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COLUMBIA CITY â€” Columbia City schools have â€śoverwhelmingâ€ť parental involvement in the progress and future of their students, according to Whitley County Consolidated Schoolâ€™s Superintendent Dr. Patricia Oâ€™Connor.
Oâ€™Connor presented the numbers of the most recent parent-teacher conferences to the corporationâ€™s Board of School Trustees at a work session Monday.
â€śWe were very pleased by the high school percentage of parents that attended the conference,â€ť said Oâ€™Connor, saying that the 50 percent participation in the conferences, or 588 parents, was much higher than in recent years.
â€śIt had been as low as 10 percent,â€ť she said.
At the elementary and middle school conferences, some schools had nearly all the parents present, with Coesse and Little Turtle elementary schools showing a parent attendance percentage of 97 percent.
Mary Raber and Northern Heights elementary schools showed attendance of 91 and 90 percent respectively while at Indian Springs Middle School, parent involvement was 88 percent.
At the high school, Oâ€™Connor said a shift in focus created an environment that created added incentive for parents to attend the meetings.
â€śIt was an opportunity for the student, parents and the teachers to discuss the studentâ€™s academic program and that alignment to their goals,â€ť she said.
According to Oâ€™Connor, parent-teacher conferences had been a tool to help bring academically-struggling students back up to speed.
â€śBefore, parents went when you were failing,â€ť she said. The new focus, she said, was outlining the plan of academic attack for the studentâ€™s life after high school in order to â€śmake sure youâ€™re on track so that when you graduate, youâ€™re going to be ready for where youâ€™re going.
It brings relevance to what the student is doing in high school.â€ť
Oâ€™Connor said the recent spike in high school parent involvement showed a cohesiveness between all parties involved.
â€śWeâ€™re all locking arms and working together as a team,â€ť she said.
â€śI think from the teachersâ€™ point of view, that gives you a wonderful boost to let you know youâ€™re working as a team.
â€śThis has created a whole new relationship between the parent and the school. It was overwhelming and positive.â€ť