News and Notes from Principal Tammy Goetz

Principal Tammy Goetz
Principal Tammy Goetz

Dear Seward Families:

I recently attended a meeting where we discussed the value of parent involvement in our schools. Decades of research says that family involvement is critical to student success. What research says about parent involvement in children’s education in relation to academic achievement is that: The most consistent predictors of children’s academic achievement and social adjustment are parent expectations of the child’s academic attainment and satisfaction with their child’s education at school. I want you to know I recognize how busy many of you are with work and raising your families. In August, The New York Times listed four ways you can be involved without having to be at school on a regular basis:

  1. Meet the teacher. “The most important thing a parent should do is establish a relationship with their children’s teacher,” Anne T. Henderson, a senior consultant at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform said. “That means getting in there, making sure the teacher knows who you are, and basically saying: ‘I’m here for you. I want to work with you over the course of the year to make sure my child does well.’ ” Teachers have higher expectations of students when they know their parents are involved, she added.
     
  2. Ask good questions. While there’s no evidence parental involvement in schools increases a child’s performance, there’s abundant evidence that parental involvement at home does. That includes letting your children know you have high expectations, then following up with specific questions about what they’re studying in class. ‘Tell me something interesting you learned in math today’ or ‘What are you doing in science?’
     
  3. Put your children to bed at a reasonable time. David Levin, a founder of the KIPP charter- school network believes a bigger problem plaguing schools these days is not lack of parental involvement; it’s the lack of student sleep. “Sleep is so critical,” he said. “Making sure kids go to school on time, with their homework complete. If that’s something all parents committed to, I think schools would be very happy.”
     
  4. Read to your child or set time aside for your child to read at home every night.

I invite you to be involved at Seward in any way you can. We have a terrific PTA, Site Council, Somali Leadership team as well as committees that need your time and energy. Just know that if you can’t participate at meetings, I appreciate that you get your child(ren) to school on time and ready to learn each and every day.

Sincerely, Tammy Goetz
Seward Principal

The New York Times article may be read at the following link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/fashion/ finding-the-right-amount-of-parental-involvement-in-school.html