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.