Parents are key

June 26, 2011

dear editor:

During the elementary school years when children are little, many parents chose to be involved in the educational development of their children.

As the "tween" years begin and children become more independent, it is often easy to step back and not be as involved with the school; however, it is so important to stay involved throughout your child’s entire education.

As children cross the bridge from elementary school to middle school, many changes occur. In this new environment, different friendships are formed, emotional and behavioral changes occur, and more responsibility is placed upon them.

As West Milford Parents Association (WMPA) members and members of our local school associations, we have experienced positive outcomes with direct involvement between parents, children, teachers and administrators beyond the elementary school years.

Statistics show when parents are involved, students are more likely to succeed in school, students are more likely to attend class prepared to learn, and it’s easier for teachers and staff to form a relationship with parents that are concerned.

There is a comfort level in knowing who your children are friends with, and parent participation allows for this. The communication level you establish now is the foundation for the future achievements of your children.

How do you stay involved as a parent when your children enter Macopin School? Attending incoming seventh-grade parent and student orientations is a good way to start.

You can also log onto Homelogic with your child to discuss his or her progress. Homelogic is a great tool for parents to monitor assignments, grades, and attendance. It’s also a resource for communicating with teachers.

By contacting your child’s teachers, you can find out how they are doing emotionally and socially among their peers. The Macopin PTA is an informed network of parents, teachers, and staff.

By joining the PTA, you show your child that you are interested in all aspects of their journey through middle school. Becoming a PTA member allows you a window of opportunity to be involved.

Enjoy this journey while it lasts. In two short years, there will be another new bridge to cross!

Karen Romer,

Valerie McGuinness,

Inga Koeppe,

WMPA members,

West Milford