Friday, November 26, 2010

The Four (4) Levels of Parental - School Involvement by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

      The Four (4) Levels of Parental - School Involvement by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

There is a distinct difference between being involved in a child’s education and being involved within his/her school. Although, and if you have a child in school, it is in the best interest of and beneficial to the child that you, the parent(s) get involved within the school. Today, we will look at and provide a brief overview of four levels of parental - school involvement and often the attitudes of parents at each level. The various levels of Parental involvement are as following:

Ø  Non-involvement Level- (Parents’ attitude- Don’t Call Me!) perhaps, the term appears contradictory in terms of being listed as one of four levels of parental - school involvement. Generally parents at this level do not visit or interact with their children’s school(s). For the most part, they show little to no interest in their children’s education. Repeated calls or notes are ignored and scheduled conferences unattended. There are two important facts to keep in mind; 1) even though non-involved, that parent or guardian was responsible for having enrolled the child in school and by law, he/she has certain rights of which the school must comply. So, even though viewed as non-involved, the parent remains involved, if from solely a legal standpoint. 2) You make a grave mistake dismissing or “writing a parent off” without attempting to obtain his/her reason(s) for non-involvement and/or fail to find a solution. Such is in the school’s best interest, because you will oversee and educate the child of that parent(s) for five to six years. I have personally witnessed parents who have gone from non-involved parents to supporters of the school and dedicated advocates for their children.
Ø  Involvement as it relates to the Child, but not necessarily the School- (Parents’ attitude- Call me only and when necessary). Parents at this level support their children, but may or may not be involved in their children’s education or school(s). They have clearly defined lines between parental responsibilities vs. those of the school and educators. They generally either have high expectations of the school or very little to none. Their role as they view it in education is to prepare and equip their children for school; they expect the school to educate their children. Under no terms, do parents at this level plan to do the educators’ jobs for them. They decide how, when and if necessary to involve themselves with the school. A parent at this level can become a staunch supporter of the school if involvement occurs on his/her terms.
Ø  Limited School Involvement- (Parents’ attitude- I will lend some support, BUT…) Parents at this level support their children, their children’s education and their schools. However, their volunteerism in and support of schools are limited. Precaution should be taken to insure that you respect their limitations of time and service in order to avoid the loss of their good will and support.
Ø  Fully Committed and Involved - (Parents’ attitude- I can help; I am willing, ready and able) Parents at this level are in for the long haul, generally from K-12; they get and remain involved. Schools count on these parents because they volunteer regularly and assist in numerous ways. They serve in various capacities within the schools and often become leaders of various school related organizations. Some sit school committees, attend school board meetings and keep abreast of legislation and policies that affect schools, education and children.

 I have shared with you on today what has led in my 16+ years of experience as a volunteer in our schools to view parental - school involvement at four levels; attitudes of parents at each level and generally what each level entails have been shared. Some may remain enmeshed in their perception(s) of what they think parents should be doing or face and accept the reality of what parents are actually saying and doing. I hope today’s post has shed some light on the subject of Parental-School Involvement.
Schools that are successful or most successful are those who have parental support within their schools.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author

Monday, November 22, 2010

Parents Taking Charge in Education: Various Levels of Parental - School Involvement by...

Parents Taking Charge in Education: Various Levels of Parental - School Involvement by...: "Various Levels of Parental - School Involvement by Mrs. Dorothy Barron Parents, when it comes to parental school involvement, which attitude..."

Various Levels of Parental - School Involvement by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Various Levels of Parental - School Involvement by Mrs. Dorothy Barron
Parents, when it comes to parental school involvement, which attitude best describe you?
The article accompanying this post has been scheduled to publish on Friday, November 26, 2010 and will list 4 Levels of Parental- School Involvement and provide a general overview of each. See you, then! 

Parents Focused on Education at

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why Parents are Not Involved or have Ceased to be involved in their Children’s Schools and/or Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Why Parents are Not Involved or have Ceased to be involved in their Children’s Schools and/or Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron
        “Where my child goes, I go; you got my child, you got me”(Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

Do not assume that because a Parent is not in the school, he/she does not care about the child’s education. We use the term Parent(s), because the parent is ultimately responsible for his/her child, but the word can be applicable, here, to any caregiver that has the legal oversight and decision-making authority for a child. Parents are not involved or have ceased to be involved in their children’s schools and/or education for a number of reasons; ten have been listed for your perusal:

1.      Job-  the top priority for most parents range from putting food on the table to climbing the career ladder. The child is important, but takes second priority to the aforementioned. From another aspect, some parents have clearly delineated and designated roles(parents/educators)- their job is to parent and the educators’ job is to educate their children.
2.      Other Responsibilities- such can encompass a new baby, the care of elderly parent or others
3.      Unable to assist- aged, disabled, ill, not a daily part of the child’s life, institutionalized, homeless and in dire straits, multiple children in different schools or deployed and serving this country in the military prevents some parents’ involvement.
4.      Lack of education and/or knowledge- unfortunately and sadly, some parents in this category are stigmatized by those within our schools and Education System.
5.      Do not know how to assist- believe it or not, this was the number one reason for lack of involvement
6.      Composition of Head of Households- single parents, elderly grandparent(s), etc.
7.      Schools not welcoming, unfriendly and hostile- such can range from overwhelmed and frantically busy staff to deliberate attempts to prevent parents from coming into the schools.
8.      Conflict- when conflict occurs between a parent(s) and educators and remain unresolved, it is only a matter of time before that parent (s) will ceased to become involved with the school from the standpoint of a partner. Such often affects the atmosphere of the school and others parents as well. Others do not want to get caught in the middle of conflict and will avoid the school; most have enough conflict of some sort in their own lives and aren’t signing on for more.
9.      Lack of Enforcement of Parents Rights in Education- when parents rights have been violated from a legal standpoint in education, often very little to nothing occurs in resolving the offense(s). The situation becomes untenable, because even though much legalese has been written about Parents Rights in Education, practically no one insures that parents’ rights are upheld and enforced.  Numbers 8& 9 have been reasons in my attempts to pursue a legal career as an Attorney at Law(to no avail).
10.  No interest in Education- such may stem from the parent’s own school experience(s) and/or from one or more reasons listed above.
Whether you view the above reasons as being valid or invalid as to why parents are not involved or have ceased to be involved in their children’s  schools and education does not matter. What really matters is the reason(s) are valid to the parent(s). Therefore, PTA/PTO Presidents, Educators and/or anyone else desiring to get Parents involved in their children’s schools and/or education, you must begin exactly where the parent is and work from that point. Such involves a process and takes time and patience.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why Parents are not Involved or have Ceased to be Involved in their Children's Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

In preparation of 11/19/2010's Blog Post, list your reasons why Parents are not Involved or have Ceased to be Involved in their Children's Schools and/or Education. Parents Taking Charge in Education will share 10 reasons on 11/19/2010. Until then...

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why Many Students Drop Out of School? By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Why Many Students Drop Out of School? By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

“Education is Big Business and so is failure in education; albeit, a business we can no longer afford to fail in or at” (Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

Ever been on a job that was so unbearable to go to each and every day that you felt like screaming and knew you had to get out of there, leave immediately? In your case, you had choices; you could remain at your job or leave.

Imagine for a moment that same unbearable situation, only this time as a student. Many students are forced to go everyday to an unbearable place(school). They do not have a choice or at least, until sixteen(16) years of age and by that time a good part of the young person’s energy and potential has been wasted.

When a student begins to protests in the way(s) that he/she knows and rebels, his/her actions start a process within schools that puts the student on a fast track to and into the criminal justice system along with a constant reminder of a jail cell with his/her name written on it. Is there any wonder students are dropping out of school in droves; is there any wonder they bolt before or at sixteen(16) years of age? They can end up in jail on their own without schools channeling them there.

Too many adults do not realize that schools have changed even though many aspects exist of which most can identify. Society has come to rely on schools as a place to house students and look to educators to provide a babysitting service at least five days a week. For too many students:

·         By law, most must go to a place(school) wherein the environment and conditions seriously impede and are not conducive to learning. If animals were subjected to some of these same environments and conditions, widespread protests would occur.
·         They came eager with the wonder of learning; but such has long gone up in smoke and only ashes of dreams exist.
·         There was so much pressure to learn that unable to keep up, they only fall farther and farther behind. They will never catch up because they never got the rudiments/basics.
·         The education system is bent on the majority of students conforming to a certain hole or mold in spite of the fact that students learn in different ways, through different methods and at different times.
·         Our schools have not kept pace with society and in many ways students are more advanced and could actually teach us much. If in doubt, begin discussing internet technology/software, iphone applications, newest technology, and its use, etc., etc. Such gives some adults a headache, simply thinking about it( smile).
·         Their teachers are often overwhelmed and overburden; they must jump through “merit” hoops for pay instead of being paid a salary commensurate for the job.
·         They, nor their schools or classrooms have been provided or furnished with pertinent and necessary tools to enable a quality education. Often teachers, administrators and others have reached into their own pockets to fund what should have been forthcoming and provided by the education system and through school budgets.
·         Many carry burdens and responsibilities that are much too heavy for any child; then, he/she comes to school and incur more frustrations. Such would be too much for many adults. 
Many students understand the travesty of what continues to occur in education; they are simply tired of jumping through the hoops and reaching for the dangling carrot that is never within reach for the greater majority of students; thus, many have and will continue to leave, be forced and/or drop out of school by the droves.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bullying and What You, the Parent can do about it! by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Bullying and What You, the Parent can do about it! by Mrs. Dorothy Barron      

Bullying- it happens; it is a part of life and may I suggest 10 things you, the Parent can do about it!

Bullying defined in simplistic terms - To pick on another individual(s) verbally or physically in a negative or derogatory manner, often repeatedly.

On today, I want to briefly discuss bullying and leave tips for you, the Parent, to consider as a means of counteracting this destructive behavior among our young people. It often starts and/or occurs within our schools because it is the place where most young people congregate at the same time. The repercussion, retaliation of bullying or a score can be settled at any time; at school, after school, by chance or at a predetermined meeting place.

Parents, there are things that you will not know that are occurring with your child and/or within your child’s school; there are things that your child will not tell you for a number of reasons. Some children know their parents very well, as well as their manner of handling things, which unfortunately and at times can actually make matters worse for the child.

1.      Bullying occurs; understand that it is a part of life and learn ways to counteract such.
2.      Understand that bullying occurs as a result of mainly two things- some person(s) have been made to feel inferior by others and/or an individual who appears weaker is perceived as an easy target by another or others.
3.      Ask school administrators- what is the school’s policy on bullying?
4.      Ask school administrators- how does the school (actually) handle situations that fall within this purview?
5.      Talk to your child and discuss bullying from both perspectives (being a bully and being bullied)
6.      Open a door or line of communication with your child- even if they do not use it as often as you, the parent would like; they need to feel comfortable knowing that that line of communication is there, they can use it and you will be on the other end as and when needed.
7.      Teach your child to show respect for each person and things (animals, the environment, etc)- making fun of others is NOT cool, fun or funny; in this era, such can lead to serious or even deadly consequences.
8.      Stop leaving it up to the schools to solve all problems that our children encounter.
9.      If bullying is a major problem at your child’s school, get involved. Volunteer; become a school hall monitor, cafeteria or after-school monitor. Such affords you the opportunity to observe and hear things that sometimes a busy teacher or educator may fail to see or hear.
10.  Parents, what is your individual plan for your child if, and when someone begins bullying him/her? Man has been prone to teach his son how to defend himself through fisticuffs. When fisticuffs and rolling around in the dirt was an acceptable form of settling a matter, it usually left two or more participants bruised and battered, but alive! Such is not the case on today. Make sure your plan does not entail your child being lawfully expelled from school, you, the parent, in violation of the law, or worse.

As I conclude, I will share one personal encounter. In one instance, my being a volunteer in one of our son’s classes (Kindergarten) enabled me to observe and counteract what could have easily led to a more serious case of bullying. Our sons were perceived to have been privileged and to have had everything a child could have wanted(note: I said, perceived -smile). Mindful, the oldest was just in kindergarten, but such did not sit well with a couple of little boys in his class. When his birthday occurred, with permission from the school, it was held with his classmates at school, his dad took pictures and the entire class was made to feel special. I created some additional opportunities and our son and these two little boys remained friends up to high school(I received personal invitations to both young men’s graduations).

Additional means utilized- having talked with parents of a bullying child in one case resulted in immediate cessation of bullying. As encouragement to our own children when bullied, we held some early morning, before school devotions and prayers.

There is too much going on in and out of our schools that children are not equipped to handle, nor should they; such are why they have parents. Common sense and wisdom must first prevail with the adults in order to resolve conflict, because when the chips are down, “our young people will remember most; not what was seen or heard, but the things done” (Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

From me, to you
Mrs. Dorothy Barron