Friday, February 12, 2016

Rant - judging a school without being willing to help change it

I was going to write about something else, but a recent article came up and I changed my mind.  The article in question was about the suspension rate at my kids' high school.  The reaction among parents was pretty much what I would expect.  No wonder the school is bad with all the bad kids in it.  It raises my hackles to hear all kids in a school labelled "bad".

I'll be the first to admit that when it was close to time for my kids to attend the school, I was hesitant.  I reached out to the principal of the school, though, for information.  I wanted to know what the school was doing to fix the issues I was hearing.  How the changes have occurred, where the school still needed to go.  I know that the school isn't perfect, they never are, but it takes someone taking an interest to actually make the changes that the students need.

Figure this into your judgement of my school, though.  Majority of the population lives at or below poverty level.  Title I gives us much needed funds to address some of the concerns that money can address.  The school had to go one step further, though, and offer FREE breakfast every morning to ALL students.  I'm sure there is a project out there helping to pay for it, but think.  If the kids aren't eating at home, where are they eating?  It's hard to concentrate on school if you're hungry, need clothes, etc.  It's also hard to do well when you don't have the leadership to follow.

I give great kudos to the administration and the teachers for attempting to set the example for the kids.  What the school needs, though, are a lot more parents to get involved.  Whether your child attends the school or not, your time can matter.

I've worked as a substitute teacher in the school and most of the kids I've met are awesome.  Very polite and they do their best to succeed.  Many are trying to be the first in their family to graduate high school at all.  So, kudos to the kids as well.

So, before you jump to the conclusion that a school is bad just because of a report, think about WHY the status is what it is.  What can YOU do to help make a change?  Yes, you can send your child elsewhere for their education. That's your right.  But how can we improve it for the future? Can you come back and HELP at the school your child would have attended anyway?  Can we work together to create a school COMMUNITY to be proud of?  Isn't it about time that instead of complaining about something being bad and pointing fingers, we took the time to actually try to FIX it?

Just my $.02.
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