Board discusses parent involvement


The Perry County School District Board discussed several issues including participation from parents in several different ways.
The first of which came in the form of Parent-Teacher Conferences, which were held earlier this month. The participation during the conference was great in the Primary and Elementary Schools, but poor throughout the rest of the other buildings. In the Primary School, attendance was nearly 91 percent, while In the Elementary School 88 percent of the parents attended the conferences.
The same could not be said for the older students as three percent attended in the Middle School, however just the parents of the kids with poor grades were specifically invited. The High School was roughly at 36 percent.
“When I see that I feel like it is low,” Board President Nancy Voelker said. “I feel like we try to get parents the opportunity to speak with teachers, but we are not getting a lot of involvement at some levels.”
The board also did a curriculum meeting and presentation for parents to see the updated format for the curriculum. The meetings were held at each building during the conferences. There were a total of three parents at the four separate meetings combined. The board spent several minutes discussing ways to get more parent involvements at events.
“The number one complaint that we get is that we spam inboxes with too many things,” Communications and Marketing Director Kate Martin said. “The buildings are sending out mass texts individually. We try to keep the mass emails and texts limited to important things.”
District Superintendent Dr. Fara Jones noted that this poor attendance is not unique to just Perry County.

“It’s difficult for parents to come here too,” she said. “There are some days that just don’t work for parents.”
Also it was commented by several administrators there many parents that keep constant communication with teachers.
“There may be no need for some parents to come to the conferences because they are in communications with their teachers throughout the semester or quarter.” Primary School Principal Emily Koenig said. “There are a lot of ways to get that information electronically. Parents can go online to consistently check their grades.”
“Parents may be more connected to their teachers,” Jones said. “When my kids were in school, I had to physically go get their report card, now that’s not the case.”
Martin presented the results of the Family and Community Engagement Survey that was recently conducted by the district.
The survey was conducted in September to gauge community interest in engagement opportunities with the board of education. The survey had 321 responses and the key findings were that nearly half the respondents said they were not willing to participate in a pre-board meeting engagement activity. Man of the respondents would be willing to serve on focus groups or committees on a specific topic. A total of 213 people indicated that they would volunteer for such a committee. A total of 72 parents submitted their contact information to be contacted to serve on such committees.
In other news, Simon Wibbenmeyer was named as the John T Belcher Scholarship recipient.