Education Feature: Schools stress parents’ input

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Clovis Municipal Schools officials said there are a few things to remember when the first report cards of the year are issued next Thursday.

They said parents should understand the importance of being involved in their child’s education and know there are programs available to help struggling students.

“Let the student know that we’re all working together for their education and if the parent is coming up here a lot or being in contact with the teachers (it) kind of sends a message to your child that, ‘Hey, I kind of need to study here or mom’s going to talk to my teacher,’” Marshall Middle School Counselor Bob Pullings said. “It shows an involvement and that’s always a really good thing.”

Pullings said report cards help target strengths and problem areas.

“It’s just kind of an indicator as to where you’re at and if there’s any areas that you’re really exceptional in, or maybe you need to get a little more assistance in,” he said.

He also said parents start becoming more aware of their child’s grades when they enter middle school.

“These are the years where we want them to tighten up and learn study skills and get those really in place and be successful here so that when you go to the ninth-grade center, everything that’s been done has been done and it’s just a good positive thing and you’re earning credits and grades for college and later in life,” he said.

Clovis Municipal Schools Deputy Superintendent LaDonna Clayton said parents can contact the school to find out what they can do to help with their child’s education.

“(Parents) need to make contact with the teachers, set up an appointment to sit and talk about what can (they) do to help (their) child succeed,” she said. “Ask the important questions: ‘Does this grade reflect missing assignments, or does it reflect that they’re not doing well on the test assessments themselves?’”

But Clayton said parents should be careful about motivating their child with rewards.

“If you continually reward a child or the student for demonstrating a particular behavior,” Clayton said, “then they’re going to continue to look to the reward as connected to the behavior.”

She said parents should emphasize the importance of reaching goals and the value of learning as a reward in itself.

“We want them to focus on learning takes you places that you couldn’t have gone before, because it does, it opens doors, learning opens doors to new possibilities and opportunities,” she said.

Yucca Middle School principal Allan Dropps said the biggest reason for low grades is students not turning in their work. He said Yucca has a program, called Help Eliminate Academic Tardiness, that helps students to complete their assignments.

“If the students don’t have their work turned in, the teachers can assign the HEAT to the kids and kids have to come in before or after school so they can get their work made up,” he said.

The school district offers a tutoring program for all grade levels at the Lincoln-Jackson Family Center from 4:30-6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, according to Pullings.

“It’s any subject,” he said. “Bring your texts, bring your class work, it’s there to help you or point you in the right direction.”