Franklin schools’ contract spells out duties for parents, educators, students There are no penalties for not signing

Franklin schools’ contract spells out duties for parents, educators, students
There are no penalties for not signing
Jun. 19, 2013 | 1 Comment

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Written by
Maria Giordano
The Tennessean

FILED UNDER
Williamson County
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FRANKLIN — When school starts back up in August, all Franklin Special School District administrators, teachers, students and parents will be signing a contract.

The school board approved its own version of a school-parent contract recommended by the state and designed to encourage parental involvement. The contract is a first for the district of about 3,800 students.

All Title 1 schools — which receive certain federal funds and serve a high percentage of low-income students — are required to implement such a contract.

The district didn’t take the task lightly. A team of teachers, parents and administrators from all eight schools had a hand in developing it.

For example, in addition to such actions as holding parent conferences and issuing progress reports, teachers will be expected to “create a respectful, caring, inclusive, stimulating and safe school/classroom setting” and provide parents with volunteer opportunities.

Parent are expected to demonstrate an interest by attending school functions and supporting school activities. Parents must take responsibility for feeding children a nutritious breakfast, reviewing homework and monitoring the use of electronic devices.

Students would agree to read every day outside of school time; follow rules; and demonstrate respect for themselves, other students and adults.

‘A partnership’
It’s not heady stuff, nor is it complicated, but hopefully will empower parents to be more involved, said parent and Franklin Elementary School PTO member Katie Haseltine.

“Overall, I see the document as a way to give dignity to education in FSSD,” Haseltine said.

At her school, which has about 350 students, 20 to 30 parents do the majority of the volunteer work, she said. She recognizes that not every parent can physically be present at school, but she said there are other ways they can be invested.

There are no penalties for not signing the document.

Amie Tindall, a parent and PTO member, said she liked the concept, though she is concerned that the contract might be intimidating to families who cannot comply with every aspect.

“The penalty is really implied: Your child will not get the most out of their education without all partners working together. The contract makes it clear that it is a partnership, a shared responsibility.”

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