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 Where are the parents of students who drop out/struggle

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Sandra



Posts : 113
Join date : 2008-12-19

PostSubject: Where are the parents of students who drop out/struggle   Sun 01 Feb 2009, 7:46 pm

I have two children who are doing well at the high school and have excellent teachers. However it has been interesting to see very few parents at least on the discussion board, concerned with the high drop out rates (especially for diverse students), inequities between the smaller learning communities at the high school, adequate yearly progress results for some student groups in Schenectady, poorer regents exam scores for some student groups, and other educatioal challenges. What plans does the district have for the next few years to help close the gaps between the students whose performance is near the bottom and the high achieving kids and how can the district get more diverse parents or parents of students at all levels to PTSO meetings, etc.
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ATAC



Posts : 8
Join date : 2009-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Where are the parents of students who drop out/struggle   Mon 02 Feb 2009, 3:09 pm

Sandra,
You have posted a number of concerns in various discussions about diversity, perceived unfairness in the SHS Houses, perceived "preferential treatment" for IB students, and other related issues. Rather than putting together multiple replies in different discussions, I'll put together my thoughts into one posting here:

You seem to have done plenty of research in your quest for answers.
Can you please provide some of the data you have uncovered rather than just generalities.
I'd love to see the actual results you've found. As they say, the truth is in the details!

Can you clarify what you mean by "diverse students"?
Do you strictly mean race? Or are you talking about other factors such as family situation (no/one/two parents etc.), socio-economic situation, etc..?
These certainly have as much impact as race.

As for some of the things you have mentioned as concerns.
Here are my thoughts on some, but certainly not all :

My son (10th Grader, White, MST House) has been on 1 (one) field trip at the SHS in 1 1/2 years - I don't know if this is too many or too few!
By the way, this was in a pre-IB connections class with kids from many/all Houses.
In my own opinion, time spent on field trips would be better spent at school. But this does vary for each child and parent.

You have mentioned an unbalancedness in the number IB students across Houses.
Isn't it not true that the kids get to choose a house of their own upon entering the High School) and that all are hopefully given their first choice.
This, then, would not seem to be an issue caused by the School or the Administration, rather it is a result of student choices/preferences and of chance!
What other inequities across the Houses are you aware of?

As for the diversity of PTSO Meetings;
My wife and I have been active participants on many PTO's, shared decision meetings, father's groups,...etc. throughout elementary, middle and now high school and I can tell you one thing that is common to every parent who attends - They care, have an interest, and participate in their children's education.
That is the common attribute across all participants. Race, Creed, Color, Family Situation, or Socio-Economic situation do not seperate this group of parents from the remaining parents - It is a "wanting to participate" that makes people attend these meeting on a regular basis.
I have been in groups that have tried to increase attendance by changing meeting times, offerring free food, or free babysitting and other incentives - but eventually the group returns to its normal size. I can almost guarantee you that as a parent of a 10th Grader, that if an important meeting was called for parents of 10th Graders today, that I could predict 90%+ of parents who would be there. That's because, I've already been thru countless meetings with the same "interested" people.

As for drop-outs, the numbers are alarming.
Everything that that the school can do to prevent kids from dropping out, should be done. I hope this is the case.
However, much responsibilty does, and should, fall on the parents of these kids and the kids themselves.
You seem to be an active and responsible parent - I am sure you are making sure that your kids understand the value of education and are ensuring that they do not slip thru the cracks. All parents should be this responsible!

Again, please let me know the statistics you have - I'd be interested in seeing them.
Thanks.
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Sandra



Posts : 113
Join date : 2008-12-19

PostSubject: Re: Where are the parents of students who drop out/struggle   Mon 02 Feb 2009, 6:36 pm

I have the number and type of field trips/college visits per house, number of IB students per house, racial diversity per house and hope to get more data. When we moved into the district, My kids did not have a choice for what house to be in but after meeting the great teachers and having a fantastic guidance counselor, we are committed to that house and trying to help make a difference until my youngest graduates in 3 1/2 years.

There has to be a way somehow to get more parents involved. I feel very fortunate to be at a point in life when I can attend meetings, gather statistics and ask questions but a few short years ago, I was also a parent who seldom had the time or energy to care about anyone's kids but my own.

I realize there is no easy answer but hope that somehow, more parents can get connected to the school and learn from each other.
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Lakishia Martin



Posts : 11
Join date : 2009-02-13
Location : Woodlawn

PostSubject: Dropouts   Thu 05 Mar 2009, 10:48 am

Hello again Sandra
I am a parent of a dropout and I can briefly tell you my experience. I am a very involved parent and I attend things regularly at my kids schools. I had to make a choice in which pto I be on and so I chose to participate at the school of my youngest children. As ATAC said is about participation. There are the same 4-5 members of our PTO who have to both serve as officers and work any events. I have to speak on behalf of the parents who are involved and their kids still dropout or struggle. I have two children in elementary school and one who just started at the high school. All of my children are doing extremely well. My fourth child, the eldest I withdrew from Schenectady High last spring. After many, many frustrating visits to the school to meet with all his teachers and try and assess what his problems were I decided it was best to remove him from the school. He had already spent four years in the high school and had only advanced to the tenth grade. After finding he would spend another year in the tenth grade and still had no other supports the school could offer him I didn't see the point in keeping him there. I received lots of support from some teachers and he seemed to do very well with those same teachers. Unfortunately, the teachers he did not do well with outnumbered the ones he did respond to. I hope I do not offend anyone in guidance who does really take an interest, but I found that guidance for my son was useless. There really were no alternatives for him other than private school and as a single mom of four it just was not an option for me. While on suspension once, he had to attend class at Steimetz and I will tell you he enjoyed it and did well and another parent said her child did well while there also. I talked with staff there and they also reported that the kids there do well and they show up. That is something that should be expanded and could possibly help the kids that just don't adapt to the high school environment. I ended up enrolling him in Washington Irving to get his GED and he chose not to go. he knows he has my support but at this stage it is up to him to help himself. You can lead the horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
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Sandra



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Join date : 2008-12-19

PostSubject: Re: Where are the parents of students who drop out/struggle   Thu 05 Mar 2009, 11:08 am

Hello Lakishia,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to a post that the administrators did not even respond to. My oldest son who attended high school in WI was at-risk and I held my breath until he finally graduated. In urban school districts across the state, so many kids drop out and I wondered how the parents become involved and connected and when it is too late for kids. I know that charter schools are not supported in this district but can't help but wonder what could happen for kids if more schools became K-8 so there was a consistent educational environment all the way through those years for kids and if somehow, some additional smaller learning environments could be created for the high school years for kids who struggle in a large high school. There are so many options that could be considered and it would be great if someday, Schenectady was the urban district that had the highest graduation rate for all student groups. At-risk kids who struggle are important and I hope each one of them can access an environment where they can succeed.
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