Community offers public school improvement tips
Published 12:06 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016
LAPLACE — What do schools in this community need to ensure a better future for our children?
What ideas do you have for creating the schools, in this community, that will ensure a better future for our children?
More than 50 educators, parents and community members from St. John the Baptist and St. James parishes came together last week to help answer those questions.
The community conversation was one in a series of statewide forums sponsored by the Louisiana Association of Educators and the National Education Association in response to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which requires state education policy-makers to engage school stakeholders in the decisions surrounding the law’s enactment.
ESSA, which replaces No Child Left Behind, goes into effect during the 2017-18 school year and returns decisions about education to the local level.
Those in attendance at the Oct. 4 forum had plenty of ideas about what they would like to happen and they shared them during small group sessions lead by facilitators. Following the small group sessions everyone came back together to share their answers.
District Attorney Bridget Dinvaut, who acted as a facilitator, listed parental involvement and accountability, smaller class sizes and increased standards as some of its top priorities.
Facilitator Debra Rieder, of the nonprofit Assistance for Single Parents, said her group felt it was important teachers and administrators lead by example in their dress and attitudes toward others. They also felt that community and parental involvement was key.
In fact, as St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District Superintendent Kevin George noted at the end of the forum, community and parental involvement was the most common answer to the questions posed.
“What I’ve heard the most is that you want community involvement and collaboration,” he told forum participants. “We want that as well and we are going to continue to work together to make that happen.”
LAE will use the information collected from the forum to put together a community support plan.