SCR Superintendent Column, October 2014

By RANDY FULLER / Guest Columnist
Shelby County Schools, in partnership with the Alabama State Department of Education, is celebrating Parent Visitation and Involvement Month during October. More than 30 years of research has proven that one of the most effective ways to increase student achievement is for parents to be actively involved in the education of their children.
According to the National Parent-Teacher Association’s National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs, the most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school is the extent to which the student’s family is able to: create a home environment that encourages learning; communicate high, yet reasonable, expectations for their children’s achievement and future careers; and become involved in their children’s education at school and in their community. Students often achieve higher grades and test scores, have better attendance at school, demonstrate more positive attitudes and behaviors, graduate at higher rates, and are more likely to pursue postsecondary education when their parents are actively involved in their education in positive ways.
The Shelby County Schools district has a long-standing and valued tradition of investing in activities and strategies that foster parent and school collaboration. Our annual participation in Parent Visitation and Involvement Month each October is a continuation of that tradition. It is a collaborative effort among our stakeholders – a time for teachers, school administrators, businesses, and community agencies to turn their attention to the importance of the role of parents in the education of their children.
Many of our schools will be hosting events in October to foster parent involvement. We extend an invitation for all parents within our school district to participate in these important and informative events. Contact your local school for more specific information on event schedules.
Parents play a central role in influencing their children’s progress and success in school. As stated in a recent report from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, “When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.”
We want to forge a strong family-school-community partnership to support student achievement and school improvement. On behalf of the teachers, administrators, and district leaders of Shelby County Schools, I extend my gratitude to the wonderful parents across our district who partner with us for the success of our students.
Randy Fuller is the superintendent for the Shelby County School System, and pens a monthly column for the Shelby County Reporter.