We are pleased to announce the Greenville Middle School (GMS) Parent Teacher Partnership Group has chosen to continue the valuable work of opening the lines of communication, ensuring equity and increased involvement with parents and teachers that began three years ago. The meetings have focused on GMS but hope to expand the conversations and improvements to all grades if possible. On March 7th the core group met and reviewed the topics and sessions from the last three years and developed a plan of action to reach out to the elementary and high school.
The Parent Teacher Partnership is an initiative to increase communication with parents and teachers beyond the typical PTA or Booster Club experience. Greenville City Schools was awarded a Staff Personnel Development Grant from the Ohio Department of Education in 2013. An opportunity offered as a part of this grant included sending a team to be trained in the work of Dr. Barbara Boone on improving the relationships between parents and teachers. Research shows these positive relationships lead to improved student growth and achievement. (https://u.osu.edu/familyschoolpartnerships/community/) Teachers Zach Roll and Chad Curtis (who also has children in GCS) with parent Tammy Abell were trained to facilitate the Parent Teacher Partnership collaboration.
Throughout 2015-2017, the group met in six sessions. The topics covered included; respect and communication, equity and decision-making, competence, parenting and learning at home, advocacy, commitment and volunteering. There were a variety of parents representing the diverse population of the school as well as multiple teachers from grades 5-8 participating in the discussions and activities. As the group focused on the different topics they applied their learning into actions. Parents stated their concerns about parent teacher conferences, a need to increase communication using 21st Century tools and poor experiences as visitors to the school. These were addressed by the school and improvements were made in each area that has impacted GMS in a positive way. Additional conversations have continued outside the confines of the formal meeting as PTP members shared and engaged other staff and community members on the topics started within the PTP.
At the meeting on March 7th the participants included some who were at all six sessions as well as some new faces. Regardless of the number of meetings attended, all agreed the opportunities provided by this organized body need to continue and be open to those interested in grades K-12. It was decided to continue as an independent entity as the initial State Personnel Development Grant has ended. To ensure the integrity of the work over the last few years the PTP has decided to create conditions of participation before requesting additional members to join. This is the foundation of a “model for an opportunity for honest and open, two-way communication towards school improvement and family well-being” (https://u.osu.edu/familyschoolpartnerships/ptp/ ) as envisioned by Dr. Barbara Boone and the Ohio Department of Education CETE Results Management team to ensure parents and teachers are working together to meet the unique needs of each school and district.
Greenville Middle School’s Parent Teacher Partnership is evolving as a group of invested parents and teachers (with a couple administrators thrown in) to improve the learning environment for the children of Greenville City Schools.