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Letter: Employers should encourage parent participation

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Did you know that if you own a business that employs parents, you can have an impact on their children’s school success by encouraging them to attend parent-teacher conferences?

Research proves that parent involvement has a positive effect on student success. When parents are involved in their children’s education, their children tend to achieve more. Schools perform better. Teacher morale may even improve. Ultimately, communities are stronger when parents get involved.

Nearly all schools in DeKalb County will hold parent-teacher conferences over the next few weeks. Parent-teacher conferences can be a very helpful means of communication.

Ideally, it is a two-way exchange of information about the academic, behavioral and social well-being of the child. Parent-teacher conferences are an important step in building the bridge between home and school to ensure the highest quality of education for elementary, middle school and high school age students. Local businesses have an opportunity to support young people by helping to develop these essential home/school partnerships. Here are some suggestions for how to provide support:

1. Identify which employees are raising school-aged children.

2. Look at the DeKalb County parent-teacher conferences dates below and ask employees if they have an appointment with their child’s teacher.

3. Make it easy for parents to take an hour or two off work, keeping in mind evening conference times often are limited.

4. Ask your employees about their parent-teacher conference after they’ve attended.

5. Consider having an incentive for parents to attend conferences – i.e., host a drawing for a gift card.

DeKalb County schools parent-teacher conference dates:

• Cornerstone Christian Academy: Thursday and Friday

• DeKalb: Nov. 8 and 9

• Genoa-Kingston: Thursday

• Hiawatha: Nov. 21

• Indian Creek: Thursday and Friday

• Sandwich: Friday and Saturday

• St. Mary’s, DeKalb: Nov. 8

• St. Mary’s, Sycamore: Nov. 19 and 20

• Sycamore: Thursday and Friday

Only 27 percent of local middle and high school students report that their parent(s) are actively involved in their schooling. As a community, let’s all take responsibility to increase this number by reminding parents of the value of attending parent-teacher conferences … for elementary, middle and high school students!

Mary Hess

Asset Specialist

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