Lack of communication may interfere with knowledge of help-rooms

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By Mayara Sanches

Grand Ledge Gazette Reporter

GRAND LEDGE — The Grand Ledge School Board had a lack of communication informing parents about the intervention program and how it helps students, but plans to get their support.

Failure rates in general education subjects decreased 20 to 60 percent due to intervention at Grand Ledge High School, but members of the board realized that the parents’ knowledge of the help-rooms is vital in continuing the decrease.

They plan on educating parents about it, possibly by parent-teacher conferences or by informing the teenagers to tell their guardians about the benefits of after-school help sessions.

“There are so many things we offer, but some parents have no idea,” said Brody Boucher, board president.

Knowledge

Help-rooms are offered in math, science, social studies and English from 7 a.m., through lunch, and close at 4:30 p.m. — with over 1,000 students attending every trimester in each subject.

The other teenagers who need help might not attend because they do not have the push of their mothers and fathers. Those parents are unaware of the assistance the pre-, during- and post-school activity provides.

Boucher said that the encouragement from parents makes a great difference in how students perform at school.

“I hate math, but I’ll do whatever I need for my kids to pass it,” he said.

The intervention board found that parents only receive news — from TV or radio stations and newspapers — about the high schools’ students’ skills in athletics and fine arts, but Board Trustee Linda Wacyk said information about academics is not reaching the audience

Wacyk said because athletics gets more attention in the news and is more prominent among Grand Ledge residents, it interferes with the academic news getting out.

“I think it’s great that we’re doing it, but I think we want our community to know that these kind of resources are available to students,” Wacyk said.

The intervention board discovered that kids appreciated the help by directly interviewing them and showing the recording at the school board meeting.

Aside from parents who do not find out about the Intervention Center, many board members also were not aware of how much the teachers in the help-rooms are tutoring and improving the abilities of the struggling students.

“I had no idea we had this many interventions — it’s awesome,” said Kim Mulvenna, board trustee. “I think moving to a trimester system gave them more time to come during the day.”

Focuses

Beverly Winstanley, school board secretary, said that parents tend to focus on the negative things they hear about the schools their children attend.

“You provide students with hope,” Winstanley told the Intervention Center teachers. “Parents tend to focus on the negative — ‘Why isn’t this done?’ They don’t know how hard you work.”

The board said it wants to change the focus of the parents, who see the negatives about Grand Ledge’s academic programs, by showing them these statistics of the drop in failure rates. 

Members of the board said that demonstrating to parents what the help-rooms do, can shift their focus to be more academic oriented.

 

Superintendent Brian Metcalf said communication between the parents and the school needs to be enhanced, perhaps by having them more involved with school activities.

Metcalf said he also wants to make the teaching in the classroom more fitted for all students. This way, the Intervention Center help-rooms are not always crowded.

“We really would prefer to see the numbers decrease going in for special help, because we are doing better in our classroom with our instructional strategies,” Metcalf said. “But we know that we’ll always have a certain number of students who do need that extra help, and it’s about maintaining some opportunities.”

Contact Reporter Mayara Sanches (248) 464-2993 or iunessan@msu.edu

 

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