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Middle School doesn't want ANY parent involvement

14 years 10 months ago #148740 by Momski
My baby is a H.S. Junior in H.S. and I've seen that too. I can't tell you why, either unless the union is just a stronger influence in the upper grades, HIPPAA or confidentiality issues.

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14 years 10 months ago #148738 by LUVMYKIDS
I've also found that middle school doesn't offer much in the way of opportunities for parents to be involved directly at the school. It was a big culture shock after the deep involvement I had at elementary, but I've adapted. We have a small PTO and we're just happy to help wherever we can and that is usually with securing funds for areas that are lacking. The principal sometimes uses us as a sounding board for things too. Personally, I handle spirit wear and that keeps me busy at times. Mostly I just make sure that I attend parent/teacher conferences, communicate with my children's teachers when I see something unusual or they seem to be having a problem, and try desperately to keep communications open with my kids. Middle school is such a weird time of life for children.

Don't forget too that there are community organizations beyond your school that benefit children. I've gotten involved there and it's very rewarding.

Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
14 years 10 months ago #148732 by JHB
Our middle school had very limited parent involvement. To be honest, except for a few select areas, they just didn't know what to do with parents who wanted to volunteer. Part of it was that starting in middle school, the upper students can pick areas like the office assistant or library assistant as a class. My daughter was a technology assistant in 8th grade and helped maintain the school computer labs. Still, there SHOULD be area where they need help. I'd keep chipping away. Some ideas:

1) Band parents/athletic parents - these are usually the most involved as there are very concrete things to do like working concession stands, hauling equipment, helpoing with fundraisers.

2) Sponsor or lead an after-school special interest group - schools are often seeking adults who can help with these initiatives. They can be anything from games to music to dance to whatever.

3) Tutoring/Reading help

4) First day (or two) of school - be ready to volunteer as schools usually welcome extra help. There are a lot of backlog areas like distributing textbooks or selling PE uniforms where teachers are glad of an extra pair of hands.

5) Advisory committee - most schools have some sort of committee composed of parents, faculty, and community members that meet a few times a year. This is an excellent way to learn about the administration of the school and get to know key staff members.

6) Data entry - there is often non-confidential material that needs to be entered.

The school should definitely make more of an effort to use volunteers. But - to be fair - I can tell you, it's often hard to carve out a reasonable amount of work for a volunteer (or temp). Sometimes it's just easier to do it yourself.

I was fairly well known at my middle school but found there just wasn't a good infrastructure for volunteer involvement except when special events were going on. Still - knowing the staff helped. One day I'd taken off work to help on something, but it got changed at the last minute. So I literally just went department to department (library, main office, support area, athletics) telling them them I was planning to be there for 4 hours, what did they need. Frequently the athletic department needed uniforms inventoried or they school needs textbooks counted. One time I spend the whole day WASHING uniforms in their big industrial laundry room. Not terribly glamorous, but I was glad to help out. Give them ideas, remind them there are bound to be some tasks they haven't had time to get to like cleaning out the office supply closet.

Keep trying!
14 years 10 months ago #148731 by Jewel
Most likely, the stance about parental involvement in your child's middle school comes from the principal's office. Perhaps you (and another parent or two) could make an appointment to discuss your concerns. You would be wise to also offer a proposal (a solution) to how parents could be successfully integrated into school activities without disrupting the faculty's processes.
14 years 10 months ago #148730 by KelCo35
We have active PTO's in our district for the elementary schools. The high schools have several things for parents to be involved in, band, FFA, sports, etc. But- the middle school is 6th - 8th grades, and I've yet to meet a parent to be involved. Not for lack of trying! I talked to a parent who has went at the beginning of every school year she has had a child in the middle school and offered volunteer hours. She said she is willing to work library, make copies for teachers, office, whatever anyone needs. She has been turned away every time. I know of NO other parents who are involved, because they are also turned away. We all realize our children are growing up, need to be responsible and independent. But isn't it also true that statistics show parent involvement is needed throughout the child's school years, elementary as well as middle school and high school? There are some of us that are very fortunate and able to be stay at home moms. I can honestly say I wouldn't know any of the teachers from the middle school except one. I have been told not to bring my kids into the office after dental/dr. appts, they sign themselves in, understood. But I feel it is a mistake to shut parents out. My kids have always like me being involved. They like knowing I'm interested, helping, etc. Has anyone else ran across this type of policy at middle school level? Thanks for any replies!!
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