For over a year, district leaders from Beaumont ISD have been actively participating in the planning stages for Is My Child Ready? — a public information campaign aimed at empowering more parents to have pointed conversations with their schools about their children’s post-secondary readiness.
While parent engagement is an ongoing process for school districts, the change from TAKS to the new STAAR state testing system is an opportunity for schools to think differently about their approach. Many parents are unaware of the significant role the tests can play for their children’s future, and families could be missing out on programs, resources and new opportunities available to advance their children’s learning.
Since Spring 2012, Houston A+ Challenge has been convening leaders from across the Houston region to create meaningful and strategic actions to build parent capacity. The result was the launch of a multi-media public information campaign in January 2013. Utilizing the support from the campaign’s partnerships and collateral, schools districts all over Houston have been active in implementing the campaign’s message into their communities. And Beaumont ISD has not been left behind.
Taking the campaign’s message to scale, Beaumont ISD added a unique approach to parent outreach: mobilizing the community through a district-initiated walk-a-thon.
More than 1,300 school parents turned out at the Babe Zaharias stadium on Feb. 16 to hear school and city officials’ plans to improve and increase post-secondary readiness opportunities for students. Following the walk-a-thon, officials encouraged parents to continue to communicate and collaborate with each other, their schools, and community leaders to ensure student achievement and success.
Continuing with their commitment to parent engagement, on March 2 Beaumont ISD hosted the “STAAR Institute: Implementing STAARtastic Strategies for Student Success”. The day’s event armed parents with information on district and community resources, graduation game plans, STAAR test schedules, and take-home STAAR resources.
“When schools and families support each other, students of all backgrounds and abilities achieve at higher levels,” said Vicki Kibbles, Beaumont ISD’s Parent Involvement Coordinator.
What is your district doing differently, to get parents’ attention focused on post-secondary readiness?