School district discusses contract for parental involvement
The creation of a task force to further address a contract proposal designed to encourage parent involvement was discussed Tuesday afternoon by the Lee County School Board.
Board Chairman Thomas Scott first proposed the contract “agreement to assist” in February because he believes parents should take responsibility in their child’s education.
“We have a responsibility to those students and the parents have an even greater responsibility to them,” Scott said..
The intent of the agreement is not to create anything one-sided, he said.
“It is our intent to create a partnership with administrators, teachers, students and parents to work together,” Scott said.
An increase of 15 to 20 percent in parent involvement would be a step in the right direction, he added.
“That is all I am looking for,” Scott said.
He said an ideal place to have the agreement would be in the code of conduct book that is handed out to the students to take home to their parents at the beginning of a school year.
“That is the perfect place to set that tone at the beginning of the year,” Board member Jane Kuckel said.
She went on to say that she believes the agreement should be a district wide effort for pulling parents into education.
“We need to assist parents and focus it on academics and curriculum,” Kuckel said. “It is a wonderful concept.”
Board Member Don Armstrong disagreed with the contract because he feels the board should find a different avenue in addressing the problem. He said they first need to listen to the parents’ concerns and why they are not involved in the district.
“The problem is they don’t feel like they are being embraced,” he said about parents.
Although Board Member Jeanne Dozier thinks the agreement is a great idea because it is important to get more parents involved, she had a concern of who would to enforce the agreement on a daily basis.
This is a “phenomenal idea for a one room school house,” she said. “I support you on this, but we need to iron some things out before we put it into policy.”
Vice Chairman Mary Fischer agreed that “contracts” might be difficult to enforce.
“I would like to see this more in an invitation type thing,” she said. “I think we need to proceed with caution and invite parents.”
The board decided to create a task force to expand on the idea of the agreement, so it can be beneficial to all those involved.
“I have always been an advocate to pop up task forces…address specific issues in a specific amount of time,” Scott said.
The school board also decided to set four workshops to be held every other month until October because Scott felt it was important to establish specific days that the board can discuss issues at hand on a consistent basis.
Scott proposed to make the bi-monthly workshops a policy but his fellow board members took the position that it was not necessary because if the meetings are scheduled, they will be there.
“If I put it on the calendar Lord knows I will be there,” Dozier said. “If I come to consensus and I give you my solemn word” I will be there.
Those meetings will be held from 2-5 p.m. on April 5, June 14, Aug. 16 and Oct. 4.
Fischer said if they need to add more workshops into their schedule they can do so..
The topic of traveling was also addressed during the Tuesday meeting. Scott said it is important to have records of what the board members learned and took away from whatever event or meeting they attend.
“My intention is to build a record of what we have done in the past for the future,” he said.