Parents, we can’t do this alone.

In light of the recent budget correction, or down-sizing, or right-sizing, or whatever the heck just happened here in Wisconsin, schools are supposed to continue to do more with even less. Educators are supposed to be innovative,  get creative, and come up with “outside the box” (I hate that saying) solutions to meet high expectations with fewer resources.  What immediately comes to mind is neither innovative nor creative, but more common sense.  We have kids for 7 hours per day and home has them for the other 17 hours.  What if we could just simply adopt a contract for ALL parents to “make a fair contribution” to the education and well-being of their children?  The following list is modeled after what my most supportive parents (large majority) do for their kids.  These aren’t superhuman feats, but don’t you wish EVERY parent would do this EVERY day?
Dear Parents,
Thanks for enrolling your children in our school.  We’re glad you and your kids are with us.  We’ll take care of meeting the academic needs of your kids and teach them how to be successful in a school environment.  We just ask you to take care of the following few items:
Elementary kids need a lot of sleep. Give them a bath each evening and then get them in bed for at least 10 hours of sleep each night.
Kids need appropriate nutrition. Healthy diet recommendations are available for free in the internet and on the back of cereal boxes. Read that information and follow it.  Make sure your kids eat a decent supper and certainly give them breakfast every morning.  Send a lunch to school with your kids or make sure there is money in their meal account.
Enclosed is a school calendar.  Kids need to be at school each of these days.  Have them in their classrooms by 8:20 and pick them up by 3:10.  You might be wondering if these times are firm. Yes, they are.  We start on time and end on time.
If your kid is sick, keep them home and give them TLC and rest.  Call us if they aren’t coming in.
Each student has a communication folder in their backpack. Check it each night. Read and respond to the notes from the teacher. We’ll do the same for the notes you write.  Homework is also in this folder.  We’ll keep it to a minimum–no more than 20 minutes each night, which is just enough to connect learning between home and school.  Talk to your child about happened at school.
We only have two rules at school, which are to be respectful and responsible.  The staff members are held to these same two rules.  Please make sure your child understands and follows these rules.
If you have a question, concern, or compliment about something at school, please communicate that to us directly.  We will do the same for you.
Sincerely,
The School Staff

In light of the recent budget correction, or down-sizing, or right-sizing, or whatever the heck just happened here in Wisconsin, schools are supposed to continue to do more with even less. Educators are supposed to be innovative,  get creative, and come up with “outside the box” (I hate that saying) solutions to meet high expectations with fewer resources.  What immediately comes to mind is neither innovative nor creative, but more common sense.  We have kids for 7 hours per day and home has them for the other 17 hours.  What if we could just simply adopt a contract for ALL parents to “make a fair contribution” to the education and well-being of their children?  The following list is modeled after what my most supportive parents (large majority) do for their kids.  This is not a knock on parents at all.  I just see how these “best practices” of parenting benefit so many of our kids already.  These aren’t superhuman feats, but don’t you wish EVERY parent would do this EVERY day for EVERY kid?

Dear Parents,

Thanks for enrolling your children in our school.  We’re glad you and your kids are with us.  We’ll take care of meeting the academic needs of your kids and teach them how to be successful in a school environment.  We just ask you to take care of the following few items:

  • Elementary kids need a lot of sleep. Give them a bath each evening and then get them in bed for at least 10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Kids need appropriate nutrition. Healthy diet recommendations are available for free on the internet and on the back of cereal boxes. Read that information and follow it.  Make sure your kids eat a decent supper and certainly give them breakfast every morning.  Send a lunch to school with your kids or make sure there is money in their meal account.
  • Enclosed is a school calendar.  Kids need to be at school each of these days.  Have them in their classrooms by 8:20 and pick them up by 3:10.  You might be wondering if these times are firm. Yes, they are.  We start on time and end on time.
  • If your kid is sick, keep them home and give them TLC and rest.  Call us if they aren’t coming in.
  • Each student has a communication folder in their backpack. Check it each night. Read and respond to the notes from the teacher. We’ll do the same for the notes you write.  Homework is also in this folder.  We’ll keep it to a minimum–no more than 20 minutes each night, which is just enough to connect learning between home and school.  Talk to your child about happened at school.
  • We only have two rules at school, which are to be respectful and responsible.  The staff members are held to these same two rules.  Please make sure your child understands and follows these rules.
  • If you have a question, concern, or compliment about something at school, please communicate that to us directly.  We will do the same for you.

Sincerely,

The School Staff

Here is a great recent column on this topic from JSonline.  http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/116991823.html