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Family-To-Family Conversations July 16, 2021

Each month, families from the Maryland and Pennsylvania advisory councils provide tips and strategies on questions submitted by families across the two states. Their responses to this month’s questions are below:

If you have a question you would like answered, please fill out this questionnaire and it will be considered for our next newsletter.

Each month, families from the Maryland and Pennsylvania advisory councils provide tips and strategies on questions submitted by families across the two states. Their responses to this month’s questions are below:

If you have a question you would like answered, please fill out this questionnaire and it will be considered for our next newsletter.

QUESTION 1:
How can I help improve my child’s skills with community-based (low/no cost) resources?

ANSWER:

This is such an important question. All parents have the power to advocate for their children to receive the resources needed for success. As the parent of a school-aged child, you have access to low- and no-cost resources that will support your child.

Teacher

The first step is to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss student strengths and areas of improvement. You can ask the teacher specifically for tools that will help measure individual progress and growth. During COVID-19, many schools made a conscious switch to virtual education platforms in some capacity. As a result, your teacher may have access to educational technology tools that have built-in, individualized assessments to make learning highly personalized.

County Resources

Your local library contains a wealth of free information that can be as individualized as you’d like. I highly recommend that you visit your public library and cultivate a relationship with the librarians available to you and your family. They will find library materials and electronic media such as software, hardware, and technical kits for your child. I would ask about community-wide enrichment programs that will also help your child.

Local Government Resources

As a parent, you have the right to reach out to education directors and leaders in your community.

Maryland

In Maryland, you can visit the Maryland Department of Education and choose your county government. This is where you can see committees such as the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for Public Schools.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, you can also visit your district’s website to get direct access to resources.

National Resources

For national resources, please visit the US Department of Education. I found the Homework Tips for Parents to be helpful. There is also a series of USDE publications called Helping Your Child . These are K12 subject specific e-booklets that go step-by-step to help parents help their children at home with science, math, reading, responsible citizenship, and others.

Websites

https://www2.ed.gov/parents/landing.jhtml
https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/involve/homework/homeworktips.pdf
https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/hyc.html/
https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/edloc.html

Kayla Solinsky is a parent advocate in Carroll County. She is an education leader, nonprofit executive, and the mother of two boys.

 

QUESTION 2:
Is it worth it to take AP classes?

ANSWER
Yes. Students who take AP classes are eligible to take the AP Exam at the end of the course. If students score a 3 or higher, most colleges and universities will give college credit to those students. AP classes offer a rigorous curriculum and help prepare students for their post-secondary options.

Dr. Licia Lentz is a parent in Allegheny County of a 2nd grade student at a public school. She is a lifelong educator who has held various administrative roles including high school assistant principal, curriculum coordinator, and assistant superintendent. She is currently a director at an intermediate unit.

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