Education leaders: Parental involvement key to student success

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The community got its chance to tour South Mississippi's newest school on Sunday. Hundreds of students, teachers, and parents watched as Harrison County Superintendent Henry Arledge and other leaders cut the ribbon on the new D'Iberville High School.

Following the dedication ceremony, an open house gave those who came out their first look inside the school. Education leaders say how successful students are in the classroom depends largely on what goes on at home.

Whether its talking to teachers or checking grades, Lynn Boston says she's always keeping tabs how her daughter Courtney is doing in school.

"It's important for me to be involved with her education because I want her to have an education," said Boston. "Because now a days, young people are getting in trouble, and if they're in church or in something else to do, then we'll have a better world today."

Hundreds of parents walked the halls where their children come to learn. Educators say children who miss even a day of school, miss out on a lot.

Henry Arledge is the Harrison County School Superintendent.

"The most important thing I see is parents making sure the children come to school every day, from kindergarten all the way through high school. If they are not at school and they are missing 35 and 40 days of school, be it sick, be it absent, whatever the excuse might be, they're still missing instructional time," Arledge said. "That is a major factor in public schools, the time students miss."

Education leaders say they must take responsibility for their children's behavior and grades.

"Hold parents more accountable for the actions of their children and also for the academic performance of their child," said Biloxi School Superintendent Paul Tisdale.

"We have teachers who work hard every day. We have administrators that work hard every day, but it's all for naught if kids don't come prepared to work in school," said Tisdale. "If we don't have the support of the parents and if a child won't listen to his parents, why in the world, generally, would they ever listen to a teacher?"

Parents like Lynn Boston say taking an active role in a child's learning early on will likely pay off later with an academic scholarship to college.

There are about 1,100 students at the new D'Iberville High.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.