Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Home and School Partnership

I was recently asked about my wish for Mesquite ISD students in 2009. I answered, “That all of our students will resolve to take advantage of the opportunities they have to learn each and every day.” Now that we are well into January and the second spring semester, I am confident that our students and our district will realize continued success this year. Great things are ahead! To quote our new President, “Yes, we can!”

However, as educators, our influence often stretches only part of the way on the path to achievement. Research shows that the home and school partnership plays a vital role in the success of each student. As we enter the second half of the school year, I am interested to hear your suggestions on how we can strengthen this partnership between us. As parents, how do you encourage your children to take advantage of the opportunities they have at school to learn and achieve? What can you share with other parents that will help them to support their own children? And what can our schools do to make our relationship more productive?


  1. As a teacher, I agree that parent involvement in their child's education is vital. I see my students that have parent involvement become more successful. Even those that are struggling, once their parents get behind the wheel, see their grades improve. I strongly believe that parents must influence their children every step of the way without ceasing. Some parents are under the impression if they come and go it will be ok or that their children are "adult" enough to take care of themselves. This just isn't so. Parents with the "come and go" approach tend to have children who are borderline failing all six weeks and then pass by the skin of their teeth at the end. Then these students begin failing the next six weeks right away. Parent's who feel their children are grown up enough to take care of themselves are setting unreasonable standards for their children. Children need boundaries and motivation to achieve. These types of students who fail usually end with giving up because their is no support from home. My daughter will be entering kindergarten next year and we have already began getting involved in her education. She is learning to respect her teachers and to do the things that her teachers want. If not, there are consequences. As parents, my wife and I will maintain contact with our daughters educators and lay out the expectation that she will be successful. And I know that if we support our educators this will happen

  2. One of the things that I'm most impressed with is the use of software that notifies the parents on a weekly basis. My hope is that the use of such tools will expand and become a regular part of the toolkit for each educator in the MISD, not only at the high school level but also at the middle school level.

    I've found that in the two classes our son takes at Horn where the teacher uses such software, we have a much better chance of catching trends early in the 6 weeks - not just at the 3 week progress report.

    The other suggestion I would have is for campus administrators to embrace those parents who volunteer to serve on SBDM committees as well as in other areas on the campus level.

    Finally, I would like our district to offer conversations with the community such as the ones that the Dallas ISD has begun holding. It would be much easier in Mesquite as there would only be a need for 1 per high school feeder pattern. These meetings give the patrons of the district a chance to meet district administrators in a less formal setting. The response has been great.

  3. I agree as well. I am very involved my in my children's education and hope to stay that way. I know that there are some parents that due to extinuating circumstances may not be able to have as much involvement at the school level but I do believe that just being involved with their education at home makes a huge difference.
    I believe we have to make our students be accountable and I agree that the software that a few of the teachers are using makes a big difference. My oldest son at MHS has 2 teachers that use it and then we have on at Agnew that his teacher emails us weekly but to be able to get on and look at any moment is a great asset especially at those levels. I would love to see it go district wide because for some students three weeks is too long.
    I would also love to see Mesquite have roundtable discussions as to what trends we are seeing and ways that we as parents and educators can team together to make things better.

    Dr. Henrie-thank you for giving us this opportunity and way to converse about OUR district and OUR students because I am very greatful that Mesquite has the educators we do.

  4. I too would like to thank Dr. Henrie for the opportunity to express my views. Our Mesquite ISD is one of the best around and it definitely is because of the caring teachers and administrators that we have.

  5. Your involvement will make a life-long difference in your child’s achievement. Please continue that partnership—even when your daughter begins secondary school. Thank you for your response.

  6. Thank you for your suggestions. We are working toward the notification software and understand the importance of prompt communication. The suggestion about the opportunity for community input is also appreciated.

  7. I would like to see that every schools websites are kept up and are accurate as to what is going on in the schools. You can go to other districts and most schools websites let you know what is going on. I think some high schools leave it up to a class and it is not being kept up. Parents relay on the internet to know what is going on. Also, I agree that e-mails from teachers are imporatant,I can catch a problem and myself and the teacher can work out a problem before it is to late. Any improvement with the software they mention above would be a great help. Thank you for wanting to hear what parents want to see happen in our school district.

  8. I would like to see more INVOLVEMENT on the parents level in PTA. The schools need to offer some incentive for parents to go. As a parent of a 5th grader I only see parents at PTA when their child is performing. It's been like that since Kindergarten. Nothing is done at the meetings to encourage parents to come back. We have several hundred members from the membership drives were kids get everyone from grandma and grandpa to aunts and uncles to pay the 5.00 to join but no one shows up!

  9. In the last few years I transitioned from being a stay-at-home mom to working full-time. One of my son's teacher at Horn sends the progress report via email every Friday afternoon. This has enabled me in my very busy schedule to intervene early with my son and do what needed to be done proactively. I thank this teacher all the time for using this type of technology. If she wasn't using this my son probably would have failed the first few weeks thus setting him up for an unsuccessful year.

    I do believe that if the communication to the parents was occuring from all classes we would have a jump on addressing problems early and being more involved in our childrens education.

    Thank you Dr. Henrie for the positive leadership and vision that you have for the Mesquite ISD.

  10. Thank you for your comment. Technology can be a valuable tool to communicate with parents, and we continue to seek new and better ways to do this. We are hopeful to make a parent portal available within the next year or two. Your support is greatly appreciated.


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