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From Dr. Rick Reedy
Parent Involvement - The most important step . . . making sure your children know that you value education. (February, 2005)

Parent InvovlementWhen asked if we think our children know that we value education, I believe most all of us would answer, “of course!” But when we begin to think about what we are saying or doing that conveys that . . . the answer may become more like, “I think so?”

To me, these are a couple of surefire ways to let our students know that education is important and that we want them to be successful.

Ensure Attendance – This again sounds like a given, but you would be surprised. Your child should know that being at school every day and on time is critical. Missing school should be a big deal. We know that sometimes it is difficult to get doctor’s or orthodontic appointments outside the school day, but we hope that these are kept to a minimum. Family emergencies occur and are unavoidable, but we hope that you convey to your child how important it is to get their homework and make it up so that they can stay on top of their studies as much as possible. There is no substitute for that “seat time,” but diligence in catching up is imperative. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities do arise, but I hope that our families try to set their vacations during the times when we are not in school. There is great value in families spending time together, and trips can be very educational, but missing several days of school is difficult. A young person I know said that her mom would make her go to school even if she was bleeding from an artery . . . “She would tell me to put a bandage on it and toughen up,” the student said. An obvious exaggeration, but the student knew where her mom stood on the issue of school. Other friends could just tell their mom they don’t feel good and get to stay home, she further explained. I also know there are times that some parents have given their students a note for school stating they were sick when they were not. This does not send a good message to students, because it basically says it is okay to lie. What will happen when they get a job someday – are they going to get a note from their mom saying they are sick and don’t feel like coming in so they can go play golf or hit the sales at the mall? The most shocking story I have heard is that we have had students leave school early to get a manicure or to make a hair appointment. I pray this is just a story and not the truth.

The second most important thing is probably being there. If your child is involved in a program or activity at school, be there. If there is an open house or a night to meet the teacher, be there. If there is a celebration of learning, be there. When they begin to participate in sports, fine arts or academic competitions and activities, be there. Nothing saddens me more than to go to an event and to notice that there is not a good representation of support for the students. It means something to them for us as parents to be there. You may have to miss a few, but this time will pass quickly, and you don’t want to miss anything.