District opens center for parent resources

Lawrence parents now have a place to go learn more about the No Child Left Behind Act, Adequate Yearly Progress Reports and even ways to help children with their homework.

Thanks to a grant from the Kansas Alliance of Black School Educators, Kennedy School is housing the Lawrence Parent Information Resource Center.

“This is a good extension to some of the parenting classes we have already offered here at the school,” said Kennedy Principal Climetine Clayburn. “Once you build a trust with parents, they will keep coming back.”

The center is designed to help parents of students from Title I schools, or those with a high percentage of students from low-income families. Those schools are Central Junior High School and Pinckney, Kennedy, New York, Woodlawn, Broken Arrow and Hillcrest elementary schools.

“Under the grant we wanted to make sure that parents in these schools and every school have full knowledge of a school’s Adequate Yearly Progress Reports,” Clayburn said. “We (Kennedy elementary) want to keep parents up to date with legislation and what they can do to help their children.”

Adequate Yearly Progress Reports are required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act and are meant to help parents and others understand how well the schools are doing.

In 2002-2003, no Lawrence school was labeled “on school improvement” for not meeting the yearly progress requirement for two consecutive years, though there were subgroups of students that did not meet the requirements.

“Some of the parents we are working with are illiterate; some just read at a lower level,” said Ronda Geddings, the center’s parent involvement facilitator and site supervisor. “This center is here to help those parents better be able to help their children.”

In addition to supervising the parent center, Geddings also makes home visits.

“If there is a family out there that needs help learning about No Child Left Behind, needs to find better ways to help their children with their homework, but are too embarrassed to come here for help, I will go to them,” Geddings said. “All they need to do is call the school, and I can help them.”

The parenting center is open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. The center also is open to parents on the second Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon.