CN Jr/Sr HS WeAreOne
September 28, 2018
Thank you all for spending time conferencing with parents and caregivers a few days ago. I haven't calculated final attendance numbers yet, but at first glance it looks pretty typical for the Jr/Sr High level. We had busy and slow times. Some of you were swamped and some of you saw fewer parents. We had more parents of students at the younger grades than upper grades, and many of you wished that the parents you really needed to talk with would have been here. These scenarios are not uncommon at the Jr/Sr High level. If you taught 25 students each day and you could schedule an individual conference time with each one of them, we would reach more families. But when you teach 100+ different students each day, conferences of this nature are not feasible in our current format. It's an issue we face each year and we've tried varying strategies to engage more families, but so far none have been overly successful.
I know there were many parents who had very valid reasons for not being able to attend conferences on Wednesday. On the other hand, I also know we have parents who have never attended conferences and have no intention of ever doing so.
So what do we do now? How do we reach those parents that were not here? Would more time, more days, a different format make an impact? My next question may surprise you, but I'll ask anyhow . . . do we need to reach all parents? Are parents a necessary part of a student's academic success?
Would it be wonderful if all kids had parents that were involved, helped them, held them accountable, and partnered with the school? Absolutely! But the truth is kids don't get to choose where they are born or who they are born to. They don’t get to choose whether their parents will read with them, spend time helping them with homework, hold them accountable, or care enough to make sure they have what they need to be successful. We have some kids whose most basic needs are barely being met by their parents, let alone their educational needs.
We have absolutely no control over what happens at home and many of our students don’t as well. What we do have control over is the 15,000 hours they spend in our schools. If we truly believe that every student can learn, then we also have to truly believe that as educators, we can make that happen, regardless of whether we have parent support or not. If we truly believe we can help all students learn, then we have to stop worrying about the external forces we can't control and focus on what we do control--all the learning that happens in our classrooms and school. While parent involvement for every student would be incredible, is it essential to student learning? If we can’t reach parents and show them the value of getting involved, then what can we do for students at CN Jr/Sr High School to help them be successful regardless of the kinds of support they may or may not have out of school?
I don’t think any of us have all of the answers, but I think each one of us has ideas. How do we help kids, regardless of whether the parents are involved or willing to be involved? What you are doing to reach kids? Have you read or watched something that has sparked an idea or strategy? Have you shared it? Are we spending enough time collaborating together so we can talk about our ideas and help one another? We are all here to help kids be the best that they can be. How can we make that happen together regardless of the support they have at home? If we aren't the ones stepping up to do it, and their parents are supporting them, what will happen to these kids? These at-risk students (at risk of passing, at risk of graduating, at risk of making poor choices that will adversely affect their lives) need support. How can we as a staff and school help to meet their needs?
CN Day of Caring! This is what it's all about!
Photo #2 - This group of students from Central Noble High School helped clean approximately 30 monuments for their Day of Caring at Rose Hill Cemetery in Albion. Thank you very much, guys; your work looks fantastic.
Thank You for a Great Homecoming Week!
Alternative School Students Meeting Their Goals!
See the message below that one of the student's grandmother shared on her success in the Alternative School.
Cougars for Christ!
Thank you for bringing students and staff together for this event!