I serve as superintendent of the West Feliciana Parish school system, the president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents and as a member of the statewide Common Core oversight committee, which means I get asked a lot about higher standards. Are we going to change the content of the standards? The name of the standards? The tests associated with the standards?
But what the parents I speak with really want to know is something much more personal: What can I do at home to help my child fulfill her potential and achieve her dreams?
After all, parents in West Feliciana want what all parents want — a better life for their children. Parents have a lot on their plate, and they deserve to have simple, helpful resources they can use to support their children’s success.
That’s why, as I’ve been traveling around the state, I’ve been telling parents, community leaders and fellow superintendents about Be A Learning Hero (www.bealearninghero.org), a first-of-its-kind public service partnership between organizations like the PTA, Scholastic and Great Schools. Be A Learning Hero provides clear resources that are easy-to-use and specific to Louisianans. For Back to School specifically, Be A Learning Hero put out a simple toolkit to help parents steer through all of the changes happening in the classroom. It includes five helpful, practical tips known as the Super 5:
1) Keep the goal in mind: Learn what the specific learning goals are for your child’s new grade.
2) Maximize your child’s potential: Know where your child excels and where there is room to grow.
3) Be involved: Spend time in your child’s school, and be in regular contact with his or her teacher.
4) Embrace character and resilience: Promote your child’s emotional intelligence — it matters for academic success.
5) Bring it home: Make home another space for learning, and get tools for boosting your child’s math and English skills at the kitchen table.
This is the conversation we should be having. These are real, tangible steps that parents can take to help their children. And I love the focus on resilience with grit and persistence. I believe all students can reach their goals.
To me, education is about empowering people. We’ve had success in West Feliciana because we’ve set a high bar and provided support for our students, staff and families to reach it. We’re an A-rated district, successfully supporting students of all backgrounds.
These kind of results are possible across our state, and resources like Be A Learning Hero are an important new opportunity to help achieve them.