Parent interest key to student achievement

We are lucky as a school district to function in a town with strong community support for education.

The continued generosity of residents is evident in the recent passage of education ballot initiatives in our neighboring districts, as well as Durangoís 3A mill levy nearly five years ago.

In addition to our public education system, the donors to our private schools also have been generous. In the last few weeks, Iíve witnessed members of our community turn out at St. Columba for its annual school gala, and I have been informed that Liberty Schoolís annual Hall of Fame Gala was a huge success. All of us who serve the educational needs of the community thank you for your generosity and support.

While many of these donors and supporters are parents who generously give, Iíd like to ask for parents in all school settings to consider an even greater role in the education of their children.

As a district, we continue to work on engaging parents in the process of transforming and developing systems that more readily prepare students for the ever-changing world we live in. The role of parents in our schools has clearly changed during the last few decades.

Growing up with parents who made education a priority, I was used to my parents attending meetings and giving input at school. Education was something that was the most important thing for their four children. In our busy world today, lots of things are given priority over being an active part of the education of our children. The work that lies ahead of us is great, and the change we must support in our schools is real!

We have a great team of staff members in our school district who want better for our kids. We need parents to get on board to support their studentís academic endeavors with the same enthusiasm they have in the stands of our sporting events and in our talent showcase opportunities when their kids perform.

Research from a variety of sources shows that students do much better in school when their parents are actively involved in their education. Involvement can mean attending open houses, parent conferences, looking over schoolwork and monitoring homework, engaging in conversations with teachers about progress and actively contributing to efforts within a school and district to develop and improve services for our kids. Our schools continue to seek your involvement through school advisory councils and parent/teacher organizations. Students need to know that you are enthusiastic about their learning Ė just like you are about their sport, their musical talent or their artistic abilities.

We recognize that we have great room for improvement in Durango School District, and we seek and welcome parent involvement and feedback on our work. We continue to hold community forums at all of our schools about our efforts to transform our schools into 21st Century Learning environments. We need your constructive feedback as we work to ensure that no student falls between the cracks educationally and that all students leave our system ready to face a variety of challenges in the future. Are you ready to be involved?

Your comments and feedback are always welcome at DSnowberger@durango.k12.co.us.

Dan Snowberger is the superintendent of Durango School District.

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