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Parental involvement key to great school year

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When we open the doors Monday, Aug. 27,  at our 36 campuses in the Denton ISD for the 2012-13 school year, we hope all of you – as parents and residents of our district – will help our students by getting engaged in the learning of our students.

Our school district, which was founded in 1882, has a strong history of exemplary instructional programs because of the support of our community.

The most important partnership in our schools is parent engagement – which is the critical factor for a child’s educational success. A positive “home-to-school commitment” is the one essential tool that every educator wants in his or her teacher’s toolbox.

When parents get involved – it benefits both the children and their families. Support from home translates into well rested students, improves performance, and demonstrates the importance of working as a team.  Our students need to see effective partnerships between parents, community and the school.

If it’s possible a parent can go a step further and volunteer – then an entire classroom and school benefits from the talent of our parents. Using parents as a classroom resource helps the students and the teachers. The activities a parent/community volunteer can do – is endless:

•    Tutoring/mentoring students
•    Listening to children read
•    Leading instructional games
•    Setting up science projects and assisting with labs
•    Assisting the teacher with a school club, organization or booster club
•    Helping in the library
•    Preparing/laminating teaching materials
•    Entering computer data/researching subjects on the web
•    Establishing student internships for our secondary students

This year, not only because of state budget cuts, but also because it is the right thing to do, volunteers are in a higher demand to help the district’s 25,000-plus students. During the 2011-12 school year, volunteers donated more than 392,000 hours – this is a huge investment of time and resources for our children.

We want to not only engage our parents to volunteer – but also utilize the talents of grandparents, caring citizens and employees in the business community to help students within the regular school program

The educational partners also enhance the relationships between school, home and the community. Parent volunteers strengthen their ties with their children’s school while community volunteers and mentors provide a bond between the student and a respected adult.

For example, Denton ISD is fortunate that the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University and North Central Texas College are strong partners with our schools. This year, we will have many of their science, math and engineering majors tutoring and mentoring our secondary students.

For decades, the college students and their professors have been resilient in sharing their expertise with our students and staff. They have set a strong example of the importance of engaging people in the community to help students achieve. 

We’re asking others in the community to help build on this tradition. The district has received state recognition for is its exceptional volunteer program and the assistance to children and teachers by volunteers has been a hallmark of our district.

You can get engaged in our school through various programs:

•    Offer to volunteer at your child’s or neighborhood school. All the offices have volunteer applications and the necessary criminal history background forms.

•    The Grandparents in Public Schools – founded in 2001 – is actively engaged in our schools. Mark your calendar for Grandparents Day on Sept. 7 at the schools, followed by the Fourth Annual Grandparents and Gridiron Night at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.

For additional information on any volunteering or partnership programs, contact the district’s community relations department at (940) 369-0006 or scox@dentonisd.org

As a volunteer, you could have a tremendous impact on the overall success of our educational system.  You will allow teachers and staff more time for instruction and provide a chance for students to have “one-on-one learning.” As you get more engaged in our schools, spread the good news of our district let people know the good things that are happening in our schools.

Statistically, the more parents and a community are engaged in the neighborhood schools, the more likely students are to succeed. We hope to see you at our schools this coming year!

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