"It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error."
― Robert H Jackson
Primacy of Parents in
Community involvement is an important element to successfully create productive, highly supported, local schools. The process requires engaging in dialog and collaboration with community members. By encouraging real community involvement, public education benefits from the strength and commitment of the community.
The Alpine School District maintains a number of ways for the community to be involved. Alpine School District has a District Community Council "Government systems do not reach their highest potential unless there is a consistent and persistent presence from informed and involved citizens. Local school districts are no different."that meets with the Superintendent and members of the Board of Education to discuss issues. This group of about 25 members gets input from members of School Community Councils. Each of the 81 schools in the district maintains a council where parents can offer input and discuss issues concerning that particular school.
Parents can also participate in classrooms as volunteers. There is no better way for parents to become informed about their local schools than by actually volunteering. Likewise, parents who volunteer tend to be more supportive of their children's teachers and the local school.
I would like to invite you to participate in any/all of these channels of involvement and one more you may not have heard of. The Alpine Parent Society (APS) is a group of local citizens who rotate the responsibility of attending school board members and report back to the rest of the group what occurred.
It doesn't sound exciting, I know. But, like many issues involving responsibility, it may not be exciting but it is important.
Imagine a school district with an ever increasing number of patrons who are informed and involved. Imagine an education system knowing thousands of its patrons are now paying attention to issues of curriculum, finance, policy, etc. Imagine a community involved in discussing such issues and giving informed input to policy makers.
Currently, school board meetings are attended by families of employees receiving awards, boy scouts getting merit badges by attending a government meeting, and the occasional patrons who have a particular issue to comment on.
Of course, when a particular issue is big enough, hundreds of community members show up. But they will no longer attend board meetings if their pet issue is not being discussed.
Government systems do not reach their highest potential unless there is a consistent and persistent presence from informed and involved citizens. Local school districts are no different.
The goal of the APS is to have enough members that any one person will only be responsible for attending one meeting per year. It's just getting started. Parent Societies are popping up around the state in various districts. Being part of this society keeps you involved in receiving semi-monthly updates and on-going discussions. You will network with other community members who are equally committed to being involved.
Volunteer in your children's classroom. Contact the teacher directly and find out how you can be a more involved parent. Consider running for your school's community council. Join the Alpine Parent Society and find out for yourself what issues are being discussed and voted on. Become an asset to your community by reporting back to others who are committed to being informed and involved.
Citizens committed to ensure public education
is a reflection of the local community which creates, funds, and supports its existence. We see the best outcomes of public education coming from the partnership of parent, child, and teacher. The goal is bottom up, locally controlled education supporting the
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