On August 26 I attended the board of education meeting at the Sparta High School. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new turf field was on the agenda. When we left the Media Center to go to the field, I assumed the only people that were going to be in attendance were the few that were already in the school. When we arrived across the street, I observed around 100 or more people in attendance for the ceremony. There were school and township officials, students and athletes from all grade levels, coaches, parents and township residents. Seeing the turnout for this ceremony made me see the importance of what a community acting together brings to an already thriving town and school system.
The families and the community are invested in the school system and are ultimately the stakeholders along with the administration and teachers. Working together, being transparent and keeping all parties well informed will only improve and strengthen the relationship between the education system and the community.
Many people in the community and some parents view schools and student learning as the sole responsibility of the education system. Especially as the student progresses through the grades, parent involvement tends to fade away. Teachers take their jobs seriously but can not always do it alone. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child!” The teachers depend on the support of the parents and the community regardless of the age or grade.
When the schools actively engage the parents and engage the community, they are able to respond effectively to the needs of the students. When the education system works together with the parents, families and the community to support learning, students tend to get higher grades, attend school more regularly and enroll in higher forms of education.
If the Schools involve the community and use their resources and work as a partnership, it could only strengthen the education system and improve student learning.
Community participation along with the education system will give all students strong learning platforms, build strong character and will develop a strong relationship between students, families, teachers and most importantly the members of the community.