Parents, educators and community leaders will be gathering in La Vista Saturday to take part in a statewide summit that is aimed at gathering information about how to help students in Nebraska succeed. Karen Kilgarin (kill-GARE-in) with the Nebraska State Education Association says developing partnerships and working relationships with everyone in a community is a positive for young person.
“We are going to have parents, family members, principals, teachers, community leaders, business people all gathering together to talk about how we can involve the community and parents in the schools. We know one of the greatest indicators of student achievement and success is if you have parental involvement and community involvement. We are going to be looking for ways to foster that involvement, partnerships with parents and with the business community in our schools to make sure our kids can succeed.”
Kilgarin says involving businesses and community leaders with education is a great combination.
“There is no question that all the community partners, faith-based, business organizations; parents play a huge roll in the success of in school. The objective here is to generate some recommendations with different agencies and schools to make the changes we need to make sure that parents and community leaders can be involved in Nebraska schools. We need to ask them what is working and what isn’t working. We want to take a look at that and make changes that are necessary to make sure that parents, educators and students and community members can work together to make sure our students succeed.”
Kilgarin says representatives from class A to D districts will attend. She says it is important that everyone has a say in how to shape the future of education.
“We need to have people from all different communities talk about this. It is not a one-size-fits-all strategy for turning around schools to make schools the best they can be. We need not only representatives from business and parents and faith-based organizations. We need representatives from medium sized districts, small districts and large districts.”
Kilagarin says schools have to adjust to a number of issues due to changing times. She says this is one reason why it does take a community to help educate a child.
“Rural families, middle school families, high school families, families with kids with special needs, foster parents, homeless families, families that are highly mobile, immigrants, non-English speaking families. What we need to do is look at ways we can engage all of these families.”
Another goal is to help gather information to help turn around lower performing schools.
The summit is Saturday from 8 am until 4 at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference center in La Vista.