Local News

Schools Ask Parents to Pledge Support with Contract

Posted June 3, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— For Kelly Gunter, the last day of school Wednesday will mark the end of an era -- an era of vague standards that pushed some children to the next grade level before they were ready.

"I think sometimes we don't hold the children as accountable as I know they can be held accountable," Gunter said. "I think that we don'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, Wilson County students, teachers and parents will be expected to sign a contract. "We feel that these contracts clearly outline for the first time what students can do both at home and at school to help themselves," said Ted Kaniuka, director of elementary education.

Put simply, the contract symbolizes a promise between parents and teachers to 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 new academic standards required for promotion. The people who put the contract together believe students will have to work harder to get by, but they also hope it will encourage parents to get involved.

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

Brian Bowman reporting