Legislation promotes parental involvement in ‘Family Friendly’ schools

Mar 12, 2013

  State lawmakers want to help parents find out whether their child’s school is family friendly.  Legislation unanimously approved by a House committee Tuesday aims to increase parental involvement in education.

Legislation authored by Gary Democratic Senator Earline Rogers would direct the Department of Education to develop the family friendly school designation.  It would allow schools to apply to the state agency for the title that signals a strong level of family and parental involvement in student education.  The Department of Education would develop the exact guidelines for what makes a school family friendly.  Rogers said that could include teachers who help parents understand the best ways to help their children with homework.

“A lot of times parents just say, ‘turn off the TV and read.’  But there would be an effort there to teach parents in terms of how the teacher is teaching reading,” said Rogers.

John Barnes is the legislative affairs director for the Department of Education.  He said the goal of the family friendly school designation pairs well with some of Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s efforts.

“She’s concerned about advancing a literacy initiative which would also be focused not just on children reading but families reading and creating a climate and an attitude and an atmosphere where literacy is so important,” said Barnes.

Rogers said she hopes that as schools begin receiving the family friendly designation it will encourage other schools to develop programs that will earn them the label.