Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Communication and Involvement in Your Child's Education

Regardless of whether you are a member of the Booster Club, Board of Education, or read to your child every night, one of the critical variables in the academic success of your child is parental involvement. While students are with us from 8:00-3:00 Monday through Friday, the rest of the time they are with you. At Hudson Schools we value your work as parent and view this relationship as an important component in the overall growth of your child. Involvement can take many forms and all should be honored! 

There are countless ways in which to take an active part in your child's education either formally or informally here at Hudson. I am proud of the good work of all our parents, and encourage you to become more involved in this joint endeavor. Becoming involved can be as simple as calling your child's teacher or principal to ask a question. A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about our new math curriculum. This article was posted in direct response to questions from parents. If there is something that you would like to have more information about, please ask! Earlier in the school year we sent a letter home that indicated proficiency levels of students that had not reached the 'No Child Left Behind' benchmark. This letter prompted phone calls from parents to teachers and principals alike. These are great ways to become involved, and only help your child to do better in school. The other day I had a phone call from someone about our building security procedures and how they had recently changed due to an incident in the elementary school. While one could argue this phone call really didn't have much to do with parental involvement in their child's education, I don't think it is too much of a stretch to see the correlation.

We view communication as a two way street and a way to share valuable information that offers insight and perspective. Our teachers and principals don't always know your point of view. I am quite certain that you know your child better than we do and may have information that could be helpful to the teacher. I would also venture to guess that you don't always understand how a decision was reached in the school district, be it new security protocols or curriculum. That is why it is so important to ask questions and try to understand the perspective of each other. Let me give you a quick example.

Last week I was in Cedar Falls at a stoplight getting ready to make a left hand turn. I got the green arrow and hesitated before making my turn. During my hesitation the car behind me blasted the horn. I am quite certain the driver was angry that I was stalling. Know what happened next? A car coming from the opposite direction ran the light. Had I not waited, there would most certainly have been an accident. Because of my position in the cue, I could see that oncoming traffic was not prepared to stop-so I did the safe thing and waited for the intersection to clear. Obviously the driver behind me did not share my perspective. Had they, I doubt they would have blared their horn. Had our positions been reversed, I probably would have been the one blaring my horn at the driver in front-because again I would not have had that perspective.

So the kind of involvement that I am talking about is transparent communication. The point of this blog is to foster and encourage this communication. Sometimes I do okay, while other times I probably miss the mark. I think it is important that you hear from me weekly about whatever may be happening in the school district. One week I may discuss a topic that has recently made headlines in the local or national news while another week we may be discussing the roll out of our Connected Learning Initiative (formerly known as the 1 to 1 Project-more on this later). Hopefully this provides you with valuable information and perspective about how some of the decisions are made in the school district. If you have a topic that you would like to have me cover in this blog, please let me know. I am always looking for ideas!

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