11/16/08 — Date set for kitchen table conversation about schools

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Date set for kitchen table conversation about schools

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 16, 2008 2:00 AM

Wayne County parents, teachers and citizens are going to get another chance to talk to county school personnel -- and among themselves -- about what the next step should be to improve local schools.

The first in a series of Kitchen Table Conversations was Sept. 29 at Madison Avenue Baptist Church, with about 90 community members present for the two-hour discussion. The topic that night centered around causes and solutions for the dropout rate.

A second session has been scheduled for Monday, Nov. 24, at Oak Forest Church of Christ on North Park Drive, from 7 to 8:45 p.m.

It will focus on parent accountability and parent involvement.

"After compiling the results from our last conversation on dropout prevention, we discovered that a majority of the participants felt that a lack of parent involvement contributed greatly to why a student drops out of school," said Olivia Pierce, executive director for community relations with the school system.

The follow-up conversation is expected to build on the last one, Mrs. Pierce said, and collectively work toward solutions for ways to increase parental involvement and accountability in the schools.

Following a standard format for the Kitchen Table Conversation, parents, stakeholders and community members are seated in small groups around a table to discuss the issue. Groups are then guided to brainstorm solutions on how to better involve parents in their child's education.

As with the previous session, results will be shared with participants, Board of Education members and administrators and posted on the district Web site, www.waynecountyschools.org. Results will also be studied by the district to see what recommendations are already in lace, or how new ideas for programs can be implemented.

The public is invited to attend the free sessions and to share ideas and opinions about this and future topics.

Anyone interested in attending the Nov. 24 session is invited to register by calling 705-6164.