Over the last two years as schools have responded to COVID-19 disruptions, parents, grandparents, and guardians have had a never-seen-before look at what happens in classrooms. Some parents are happy but many are not. More than ever, families are demanding a stronger voice in their children’s education, whether it be related to hot curricular topics like Critical Race Theory and sexual and gender identity or mask mandates and other safety measures. In addition, there’s much concern that many New Jersey districts aren’t meeting the needs of children who have suffered learning loss and social-emotional trauma.
What should parents and families do?
As always, here comes JerseyCAN to the rescue! In NJER TV’s latest video, Janellen Duffy, Senior Advisor at the non-profit whose mission is to support universal access to high-quality schools regardless of zip code or socio-economic status, discusses a new summer program, “Parent Champions for Strong Schools.” This free program will harness parents’ new appetite for “bold change”; after all, they are always the strongest advocates for their children.
Over the course of the pandemic, JerseyCAN has provided school leaders, teachers, and parents with multiple resources. These include “A Framework to Accelerate Learning’;” guidance to the Murphy Administration’s Department of Education on how to most effectively spend the emergency federal relief funds; recommendations to Gov. Murphy on how best to address learning loss; results of a poll that quantified parents’ feelings about remote instruction, student progress, and the need for strong support, especially for low-income children; and a toolkit called “Kids Can’t Wait” which provides families with needed information and guidance to work with teachers and schools to get their children back on track.
Just last week JerseyCAN released data showing that 58% of students who took a widely-used assessment were one to three years behind in reading and 68% of students are one to three years behind in math. The outcomes are worse for low-income children.
Now, more than ever, parents need to be strong advocates for their children. As Duffy explains in this video, the new program will provide parents with the skills and resources they need to lobby for necessary changes in their school districts. The seven-week, once-a week, virtual program is free. Click here to register.