ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Aug. 31, 2016)—Yesterday, Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) released the results from the 2016 Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Among the topics covered, the need to improve family engagement in education and strengthen family-school partnerships is demonstrated by the findings of the survey.
In the poll, Americans and parents were asked their satisfaction with school efforts to keep them informed and give them opportunities to offer their opinions and input.
The poll also showed a strong relationship between family engagement and school satisfaction. Parents who rated their schools positively on keeping them informed, offering them opportunities to provide input and showing interest in their input gave their schools an A or B grade overall.
“One of National PTA’s founding principles—and continued top priority—is its dedication to ensuring families are engaged in education, families and schools work together, and families have a seat at the table when decisions are made that impact their children and schools,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “The PDK poll underscores the importance of prioritizing family engagement and family-school partnerships, which are proven to advance children’s learning and growth, increase student achievement and positively impact school improvement efforts.”
The findings from the poll come as states and school districts are working to create new education plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—the new federal law governing K-12 education. ESSA provides an important opportunity for states, districts and schools to improve family engagement and strength family-school partnerships as it requires that parents are meaningfully consulted in the development and implementation of the new education plans.
“Families play an important role in the successful implementation of ESSA and ensuring that all children receive a quality education by providing their input and holding states and districts accountable,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA remains committed to working with families, educators, administrators, policymakers and other stakeholders to make certain family engagement is prioritized in ESSA and beyond. Systematic and sustained efforts to integrate families into the fabric of our schools is key to their success and our children and our nation’s future.”
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
Boost your school’s chances of winning $30,000 – get the word out to families in your community using our pre-written email.
I’m pleased to inform you that Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK), National PTA and ALDI have joined forces to support school-based efforts that help children develop healthy habits. Grants of $1,000 each will be awarded to support 2016-2017 school year wellness initiatives in California, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Texas (five grants awarded per state). Priority will be given to local PTA units, but all are welcome to apply.
The grant application opened on August 8, 2016; applications are due September 16, 2016. You can find more information and the application here: http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/tools-for-schools/apply-for-grants
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Heather Parker, MS, CHES
Senior Manager, Health and Safety
Breakfast After the Bell: Healthier Kids and Healthier Budgets
By Jon Barry (Director, No Kid Hungry Missouri)
Today, like most weekday mornings, I made my breakfast and coffee and read the day’s news. On the same morning, millions of kids across America went to school without breakfast.
In Missouri, approximately 50 percent of our students come from low-income and food-insecure households and rely on a free or reduced price lunch each day. However, of those kids, less than half of them are eating breakfast at school. Too many of these students miss out on breakfast because it is served before they arrive, or they do not want to face the stigma of eating alone in the cafeteria.
In April 2016, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the launch of No Kid Hungry Missouri to immediately tackle these hunger issues, he stated, “Child hunger is a serious problem – but it’s a solvable one. The No Kid Hungry Missouri campaign will work to break down the barriers that stand between kids and the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong.”
School breakfast is important for all kids regardless of their economic situation. No kid Hungry partnered with Deloitte to conduct a social impact analysis which found that kids who eat breakfast at school are 20 percent more likely to graduate!
The best way to increase participation in school breakfast is by switching to a breakfast after the bell service model. Whether it’s “Breakfast in the Classroom” for elementary kids, “Grab-n-Go Breakfast” for middle school students, or a “Second Chance Breakfast” for high school students, breakfast after the bell makes sense. It leads to better health and educational outcomes for kids, and it means healthier budgets for schools.
One school in southeast Missouri went from 17 to 86 percent participation in breakfast within two months! Imagine what a similar increase in participation rates could do for your students, your nutrition programs, and your revenues. The more breakfasts served equals lower per-unit costs and greater reimbursement income.
The No Kid Hungry Breakfast Challenge offers funding to qualified schools to help offset the costs of making the switch. Schools with a free-and-reduced-eligible population of at least 60 percent can apply for funding up to $3,000 to cover the cost of equipment like rolling carts, kiosks, and insulated bags. Applications are due no later than September 30, 2016. You can learn more about the Breakfast Challenge and complete your application by visiting us as http://dss.mo.gov/NoKidHungryMO.
Thanks to our partnership with the Midwest Dairy Council and Share Our Strength, we are happy to offer incentives to the highest performing schools. As part of the Breakfast Challenge, participating schools that see the highest increases in breakfast participation over the school year will be eligible for awards of up to $1,000.
I want to end childhood hunger in our great state. I hope you will join me.