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Troup County School System gets ready to kickoff National Parent Engagement Month

Communication is key when it comes to parent engagement, according to a group of more than 30 parents attended an early morning meeting sponsored by Troup County School System (TCSS). Once a month, the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meets to share ideas and information that helps parents and the school system maintain an open line of communication between the two groups.

For instance, the month of September was all about interaction and communication when parents and school liaisons made Play-Doh sets of what an ideal collaboration resembles. As the group rolled the familiar doughy pieces, they discussed ways communication was working. They highlighted social media, Tuesday folders, Remind 101, calls from educators and handwritten notes as excellent forms of communication.

A group of parents agreed that, “The more communication, the better. When we receive fun, meaningful, short and sweet information from the schools it helps us. When information is explained in a parent language that is simple — as opposed to something only those in education understand — it helps us help our child.”

The group welcomed Shannon Lawson from Troup County Prevention Coalition in October. She shared facts and tips with families about drug and alcohol prevention. Lawson also provided the attendees with DisposeRX, a kit for disposing unused prescriptions and medications.

This November, the parents will learn how to help their child prepare for the Georgia Milestone Assessment.

“We have to think out-of-the box when it comes to engaging families. Many of our parents are single, or are grandparents. We also have parents where English is not their primary language. Our goal is to provide resources that will push students toward success and we need family involvement to make that happen,” said Nicole Kennedy, TCSS Title I Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator.

Parents can become involved by joining their school’s PTO, school council, volunteering for classroom activities, or calling the school to see where assistance is needed.  In November 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal declared the month’s theme in a proclamation from the State of Georgia. Throughout the month, TCSS schools will host a variety of events including sending interactive homework home for families, sending Remind 101 messages to parents’ phones that encourages parent participation in school activities and posting mini-social media messages geared toward inspiring parent engagement ideas for families.