A few weeks ago, Superintendent Rob Neu and his Assistant Superintendent Aurora Lora presented at the request of Oklahoma Watch. This talk, recapped recent structural changes in administrative process, which is predicted to increase and enrich support for school principals, teachers and prospective teachers.
During this interview above, one parent situation was triaged and a plan made that same day. Another parent dovetailed concerns that this discussion focused on administration, not the day to day life in a classroom or school situation for the youth enrolled.
Neu identified that parents and community, including businesses, neighbors and faith groups need to make direct and immediate community investments in their local schools. That parting statement, though directive, did not highlight who might be the leader in teaching or encouraging this process. It is simply true that the School Superintendent cannot be expected to “do it all” for OKCPS kids and parents.
This writer has made similar observations specific to the topic of school reading and the public, whether with or without enrolled students needs assistance to develop awareness and resources.
But who would lead this process? The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation has a role in the community liaison between schools and the public. There is the State of OKLAHOMA PTA and then there is The OKCPS PTA in Oklahoma City . The PTA had a conference which had to do with bullying and resilience.
OKC really would benefit from a resource fair, attached to a Townhall Meeting on Community Involvement in Schools, which focused first on resources which can strengthen families and community, and help them build towards better schools.
Who would host something like this, and where it could be held…. how invested is the Oklahoma City Council in improving this network between school and community?
This would be free and open to OKCPS students and anyone who had an interest in strengthening community. There are 40k+ enrolled.
Who would be there? A casual chat up of this topic generated this list of interesting groups to man booths, and the public probably has other ideas. These are in no particular order. But really, key groups for struggling parents to improve their child’s experience in schools are marked with a ++
++ OKC Metro Library provides resources for reading and learning to read and social outlets
++ OKC City County Health Department provides a broad spectrum of supports for children, youth and families
++ OSU OKC County Extension Provides parenting and other home or school enrichment education
Closer to Earth Gardens
++ The Oklahoma Public Health Association Has a huge listing of resources across topics to improve life
The Mental Health Association of Oklahoma
++ The PTA for OKCPS and for the State of Oklahoma helps families gather to support schools and teachers
The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Oklahoma Chapter
++ The Oklahoma Family Network is a free advocacy resource group, who knows federal education laws
OKC Parks and Recreation
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma
Boys and Girls Clubs of OKC
Oklahoma State Employment Office
Parent to Parent
Parents Helping Parents
Oklahoma Marriage Initiative Parenting and Marriage Enrichment
+++ Oklahoma Dept of Rehab and Disabilities addresses special needs students thru school and beyond
OKC Chamber of Commerce
OKC Hispanic Chamber
++ Neighborhood Alliance helps build community groups in single neighborhoods
++ OKC Regional Food Bank provides supplemental food resources.
Better Block OKC
Would that Mayor Mick Cornett would second the OKCPS Superintendent in the call for greater involvement by asking for a space, and a few hours of an agency time on say a Saturday, or Sunday afternoon soon, could more people become immediately acquainted with what it takes to evolve better community satellite to schools?
Busses run on Saturday. But many people have to work 2-3 jobs and aren’t hardly available even on a weekend.
Do parents want or need more training exactly in relating to schools? Neu identified that parents need to take up issues with the home school situation first, but is it true the infrastructure has caused parents to be distrustful, or for responses to be less than uniform or incomplete? A townhall meeting could show how to do this, and then those video taped lessons could be available on the school web page.
There are similar community activities over the course of a year, but nothing so training and education focused as this suggestion. What if people gathered to get this message from Neu, Lora and Cornett and then had the option to meet groups who might help them connect and plan and get about strengthening students.