Parental involvement crucial for school success

PARKERSBURG – Having parental involvement in a child’s education is paramount to his or her success in school, members of the Quality Schools Advisory Group told the Wood County Board of Education.

The group presented its 13-page report, resulting from a year and a half of work, to the board Wednesday evening detailing findings from discussions, surveys and other research with teachers and students gauging the quality of education being provided to local students.

The group’s mission is to participate in the development of continuous improvement initiatives in Wood County Schools and to strengthen the relationship between the school and the community.

The group is made up of local parents and grandparents as well as business officials, former educators and others from around the community who are concerned about the quality of education in local schools.

Elizabeth Strobl, member of the advisory board and a mother of four students in Wood County Schools, said it is the group’s belief that all students want to learn.

“To make significant educational strides in Wood County, our leaders need to be aware to pay attention to the learning culture,” she said. “All schools are unique and their cultures are unique.”

Some schools have positive cultures while other have negative cultures which impact student achievement, Strobl said.

“Wood County needs to develop a method to assess these culture differences in our schools and promote a best practice for improvement,” Strobl said. “As a parent and a concerned community member we would be interested in knowing which schools in our county have great cultures of learning.

“We want to take that and apply it countywide so all of our schools can achieve to their highest level.”

Parental involvement, including whether another family member is raising the children, remains a key component in the success of the student, the report noted.

“Decades of research show that the single most important element in a child’s education is parent involvement,” the report said. “Therefore, parents must be included as equal partners in developing both school and county level improvement efforts.