Howard High School of Technology and W. Reily Brown Elementary School Honored for Work With Parents
Wilmington - Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn announced today that Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington and W. Reily Brown Elementary School in Dover had received the state’s first two Excellence in Parental Involvement awards. The awards, which will be awarded annually by a panel of parents, teachers, administrators, and business representatives, are designed to encourage schools to focus on the issue of parental involvement, and provide schools with models of excellence to follow.
The Excellence in Parental Involvement Awards were announced by the Lieutenant Governor, State PTA, and State Chamber of Commerce last fall, and over 30 schools applied for the awards in their first year of existence. Winning schools will be recognized at the annual Superstars in Education event, receive a banner for their school, and be given an opportunity in the coming year to share their experience with other schools.
"Not only do statistics tell us that parental involvement is key to student success," Lieutenant Governor Denn said, "but our teachers tell me that as well. I visit one of our schools almost every week of the school year, and without exception, parental involvement is an area where our teachers tell me we have to improve. Creating this award is one part of a broader, long-term effort I am pursuing to maximize parental involvement in our schools."
W. R. Brown Elementary School—a Title 1 school in Dover with over half of its student body classified by the state as "low income"—has developed an innovative and multi-faceted parental involvement plan grounded in academic research. In addition to enthusiastic pursuit of traditional parental involvement activities, the school has also created academic liaison positions among its staff, arranged monthly dinners with the parents of students who need extra help, created a mobile library unit and clothes exchange program to help parents of students at the school, invited students to attend parent-teacher conferences and invited parents to attend Response to Intervention meetings, and created a web site to enhance parental involvement.
Howard High School of Technology has tackled what everyone agrees is the toughest part of parental involvement: involving the parents of high school students in school activities. Howard sends out weekly phone messages to parents, hosts a long litany of family-friendly events on school days, school nights, and weekends to draw parents into the school, created a Parent Information Resource Center within the school in order to give a physical presence to the school’s parental involvement efforts, and encouraged the use of a Home Access Center web site that allows parents to easily get information about their children and communicate with teachers through the internet. Howard’s principal is personally involved in the Parent Teacher Student Association, which elevates the importance of the organization within the school.
"We are extremely proud of both of these schools," Denn said. "They have recognized how important parental involvement is for their kids, and they have acted on it. We hope that other schools will follow their example and make parental involvement an even higher priority."
"Children whose parents are involved generally have higher grades and test scores as well as more positive attitudes and behaviors. And schools benefit from parental involvement in that there are long-term improvements in academic achievement, more successful school programs and more effective schools. Increasing parental involvement is certainly one critical element to having successful students and improving our schools," State Senator Dave Sokola said.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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