Marietta seeking to get parents more involved in schools
by Lindsay Field
January 14, 2013 11:46 PM | 2506 views | 7 7 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Getting parents involved in students’ education is something officials at Marietta City Schools take seriously and have been working on for a number of years.

During tonight’s meeting, the school board will hear from Dr. Adria Griffin, Marietta’s director of state and federal programs, about which schools have parent liaisons to help facilitate parental involvement, how the funds are used and what activities are available to include parents in their children’s education.

“Involving parents is key to student success, and it’s not just getting parents involved in coming to the school and helping out with various activities, but getting the parents involved in checking the student’s grades on Aspen, following up with the teachers when they see zeros or homework is missing … showing a general concern for the student’s daily school work,” Griffin said.

She also said there is “a lot” of research that shows there is a correlation between parents and teachers working together to push a student towards success as being “extremely important and useful.”

Title I schools statewide are required to have some kind parent involvement plan in place.

At the discretion of principals, they can use the federal funding however they see fit, and in Marietta school, chiefs have chosen to hire full- or part-time parent liaisons to help implement parental involvement.

Marietta City Schools has hired liaisons to facilitate involvement at Burruss, Dunleith, Lockheed, Hickory Hills, Park Street and Sawyer Road elementary schools, Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, Marietta Middle School, Marietta High School and the Hartman Center.

“I’ve been in three other school districts in my career, and I’ve never seen anything like what we have in Marietta City Schools. … it’s amazing,” Griffin said.

The recently approved Strategic Plan, which is set to run through 2016, has also put more focus on parents’ involvement, and Griffin said it will help the district track and record such activities.

“The only way we can track parent involvement right now is through the parent conference statistics,” she said, which will also be a part of her presentation today.

Board Chair Randy Weiner said, “We want the community to know how valuable parental involvement is to the success of a student and how we as a district strongly encourage parental involvement through these various school activities.

“A parent who does not, at the very least, value the education their child receives is setting their child up for failure at an early age. It’s critical to support the school, support the teachers and value their education.”

Marietta board vice chair Tom Cheater said there has been “overwhelming” evidence confirming the positive impacts of parental involvement, coupled with the addition of mentoring efforts, such as the Marietta Mentoring for Leadership program.

“This hallmark program has shown consistent and, frankly, remarkable improvement in students’ academic achievement coming from the direct results of engaged and caring mentors,” he said.

Cheater also said the district is continually looking for new ways to improve academic performance, and while there are multiple programs to assist in its mission, “there simply is no replacement for the overarching importance of an involved parent/guardian in their child’s educational success.”

In other business at tonight’s meeting, the board will consider:

 Disbursing $211,175 in charter funds to each school based on a $25 per pupil allotment. The amount is determined by the October 2012 enrollment data.

 A $76,479.50 contract with Lockstep Technology Group of Duluth to purchase two back-up computer servers with SPLOST III funds.

 A $44,648.64 contract with Dell to purchase 50 laptop computers and eight laptop carts with Marietta Middle School Title I funds.

The Tuesday meeting will be held in the school district’s boardroom at 250 Howard St. in Marietta, and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Comments
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Parent involvement
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January 17, 2013
MCS recently when through the reaccreditation process; one of the recommendations was to increase parental involvement. The MCS liaisons are extremely underpaid for the service they provide our community. Mentoring programs will definitely help our students. It is imperative that we focus on educating our Black and Hispanic parents, which represent majority of our school system’s demographics, to make sure they support and encourage their children.
Marietta Taxpayer
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January 16, 2013
Mr. Weiner is correct; I believe that the board needs to consider adding Certified Teachers on Special Assignment to focus on increasing parental involvement.
1whonos
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January 16, 2013
I believe the district already does something similar. They hire Parent Liasons at each school. Some schools have more than one.
weinerwatcher
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January 15, 2013
Mr. Weiner hit the nail on the head. Yes- Parents are setting their kids up for failure when they do not care about their education. Thank you for saying what most people avoid. We need more strong leaders and less wimps.
Pat H
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January 15, 2013
The lack of parental involvement is emblematic of the problems with our society. The need for programs to increase involvement is shameful.

If we reduced welfare payments when children did not study for tests or did not do their homework, there would probably be much more parental involvement than any program can accomplish.

Bottom line - the wrong people are having children.
Anothercomment
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January 15, 2013
The teachers need to also value the parents who contribute. While not in Marietta but at another Northside Title one school, I am one of the parents who is involved. This Christmas my daughter selected and I bought presents for 6 teachers and gave crunch and munch bags to the front office ladies. All the gifts we bought cost over $25 -40 and were from nice boutiques or coffee shops in Sandy Springs. It is now January 14 th, we have only received one thank you from the Jewish teacher. the front office ladies did thank me personally when I handed them the gifts, with one saying it was her favorite snack and started eating it. I have never seen such rude behavior. I am in the 22% non minority, non title 1 at the school. I am part of those volunteers, and they can't bother to send my daughter and I a Thank You for a gift. Were they expecting gift cards sorry, I don't do them.

When my kids attended Catholic School, besides donating to the annual Christmas bonus gift, my kids always wanted to buy their teachers a person gift, somI was one of the few that took them to buy another gift, for several years they gave out Vera Bradley this or that. We always got not only the card signed by every teacher and staff member thanking us for the Christmas Bonus, because we were a donating family, but we got individual thank you cards from every teacher for their individual gift. Some gave it right that day, they all sent it prior to the end of the school year. These teachers made at least $10k less than Public school teachers. In exchange they knew the discipline problems would be removed from their class rooms, even if the father was a head honcho at St. Joes.

Why do they have an excess of volunteers at private school, even when many parents are working 60 plus hr jobs to pay tuition. Because the teachers appreciate the volunteers back. I could not believe how rude the teachers were at the public middle school this year, no thank you notes for holiday gifts. What does that teach a child about manners? I have also sent in 24 cupcakes from Freshmarket 3 times this year as that has been the request. Inhave bargained the price down ton$29.99. Do the Free lunch kids bring these for your good behavior celebrations teacher? no they don't, they wouldn't even contribute $1 for the end for the end of year gift for black teacher who favored black kids so much it stuck, yet the only room mother was me. the only donators were always white. I was really tempted to just write the 6 white families on the card who gave $5 then make it look like everyone gave $1.
Bless Your Heart
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January 15, 2013
Do yourself a favor. Consider the concept of giving and expecting nothing in return.

Obsessing over the lack of a thank you note makes me wonder what your true motivation is...

Of course it is proper ettiquette, but I think it is just as uncouth to mention publicly not getting one.

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