighboring schools in Dugger listed as participants.
I hope it is because they haven't heard about the pledge project yet.
Hoosiers who sign the pledge electronically will receive online resources from IDOE, including helpful learning tips and access to academic experts.
To find a list of participating schools, visit www.doe.in.gov/news/documents/PledgeScho....
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages...
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