The first day of school always brings feelings of excitement and possibility to both students and families. This week, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) welcomed students into our schoolhouses for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Over the last year and a half, many families watched their children learn from home and got a glimpse into their child’s daily life like never before. Parents were instrumental in ensuring that students had quiet places at home to learn and navigated the sometimes-tricky world of Wi-Fi and technology.
Now that all students are back to learning at school, we encourage our families to continue to stay engaged and involved in their child’s learning throughout the year. Your child’s teachers and administrators are eager to know you and begin building a strong relationship with you. In order to effectively contact you, it is important that schools have up-to-date information. If you have recently moved or changed your phone number or email, reach out to your child’s teacher or school office to provide your current contact information; and let them know the best way to reach you.
The start of a new school year is the perfect time to begin building relationships with your child’s teacher, school administrators and other parents. We encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher and school personnel throughout the year. A great way to connect is to schedule a parent-teacher conference. Additionally, throughout September, schools across Miami-Dade County will be hosting Open Houses. This is a great opportunity to meet the faculty and staff at your child’s school, as well as connect with other parents. To support your child at home, you will want to know what is going on at school and also feel comfortable asking for help when you need it.
Joining a parent group at your child’s school is another great way to make connections. Most schools have a Parent Teacher Association, also known as the PTA, or other groups like booster clubs that may support a particular extra-curricular activity like band and sports. Membership allows for you to be an advocate for not only your child but for all children. It’s also a wonderful way to set an example about the importance of giving back. Every school at M-DCPS has an Educational Excellence School Advisory Council (EESAC), pronounced “ee-sack”, and while you have to be elected to participate as a voting member, all parents are welcome to attend meetings. EESAC’s role is to bring together all stakeholders and involve them in decision making, which affects instruction and delivery of programs at the school. If organized parent groups are not for you, there are many volunteer roles for parents at our schools including classroom and office aides, chaperones, tutors and mentors. You can register to become a School Volunteer by visiting www.engagemiamidade.net/volunteers.
In addition to formal parent groups, many parents will create informal online group chats and or social media groups to share information. If you would like to connect with other parents and don’t know where to start, ask your child’s teacher, principal or the school’s Community Involvement Specialist. They can put you in touch with other parents or a parent leader at the school.
Families are an important part of the M-DCPS community and we are excited to welcome you back to the schoolhouse for the 2021-2022 school year. For more information on how to get involved and register to be a school volunteer, visit www.engagemiamidade.net.