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View Diary: My Experience with an Alternative Charter School (137 comments)

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  •  The Schools are only as good as (3+ / 0-)

    the parents.   I have spent 27 years in the schools and the only thing I have ever seen work is to have heavy parental influence in the schools.   I WANT parents dropping by my room before, during or after classes.  I WANT to see an active and even demanding PTSA in my school.   I have seen the difference it makes.  

    My first school was hard, after five years there they closed it down because it was hopeless.   In my five years there I saw three parents for about five minutes each.  In my next school I walked in the door and the first thing I saw was a PTSA office opened and staffed by parent volunteers.  Next door was the PTSA school supply store.  The kids came from the same neighborhoods as my first school, they were of the same economic and ethnic backgrounds but they had different parents.

    Schools are institutions, in our library we had more than 3000 visits every day  (a little more than the entire population of the school, some students visiting the library two or more times a day) and in our other study areas we would have 800 to a thousands students visits daily.  

    Students act differently when parents, and not just thier own parents, are present. School administrations maintain staff differently for those schools.
    The curriculum of the school changes throughout the years as the focus of the parents wishes change.  The parental presence makes the entire campus more homey, more cordial. It doesn't seem to matter if it is a small school or a large one, when children see that parents value education the chances are greater that they will too. Less than 1% of the parents were present at our school but that was enough.

    In the schools I've worked in that have had strong a PTSA also have had strong alumini organizations as well.  

    Where there is no vision, there is no hope. George Washington Carver

    by Amayupta yo on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 12:45:34 PM PDT

    •  Sounds like a real community effort... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      thanks for sharing your story.  Can you say anything more about the demographics of the school's parents?  Are they mostly middle class and above?

      I know that in the charter school I'm describing many of the kids came from homes where economics of single parents or two wage earners but barely making it kept many parents from participating in the school community.  Some seemed to be hoping the school could work miracles.

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles

      by leftyparent on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 01:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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