After the special board meeting held last month to appoint a trustee, I heard several people refer to the machine in Beaumont. I’ve lived less than five years in Beaumont so I may be naïve to the ways here but I don’t see a machine. I see individuals in the leadership of our community and school district with interests different from parents. These interests influence how our schools will grow. I think help from parents can make sure that all our interests are known.
I’m not asking for any major commitments from administration officials. I know they have many programs for parents; I don’t want any more programs. I want the administration motivated to find ways to get more parents involved. I want them to agree to develop, and annually review with parents, a written Parent Involvement Policy (PIP), a dynamic plan for increasing parent involvement in Beaumont.
I’m not asking for any major commitment from parents either. I am just asking parents to show up at critical junctures in the political process to make sure the leadership of our district remembers what is important to us and our kids. I’m not asking for anyone to address the board, just being there shows your commitment to be involved.
Next week is one of those critical junctures.
The PIP is just the beginning. Once the district commits to increasing parent involvement, parents need to be there to provide solutions to how to get more parents involved. Here are some of my suggestions, I have many more.
- Recognize National parent involvement day
- Recognize a Parent volunteer of the month for each school who is selected by parents from written nominations provided by teachers and site staff.
- End of the year parent involvement dinner honoring the volunteers of the month and year as selected by parents and teachers
- One board meeting each month is a parent focused meeting with committee meetings held before the board meeting and child care provided
- Email announcements instead of robo-calls to parents
- Parent committee to select representation for district committees
- School site council training
- Annual PTA organization conference
- An official confirmation and thank you from the superintendent once a parent has fulfilled their promise they made in their school compact to volunteer at their school.
- Encourage parents to sign up for email notification of board meeting agendas.
- District support for a volunteer sign-up day at each site and promote through a friendly competition among schools.
I am just one parent, imagine what kind of solutions we could propose if more parents were involved with developing a plan.
Next week look for my district PIP and solutions. Don’t worry Mrs. Lara and Dr. Latham, I’ll try and get them posted early enough so you have time to prepare your defense.