Education column: Parents important to education

As we continue last week’s column detailing all the extra help offered through public schools, we remain passionate about providing the best educational environment so that all students succeed.

The famous proverb, “it takes a whole village to raise a child” is still true. Superintendent Terry Myers states unequivocally “everything we do in this district must contribute to academic success.”

“Welcome to Sandiaville…where minds grow and lives are changed,” reads a banner hanging at Sandia Elementary. Principal Matt Vetterly shared, “We strive to create a partnership where every child can succeed; our teachers are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure academic achievement for every child.”

Sandia offers tutoring three days a week; teachers volunteer for extra tutoring; and the computer lab is open before and after school.

Mitzi Estes, principal at Yucca Middle School, believes the greatest thing to instill in kids is a “can do” belief. Active parent involvement is still crucial, while avoiding extremes, such as being too strict or too lax.

Spending her lunchtime in the onsite tutoring and help sessions, she notes that many times kids only need help with organizational skills. Backpacks are stuffed with papers that are finished, just not turned in. Being proactive, Yucca also makes positive home calls and referrals to highlight positive student behaviors.

Diana Russell, CHS Freshman Academy principal, believes it’s critical for parents to partner with the school. Daily, team teachers give up their lunch to provide extra tutoring help for students. Russell said most students who are failing are just not turning in their work: “That’s where we spend a lot of time because we don’t accept them not turning in their work.”

Wayne Marshall, CHS principal, noted that where parents tend to be less involved with older students, it’s actually more important than ever.

“Parents don’t realize how much influence they have on their kids,” Marshall said. His advice: “Love their children every day and hold them to high expectations; also, trust that we have their best interest at heart.”

Bryan Craven, principal at Choices, says meeting with parents and students together and reviewing the students’ whole academic career, talking about options works well.

“We want parents to know we’re on their side, but parents need to make sure kids come to school every day,” Craven said. “When you miss a day, you’ve thrown away a day that you don’t get back. We can’t do anything for them if they’re not here.”

Principals’ advice across the board: Get students to school on time and don’t check them out early. Let your kids know that education is important. Be involved with your kids regardless of age; parents have much more influence than they realize. Make sure kids do their schoolwork and turn it in.

And, if the only reason for not taking advantage of all the extra help offered is that parents are simply unaware…spread the word. Help us help your kids and take advantage of the extra help.

Zig Ziglar observed: “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at