The new school year is off to a great start! There were a few tears (mostly from parents) during those first few days, but now the learning is in full swing.
Teachers are using new materials and modern methods to help students become critical thinkers, but what happens in the classroom is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to student success.
Parents and guardians also play a powerful role.
Countless studies have shown children perform better academically and socially when parents are involved in their education.
We know many families are busier than ever these days with demanding work schedules and an abundance of extracurricular activities, so the goal is to make parental involvement in our schools as convenient as possible. We have a new mobile app with several helpful icons, such as the district calendar, events, start and dismissal times, and the parent handbook. It also has an icon for the Aeries parent portal, which provides access to information including your child’s grades, test scores and attendance.
This free app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. We also have a new Facebook page that is filled with photos and stories highlighting school events, programs and other district news to help parents stay connected. Links to the Facebook page and app can also be found on our website: www.mcsd.k12.ca.us.
We hope those additions will make it easier for parents to take part in face-to-face meetings as well. There are several opportunities to participate, including school site councils, parent teacher clubs and the English Learner Advisory Council. Families are also encouraged to attend Back to School Night, open house and parent teacher conferences.
In addition to those school site meetings, parents are always welcome at our Board of Education meetings. They are typically held at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at various locations to make them as accessible as possible. Stakeholder engagement sessions have also been scheduled in the evening hours at three different schools for the Local Control Accountability Plan, which helps guide the district’s budget. Those dates and times are all available through the district website.
There are many other ways to make an impact as well.
Reading a book with your children, helping them with homework, or talking about what they’ve learned are all great ways to support their education. There will also be plenty of opportunities to celebrate their success this year, from writing festivals to awards ceremonies to the annual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Fair in May.
Parents truly are their children’s first teachers, and they are also valued members of our MCSD family. We look forward to continuing to work together to give our students the support and resources they need to excel.
Sara Sandrik, an Emmy Award-winning former journalist, is the public information officer for the Merced City School District. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.