A Missing Element in the Lawrence
Larocque, Lawrence School Committee
Parents being involved in the
education of their children should be the norm rather
than the exception.
Our children deserve
our involvement! The days of blindly dropping off our
children at school and expecting just the schools to do
the job of educating our children are OVER.
According to the president of the National Education
Association, Reg Weaver, To reach their full
potential, students need parents to take an active role
in their education. Parents should be their childrens
The president of the United States stated at the fourth
anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act, Schools
that Succeed have got parents who are involved at the
school. Parent involvement is a very important part of
the Success of schools around America.
Of course, the degree of involvement due to living
circumstances may vary, from making sure that homework is
to being an active member at your childs
school PTA. The bottom line is that our children in
Lawrence, beginning in kindergarten all the way through
high school, will not take their education really serious
until they know without any doubts that their parents or
guardians are serious about their education.
We as parents and citizens of Lawrence have a wonderful
opportunity placed before us. We have wonderful,
hard-working teachers in the Lawrence public school
system. We have a 110 million dollar state-of-the-art
high school in our near future. MCAS scores indicate we
are moving slowly in the right direction. Yes, we need to
do better, and we must begin seeing more than just a
little improvement in student achievement. But from this
parents opinion, we are climbing an uphill battle -
a battle worth fighting!
The key element to assure we stay on the right coarse is
parent involvement. The Lawrence public school system is
set up for parents to be involved in the education of
their children; they just need to step up to the plate!
Parents have the right and the authority to be involved!
Parents are the check and balance in keeping school
committees and school superintendents and school
administrations in line.
Parents need to recognize this and believe that they can
make a difference. If they are not getting the response
that they desire, then make the change at election time.
Children who have parents that know their teachers, LEARN
BETTER. Teachers who know the parents of their students
,TEACH BETTER. Parents who know their childrens
teachers are more INVOLVED. Exchanging e-mail addresses
or home phone numbers does wonders and sends a great
message to our children.
Now more than ever, as we enter into discussions
concerning school safety, our children need our
involvement! We as parents need to have an open dialogue
with our children on this subject. If your children feel
unsafe for any reason, they should let you know and you
as the parent then make us aware. If they hear of some
wrong doing that is about to take place, then please let
The kids who attend Lawrence High have already brought to
the attention of school officials information, and
preventative action was put in place. The majority of our
high school students are GREAT! There are just a handful
who are misdirected.
Having said all this, now lets examine some of the
excuses concerning parent involvement. We are a poor
city. Many parents have to work long hours, some have two
jobs, some are single parents, some have an English
language problem, so the thought of being involved in
their childs education is just not on their radar
screen. Stop, take a moment and breathe. Ask yourself
this question: How important is your childs
education to you? For many of our children, the only way
to break the cycle of poverty is to get the best
So before you throw the concept of parental involvement
out the window and take on a defeatist attitude and tell
yourselves it is out of the question, there are still
ways of working and busy parents can get involved. There
are programs available to assist parents in this
endeavor. Homework help and tutoring,through after school
assistance, is available.
The point is to let our children in Lawrence know that we
as parents do take their education serious. Even we
parents whose children have graduated and moved on to the
next stage of their lives.
We still have an investment in the lives of the other
children of Lawrence in the public school system. Im
sure that you have heard the old saying: We get involved
now while they are standing before teachers or we get
involved later when they are standing before a judge. The
choice is ours.
We must look at parental involvement as a long-term
investment. An investment that will have long lasting
effects on our families and communities.
We are in a new school year. Lets work together in
this worthwhile endeavor and help our diamonds in the
rough to shine bright and make all of Lawrence proud.
Peter Larocque is a member of the Lawrence
School Committee. He was elected by the Lawrence City
Council to fill the unexpired term of Amy McGovern. You
can email him at email@example.com
*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
The November, 2006
Edition of the Valley Patriot
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