Message from Dr. Brumley: February 2020
It feels like just yesterday we were welcoming kids back to school. Blink, and now it’s almost springtime in Jefferson Parish. Spring in Southeast Louisiana means leftover Mardi Gras beads dangling from trees, snoball shops opening for the season, and backyard tables decorated with steaming crawfish and all the fixings.
Springtime in Jefferson Parish Schools means the start of testing season. Our teachers have been hard at work getting your children ready for these important state assessments. Along with practice tests and online tools provided by the Louisiana Department of Education, our teachers are armed with a top-rated curriculum that’s aligned to state standards. In short, that means the lessons your kids are being taught day-in and day-out are lined up with what matters most to student success.
Just like with everything else at school, though, we need families to help kids reach their full potential. We have kids 40 hours a week during the school year. They are at home and in the community the other 128. Every family member can help their child do better in school and on state tests.
First, and most important, make sure your child is at school every day. There is a popular quote that 80% of success is just showing up. It’s true. You can also help your child stay focused by ensuring they get a good night’s sleep and eat breakfast. If adults can’t function properly without enough sleep and on an empty stomach, imagine how that impacts a kid. Another way to help is by talking with your child about how important it is that they do their best and about any testing anxiety they may have.
If you have a young child in elementary school, spend 30 minutes reading with them every night. I can’t tell you how many studies have been done that show the importance of a child being able to read on grade level, especially once they are in 3rd grade. At that point they are no longer learning to read...they have to be able to read in order to learn. It’s also important to help your child with their homework and make sure they have a quiet, distraction free spot at home to study.
Many of our schools have testing nights or family events you can participate in together. Take advantage of any opportunity to be involved in your child’s school. Not only does your school need your help, but your involvement shows your child just how much their education matters.
These state tests are one of the barometers used to determine the progress our schools are making. I know we are headed in the right direction in Jefferson Parish Schools. I see it when I visit classrooms and it’s evident in our latest progress report. By taking simple steps, you are doing more than helping us move our district forward. You are setting your child up for success in the classroom and beyond.