Making the ordinary extraordinary for students and parents

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On Aug. 11, Gwinnett County Public Schools welcomed approximately 158,000 students and 23,000 employees to the new school year… a year that holds great promise for our schools and our students.

All of us in the school district are committed to realizing that promise… in every school, in every classroom, for every student. That is why we focus so intently on our core business – teaching and learning – and why we are moving this year to fully implement the Board of Education”s improvement strategy for raising student achievement throughout the district.

Parents are the school”s indispensable partners in educating their children and ensuring they achieve at higher levels. This year, we want to build on the school district”s long history of parental involvement and support by launching a campaign to maximize the partnership between parents, their children, and their schools. It”s called "Be There."

We live in a busy, fast-paced world. Our days are filled with an endless array of obligations, activities, and distractions. Technology keeps us connected, but also disconnected, as we go about our daily lives. As a result, we parents often miss random interactions that could be teachable moments with our children.

The school district wants to help families recognize and capture those opportunities through the launch of "Be There," an awareness campaign to inspire parents to be more involved in their children”s education. It focuses on turning the ordinary moments of daily life into extraordinary ones.

And those "moments" can be found anywhere… both at school and at home. "Be There" encourages parents to become their children”s favorite teacher by finding teachable moments in daily routines like driving around town, preparing a meal, doing home maintenance, and going to the bank. "Be There" is about much more than physical presence, however. It”s about being actively engaged with our children whenever and wherever we have the chance.

The value of parent involvement cannot be overstated. It has a direct impact on student achievement and school success. Our hope is that parents will embrace and apply the ideas that we”ll share this year about what it truly means to "be there" for a child. We encourage parents to talk to the school about ways to support their child”s learning at home, and go to the school district”s Web site for additional resources for parents. Working together, parents and educators form a strong teaching and learning team focused on the same goal… helping each student reach his or her potential. It begins with a simple pledge to "Be There."

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