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How important is parent-run enrichment? - Page 2

Poll Results: How important is enrichment provided by parents for a child's education?

 
  • 18% (2)
    Extremely important. I'd be reluctant to send my child to a school without it.
  • 0% (0)
    Very important. It adds a lot to the education, but it can be made up in other ways.
  • 54% (6)
    Important. It adds to education, but is only one of many factors.
  • 18% (2)
    Somewhat important. It may or may not add to education.
  • 9% (1)
    Not important. It shouldn't be a factor.
11 Total Votes  
post #21 of 26

How can you know that other schools have better parental enrichment?  I wouldn't move for that. I don't think you can count on it.  I also suspect things probably always look better from the outside looking in. 

 

I have one friend who is a fantastic volunteer for DD's school.  But her youngest is moving on to middle school next year.  My friend will take her magic with her and I suspect that all the great programs she chaired will descend into mediocrity.  She's just a special person--I can't do what she does!  Most people can't.  You might be seeing one persons spark at another school.  youc an't move for that.  And--one person looking at your school might see things you've done and wish their school did xyz...

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

This is exactly why Title one schools get more money per child. At the Title one school my DD went to, there were few parent volunteers. Instead, there were more paid staff members per student -- reading specialist working with kids one on one or in small groups, smaller classes, educational professionals to help with homework during after care, etc. It made a difference.

 

I'm not knocking what parents contribute, my kids now go to a private school with tremendous parent involvement, but I wouldn't assume that a school with lots of volunteers has more or better adult interaction than a well run title one school. At the title one school, that interaction may be more consistent or better qualified.
 

It's comparing apples to oranges.


Your school sure sounds like it got more out of Title 1 than my kid's school does. There are two Title 1 tutors, one for reading and one for math. It does help but there are only 2 of them and there are 300+ kids at the school. Of course, not all of them need extra help with reading and/or math, but a good number of them do. The tutors can only do so much. There is another teacher who does a reading program at the school, I'm not exactly sure if she is paid by Title 1 funds or not. But she relies heavily on community volunteers to come in and read with the kids.

 

That is a great point that the PP made about the level of parental involvement really depends on the parents involved. One parent at our school wrote a grant for healthier breakfasts and lunches and has been working all year to get more kids to come eat breakfast at school and she also set up the walking club program. Her daughter is open enrolled so if she were to leave next year, I'm sure that all of these programs would fall apart. I don't know anyone who would pick them up. 

 

post #23 of 26

I don't take that into consideration at all when I am looking at schools.  My daughter went to a school with a lot of parent involvement and I felt like she got much less out of her education than the kids at the Title 1 school I was at doing student teaching in the same grade level.  They did a lot of fun stuff but her education was seriously lacking in important areas like math and reading, plus she ran into a tree and got a nasty cut inside her mouth during the running/walking program at recess there.  Her teacher at her current school doesn't have volunteers in the classroom and her education and sense of community is wonderful this year.  I think you should stick with the school you have if you like the education because moving to a higher income school may not necessarily be a positive thing.  In our areas the Title 1 schools get extra grant money to use for support teachers so they are actually able to give a much higher level of education.

post #24 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post

Your school sure sounds like it got more out of Title 1 than my kid's school does. There are two Title 1 tutors, one for reading and one for math.. 


What is the class size at your school compared to the class size at the non- title 1 school you are considering?

 

Do they have the same number of hours per week in "extras" such as art, music, pe, library, computer?

 

The tutors can make a huge difference. In most schools, kids cannot get extra help unless that have a diagnoses of an LD, a cognitive impairment, etc. If the child doesn't have anything "wrong" with them, they are just left lost in their regular classroom. Not only is that NOT helpful to that child, it lowers what the whole class can do. When students can get extra help -- just because they need it -- it helps not only that child but what the teacher can do with the class as a whole. The tutors at our school were professionals with training in teaching reading -- not just mommies who showed up.

 

(I don't have anything against mommies, but I think that helping kids "get it" when "it" doesn't make sense to them is a real skill. there is a lot more to really teaching than just being willing to show up)

 

I'm a big believer that the smaller the class the better. I think that kids are better off in a class of 18 than of 28.

 

I really don't know which of your options is best for your kids -- I don't really know much about your specific options. In our situation, there were just so many little things that added. I just encourage you to look at all those little things while trying to decide.

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


What is the class size at your school compared to the class size at the non- title 1 school you are considering?

 

Do they have the same number of hours per week in "extras" such as art, music, pe, library, computer?

 

That's one of the things that frustrates me -- the state has changed the Title 1 rules. Two years ago, our class sizes were smaller. But the state has passed some sort of rule that says unless you can get class sizes under 18 for the entire grade, you can't use Title 1 funds to lower class sizes. So, the rich school that a lot of the kids in the neighborhood transfer has classes the same size, or sometimes smaller.  In fact, this year, dd's 1st grade class has 25, and the other school has 19. It's a bit of a demographic issue - there are 102 1st graders at our school, and 38 at theirs. They couldn't have a class of 38, so they got divided into 2 classes of 19. Ours got divided into 4 classes of ~25. At one point dd had 27, but 2 kids moved.

 

We have the same number of hours per week of music, pe, library and computer. Art is parent-volunteer run and our kids have considerably less. The kids at the richer school get 1-2 hours a month. Our kids are lucky to get 3-4 lessons a year. We don't have as much science. They have foreign language, we don't.
 

Quote:
The tutors can make a huge difference. In most schools, kids cannot get extra help unless that have a diagnoses of an LD, a cognitive impairment, etc. If the child doesn't have anything "wrong" with them, they are just left lost in their regular classroom. Not only is that NOT helpful to that child, it lowers what the whole class can do. When students can get extra help -- just because they need it -- it helps not only that child but what the teacher can do with the class as a whole. The tutors at our school were professionals with training in teaching reading -- not just mommies who showed up.

 

(I don't have anything against mommies, but I think that helping kids "get it" when "it" doesn't make sense to them is a real skill. there is a lot more to really teaching than just being willing to show up)

 

I agree that I'd much rather have someone trained to teach (I train teachers for a living and I know how little most people know about how to teach). The problem I struggle with is that there's such a focus on the low end kids that sometimes my kids get lost in the shuffle. Ds actually lost ground in math in 2nd grade. He's largely made that ground up again, but only because he has a stellar teacher. This year, thanks to some creative budgeting by the former principal, my kids are getting pull-out enrichment for reading and math. Next year that money is going away (new principal who's not as willing to be creative, new rules from the state, less money all around).

 

Quote:
How can you know that other schools have better parental enrichment?

 

Dd's best friend (from church) lives in the other school's area and goes there; 90% of ds' baseball team goes to the other school. So, you hear other parents talking. It's hard not to get jealous when the 4th grade at the other school goes and spends a night at a camp in the woods as part of their Lewis and Clark unit and my kids are just reading about it in a book.

 

We're not going to change schools next year. I have no idea what's going to happen with the budget shake up. Next year will be ds' last year there before middle school, and since he's not the most socially adept kid, I won't move him. I'm more worried about dd, who's in first grade. She's much more academically inclined than ds (he's bright, but not as driven, and may have some mild visual-spatial issues for learning). Dd needs skilled teachers, but she also needs other kids who are working at her level (she's reading at a 5th grade level in 1st grade).

 

At least dd did come home this week and said "E is teaching me to count to 10 in Tagalog!"

post #26 of 26



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

When I think parent involvement, I think less of things like carnivals and harvest fairs and fundraising (although parents do a lot of this at our school).

What really makes the difference to the school environment is the number of parents who volunteer in the classroom. We have parents who read with small groups. Parents who come in and talk about herbs to the kids studying Colonial life. Parents who take the library cart around to classrooms on a weekly basis and run the library after school so kids have access then. Our parents cook with kids, and teach knitting weekly to the 1st and 2nd graders. They volunteer to assist the PE teacher and help out in the art room and the science room.

All this makes a huge difference in the amount of things teachers can do and offer to our children. And of course, it's the parents who can afford to be in school during the day who are the volunteers. We have a high percentage of middle/upper middle-class families at our (public) school who are intensely dedicated to the school and to education, and absolutely, it makes a difference.



We have a bit of both. We have a very active PTA and several parents I know spend a few hours a week in the classroom or spend a few hours a week doing some work for the teachers. I do our grade's copying for the teachers once a week. My DH has a anatomy lesson he teaches to the gym classes in the fall. He brings in a skeleton etc. The PE department loves him! Several neighbors I know do the small reading groups. Another cuts out stuff for the kindy class. And yes, I agree its the parents who can afford to have a parent there. DH is the boss so he has some leaway getting to the school during the day but its only one or two days a year. He will take a day off next month and work field day too. Along with about 20 other dads.

 

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