Wednesday April 23, 2014
Pilot Project to Bridge Communication Gap Between Schools and Parents, FamiliesKevin Hays Salem-News.com
Stephens Middle School in Salem is one of the schools selected to participate in the pilot project.
(SALEM) - Ten Oregon schools have been selected to develop parent and family involvement policies as part of a pilot project, including Stephens Middle School in Salem.
Each school will receive a stipend of $1000 to develop and adopt new policies that foster better communication between parents and schools.
The project is part of the partnership between the Oregon Department of Education and Chalkboard Project to jumpstart parent and family involvement in schools and school districts. The Chalkboard Project provided the funds for the grants.
State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo said we have more work to do if we are to help every parent feel welcome at their child`s school, "Working parents often have trouble meeting the time limitations of the school`s schedule, and parents who don`t speak English often have trouble communicating with teachers and administrators. These pilot schools will help us identify policies and practices that work for ALL parents, and the result will be more parent involvement and greater student achievement."
In a statewide survey conducted by Chalkboard in 2005 among ALL Oregonians, 83% identified lack of parent involvement as the #1 obstacle to student achievement.
The survey highlighted the need for dramatic improvement in the area of parental involvement and promised to roll out a series of initiatives aimed at addressing Oregonians` leading concern.
The Chalkboard Project recently released a dozen ideas on how to strengthen the quality of Oregon's schools and educators, improve financial accountability to citizens, and stabilize school funding, all with the ultimate goal of raising student achievement.
The ideas are an extension of Chalkboard's existing action plan, which includes a strong focus on increasing parent involvement in schools, and heavily based on recommendations from two expert work groups Chalkboard formed last summer to deal with the weighty issues of educator quality, accountability and funding.
The following schools and districts will receive stipends of $1,000: Stephens Middle School (Salem), Centennial Elementary School (Scio), John C. Fremont Middle School (Roseburg), Klamath Falls City School District (Klamath Falls), Mid Valley Elementary School (Odell), Neil Armstrong Middle School (Forest Grove), Rose City Park Elementary School (Portland), Springfield School District (Springfield), French Prairie Middle School (Woodburn), Washington Elementary School (Woodburn).
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