Most teachers are quick to say that parental involvement is one of the key factors in a successful educational experience for students. Get parents involved, and everything from student performance to discipline in the classroom can improve.
That is the primary motive behind this week’s “Parent University” held at Rock Hill High School Thursday night. The goal, according to organizers, was to provide as much information as possible in one place for parents of local students. While the event was held at Rock Hill High, it was open to parents of students in any Rock Hill school.
This was the first time the school district offered such an intensive, one-night information session. Topics ranged from bullying to how to talk to children about drugs to applying for financial aid for college.
In all, Parent University featured nine sessions from which parents could choose. Each parent could attend two sessions.
A variety of community groups, such as Keystone Substance Abuse Services, the state Department of Juvenile Justice, Winthrop University and York Technical College, conducted sessions. York Tech, in particular, offered several information services, not all of them related to higher education.
We like the idea that topics for sessions weren’t just arbitrarily chosen. Students, parents and teachers all helped decide what the topics would be.
“Parent University,” we think was an imaginative way to provide vital information to parents all in one place on one night. That’s not to say the district shouldn’t hold more of these events throughout the year, but the one-stop-shopping concept no doubt is a real convenience for many parents.
Those who participated in Thursday’s inaugural event now can offer suggestions for topics for future sessions. Organizers will begin to see which issues are most important to parents in the district.
Eventually, if one issue seems especially important to many parents, maybe an entire evening could be dedicated to that topic alone.
Presumably, those who attended Thursday’s Parent University came away with a better understanding of what their children encounter each day at school. We hope they now are a bit better prepared to help their children handle the challenges they will face inside and outside the classroom.
Congratulations to all those involved in setting up this innovative information session. We hope there will be more of them in the months ahead.