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Tuesday, February 17th, 2004
4:57p - Journal 3 Session 4 Family and Community Involvement


Journal 3 Session 4

Please reflect on your own personal experiences with family and community involvement in your district. Describe activities that you have been involved in to promote academic achievement in your district. State what you have been involved in and how it impacts student achievement in your district.

You can write your response from any perspective you choose (many of you are parents, staff, or teachers and/or community members of the same district). You will have to state which perspective you are reporting from, and then respond from only that perspective.

For example, I am a parent of two children in the Washington Community School District, and I have been involved in many activities that I believe promotes the academic achievement of my children....I have done the following:.......

Response:

When I first began teaching in a public school instead of at the State Juvenile Home in Toledo, I was appalled at the lack of services, the bad rep service providers had with the staff, and the lack of good communication between school and home. I also found that, without the weekly staff meetings going over every student in school that we’d all been involved in, the staff did not get ready access to techniques that worked in one area to try to adapt them to another.

But in spite of a deck I though of as stacked against teacher interaction at the level I was accustomed to, I did still find ways short of calling every parent every week, which was time prohibitive.

Once I had a very bright student who asked for Spanish IV. I asked the administration to offer the class, but was turned down, as that was below the minimum number of students for offering a class. I felt outraged that simply because we were a small district, this young man with tons of talent and desire should be held down by the fact that the majority of the students in his school would not/could not keep up with him.

I offered to give him the class by independent study, but was again turned down. He came to see if he could submit work to me anyway, even if IT DID NOT show up on his transcript. I told him yes.

Over Thanksgiving break, I got caught up with him as he read Don Quijote de la Mancha, feeling very good about it until he showed up that Monday with the next four chapters done.

“I got bored,” he said.

When the grading period ended, I went into the office and told the secretary that I was short a grade sheet. She handed me one, I entered his well-earned A, and nothing else was ever said about it until that summer, when the father, who was my mail carrier, asked me how I’d done it when the top brass said “No”.

I just shrugged and said that “secretarial errors” happened all the time…

Now, with everything computerized, that would not be possible. Hopefully, it will never again be necessary. They’ve gotten used to me having Spanish IV in with whatever other classes I have. In small schools, you have programs, not classes.

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