COLUMBUS, Ga. — Community leaders are working to encourage parental involvement in schools. The NAACP hosted a parental involvement summit at the Columbus Public Library Tuesday night where parents had their chance to voice concerns.
Panelists led the discussion on a variety of issues. Concerns included more sensitivity training for social workers and a better understanding for teachers about what is going on in the homes of their students.
Superintendent David Lewis says schools and students who have a high level of parental involvement perform at higher levels.
“We think it’s really critically important and we want parents to be partners in their child’s education,” he said.
Marshal Greg Countryman, a father of two students, spoke on the parental involvement summit panel.
“I think it’s vital that we have parental involvement because we look at everything that’s going on nationally, statewide, and locally and if we don’t have the parents actively involved it creates the chaotic environment when they get into the classroom,” he said.
As a parent, Countryman says he doesn’t want children to feel different based on their needs.
“We have to do an honest and open assessment. We have to find out what the actual problems are before we can figure out what the solutions are,” he explained.
Lewis sees great parental involvement at the elementary level.
“As students progress through the school system we see less and less parental involvement and that’s exactly when we need our parents most involved,” Lewis said.
Lewis and his senior staff are going around to different schools to encourage more parental involvement.
“We’re meeting with parents and talking to them about what the important aspects are of attendance. Being sure that they understand the importance of a quality education and conveying that to their children at home,” he said.
Lewis says they will also be sharing ways parents can use resources available at home through the Internet.