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Education Matters

Education Matters is our monthly column published in the Napa Valley Register and American Canyon Eagle. The fourth Tuesday and Thursday of each month, we discuss a topic of interest to students, parents and the greater community. 

Napa Valley Register Feb 28, 2017

American Canyon Eagle March 2, 2017

Parents are vital to student and school success


The pace of change in our world, country, community and schools seems to be increasing, and that can be stressful. When that happens, it can be helpful to remind ourselves of all the core values and truths that remain the same. There are many of these core truths in education, including the factors that over and over again prove to be vital to a student’s success. One of those factors is attendance: Students must be present and participating to fully realize their potential.


Another major factor? Ongoing research shows that family engagement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism and improves parent confidence in their children’s education. Students whose parents or caregivers are involved tend to earn higher grades and test scores, do better socially, and just plain enjoy school more.


What parents can do

Not every parent has endless time, resources (or patience!), but there are several things you can do to be more engaged in and supportive of your student’s education:

-- Meet your student’s teachers, either at Back-to-School night or by calling or emailing.

-- Get to know who is who at the school. The administrators, counselors, teachers, aides and others all play a role in your student’s success.

-- Track your child’s progress online through parent portals like Echo; frequently check in verbally with your student’s teachers.

-- If you think your student needs extra services, ask for a team meeting with the teacher and principal.

-- Set aside a designated time and space to do homework, and ask every night if your student has work to complete.

-- If you have time, volunteer at school and/or join the parent-teacher organization.

-- Be an advocate. Ask questions both of your student and the school, and voice concerns early with the appropriate person (teacher first, then principal).

-- Demonstrate a positive attitude in your home about education.

-- Monitor screen time.

-- Encourage your student to read for pleasure.

-- Talk with your student about the school day.


Survey closes March 3

Now, NVUSD is asking parents to tell us how welcome and engaged they feel at their student’s school. It is part of our annual process where we update and evaluate our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), which provides the roadmap for how we educate all our students, as well as how we spend extra funds to serve students who are English learners, in foster care or are from economically disadvantaged families.


Until Friday, March 3, parents can find a link to the online survey, in English and Spanish, on our website at www.nvusd.org or can complete a paper survey at the school. We will share the results in the parent news and on our website in late March.


Plan your summer at the Family Festival on April 29

Plan to join us on Saturday, April 29, for NVUSD’s second Family Festival, a day of information, activities, entertainment and fun, with a purpose. Dozens of District and community groups are on hand to share resources and information about services and programs available for families. In particular, we’ll feature a wide variety of summer programs available for students, so you can get a head start on planning your family’s summer months.


Entertainment is provided all day by KVYN radio, NVUSD performing arts programs and more. You’ll have a great time!

The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the District Education Center, 2425 Jefferson St. in Napa. We encourage families to walk, take the bus or ride bikes to the event (we are VERY close to the Vine Trail, which crosses Jefferson at Pueblo), although there is ample parking.