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Schools Ask Parents to Pledge Support with Contract

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WILSON — For Kelly Gunter, the last day of schoolWednesday will mark the end ofan era -- an era of vague standards that pushed some children to the nextgrade level before they were ready.

"I think sometimes we don't hold the children as accountable as Iknow they can be held accountable," Gunter said. "I think that wedon't take the time to say, 'This is where this child needs to be.'"

That is about to change.

When Kindergarten through eighth-grade classes resume his fall, WilsonCounty students, teachers and parents will be expected to sign a contract. "We feel that these contracts clearly outline for the first time whatstudents can do both at home and at school to help themselves," said TedKaniuka, director of elementary education.

Put simply, the contract symbolizes a promise between parents and teachersto make learning at home and at school as easy as possible.Giving the child a quiet place to study is just one way to help.

That study time will come in handy, because educators have also set newacademic standards required for promotion.The people who put the contract together believe students will have towork harder to get by, but they also hope it will encourage parents toget involved.

That's something that would pay off for everyone. "The benefit that ourchildren get from our involvement and our support," says parent MarkBissette, "can only be returned to us by what we learn from our children."

Brian Bowman reporting

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