We kick off another school year on Wednesday. Get involved so you can be informed of what's happening in our schools.
- Volunteer - if every parent gave just three hours of time each year, we could make a real difference in education. If classroom volunteering isn't your thing, offer to help the teachers by saving them time. I spent about half my kids' elementary school years as the "Copy Mom". At first, the teachers were not sure they needed me to come in and copy their homework and worksheets every week. But after a few weeks, they started to see how much time I was saving them. Why have a teacher stand in the copy room? Do it FOR them. They always thanked me profusely and the end of the year and when I'd see them around the school the next year, they always said, "I miss you doing my copies for me!"
- Network with other parents - help with parties, join the PTA, attend events and get to know other parents at the schools your children go to
- Attend the School Board Meeting - I never realized what was actually going on with the school board until I went to my first meeting a year ago. They are ultimately in charge of running our schools and just casting a vote may not be enough to make sure they're doing the job you would like to see them do. There isn't nearly enough real public involvement with the school board. Unfortunately for the public, though, the school board meetings is at 4:30 on a Tuesday. It's the worst time possible for the public who is either at work, just getting elementary school kids home or about on their way to pick up older kids from sports. But, as Director Olson told a concerned member of the public who commented on it at the last meeting, "they are scheduled for the Board's convenience." Sorry, but they should be scheduled for the PUBLIC'S convenience. I have looked and there isn't another district around here who holds their School Board meetings at such a ridiculous and unfriendly time.
- Use Social Media to network and get information about our schools - Unfortunately, the Everett School District hasn't caught on to the idea of Social Media. But, many PTAs and Booster Clubs have Facebook pages you can join. Later this month, I'll try to get a good list compiled to post here for you. Here are a couple of relevant pages to get you started, though.
Make this year the year you finally get involved in the schools. In 2013, we will have the opportunity to vote for two new School Board members and in 2014, we will be asked again to provide money for the schools. Knowing what's going on with your schools is going to give you a far better perspective on your vote than reading a voter's pamphlet ever can.