Thursday, January 24, 2002

CPS aspires to be more parent-friendly

Group meets Saturday to develop ideas

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati Public Schools chief Steven Adamowski says he wants to make his district the most parent-friendly in the nation.

        Local residents are holding their first meeting Saturday to work toward that goal.

        “The idea here is to help engage parents and help them define ways they can be involved in student learning,” said district spokeswoman Jan Leslie. “Also, we need to make sure the schools are open and welcoming.”

        At a meeting hosted by a parent group on Nov. 15, Mr. Adamowski charged the participants with helping improve parent involvement.

        That group, Cincinnati Parents for Public Schools, will host the Saturday meeting. They hope to make recommendations to the board of education after three or four meetings so some changes can be implemented for next school year.

        “It's a lofty goal,” said Betty C. Watson, the group's director. “We will be doing our best to reach for that.”

        At a minimum, she hopes CPS will become one of the nation's most parent-friendly districts.

        “Any improvement at all would be helpful,” she said.

        For example, the group hopes to suggest ways to better inform parents about requirements and standards for proficiency tests and improve communication between school staff and parents, Ms. Watson said.

        Kimberly Reese, head of Silverton Paideia school's parent-teacher organization, said the district should not only welcome parent involvement, but should consider parents' input, too.

        She said the board of education and the school administration weren't receptive last year to parents' requests to keep their principal, Henri Bradshaw.

        “A lot of parents feel intimidated,” she said. “They feel like their opinion doesn't matter. I just don't want this to be sugar-coating.”

        The Parent Involvement Taskforce will meet 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday at the United Way building, 2400 Reading Road, fourth floor. Information: 751-5437.


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