How we’re going to address the problems at school

Lizze and I were discussing the school issues that have become an unwelcome visitors in our lives. It’s pretty obvious to us that there are no good options because we’d likely be trading one problem for another.

What we’ve decided to do at this point is preserve the current status quo. That being said, we will be working to address the concerns we have by pushing for the school to be open to parental involvement.

Currently, there’s no PTA and no forum for parents to voice their concerns or have their voices heard. This isn’t how it used to be. Before the PTA disappeared, Lizze and I were heavily involved. In fact, Lizze was the PTA President.



I think one of the biggest issues revolves around the fact that there are few, if any avenues for parents to be involved in their child’s education. In my opinion, this isn’t a good thing. I don’t think many people would argue that kids benefit from their parents being involved in their education.

Approaching things from this angle is the best approach at this point in time. Frankly, if we can push for ways to be involved in the school, perhaps other parents would want to join these efforts as well. Think of all the possibilities and opportunities to help make things better for not only our kids, but others as well.

Keep in mind this doesn’t really do anything for health related attendance issues but that’s outside of our control. All we can do for that is document everything and deal with what lever comes out way.

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What do you guys think about this approach? Does it make sense?



  • Joan says:

    Oh! Forgot to share 1 resource that I used in my K class which helped to connect parents.

    The app is called Seesaw. Teachers create an acct for each student. Materials can be uploaded – I taught my kinders to use iPads (we had 5 in class of 25) to interview each other, take photos of their work, document learning, etc.) This evidence was saved in their accts; I could evaluate with smileys & comments; parents could comment, too. Parents could set alerts to get pinged when content was added to their student acct. Also, content could be added from home/parent acct.

    I think a single classroom acct is free – the Seesaw staff views it as a trial for the school.

  • Joan says:

    If your school/district is not currently open to parent involvement – find out the reasons why. As a mom & teacher, we had to restrict parents in classrooms bc of gossip & inappropriate supervision (parents coming to help, but wanting Teacher to conference during teaching time OR over parenting their own child to the exclusion of others, etc) it is unfortunate that a few parents can ruin it for others.

    Another reason is that teachers/admin may be protecting the privacy rights of those students that may need supports/interventions. Having taught in a school where both of my kids attended (& 1 struggled with behavioral issues from sensory overload), there were MANY times I heard about my son’s day from caring parent volunteers before I heard from the admin or teachers.

    When you know the reasons, approach admin/teachers with viable options for them to consider, such as parents trained to work in
    Nonclassrm settings (copying, pulling books, creating bulletin boards.) You might even start w/ classroom support out of school (doing book orders, collecting supplies.)

    I used an afterschool training & a “contract” with my parent volunteers (ran it by admin first; included a section on retelling about students…ie gossip.) That might be something you could offer to your admin.

  • kimmy gebhardt says:

    Is the school not currently open to the idea of parental involvement? That makes no sense to me. As for the kids’ attendance, you are correct that part of it is health related, but the other part is that you have a tendency to allow them to stay home for reasons that aren’t excused absences. Disney trip aside, they took a day off to decompress after you got home from Florida and also when the cat died. While I understand the reason one might want to take a day off under those circumstances, it’s in their best interests to save their days off for actual illnesses (or in Emmett’s case, fever issues). As for the PTA, what was the reason the last one failed and how do you plan to make sure a new one is more successful?

    • Rob Gorski says:

      That’s pretty much the brunt of it. I’m going to disagree with you a bit because we don’t just let them stay home. They stayed home the Monday after we got home from Florida because we got home home on Sunday after 20 hours in the car. They needed to decompress. That’s a judgment call on my end and I’d make the same choice again.

      Not being in my shoes, it’s hard to appreciate why I make the decisions I do. Every move Lizze and I make is in the best interests of our kids. It’s not always going to make sense but that’s just the nature of the beast.

      As for the school and parent involvement, it doesn’t make sense to me either. The PTA disbanded a few years ago when there was a change in leadership.

      I know they say that parents being in the school is a distraction for the kids but I’m not suggesting we just wander the halls. I want to see meaningful parent involvement that benefits all parties involved.

      I will say that there isn’t an abundance of parents that would take advantage of that. At the same time, I would think that a school where funding is an issue, would take full advantage of volunteers willing to give of their time.

      Lizze and I are going to come up with a plan and setup a meeting with the principal.

      On a side note, Emmett teacher is looking to help kids learn about 4H and I think we’re going to enroll the boys. I think that would be a very positive thing… ☺

  • Pony says:

    What exactly do you mean when you say you want parents involved in their kids education?

    • Rob Gorski says:

      Okay, good question. There really isn’t a right answer though. At least at our school, there are parents that use the school as a dumping ground. They drop the kids off and maybe go to conferences but don’t do anything else. That’s assuming they are able to.

      When I say we want to be more involved, I’m thinking like helping with class parties, volunteering in the cafeteria or even in the classroom. Helping on field trips and most importantly, being involved in the PTA.

      When I was a kid, parents were encouraged to be a part of the school day. My Mom used to come in and read to us when I was younger. She volunteered for recess duty, helped in the lunch room and when there was a time to voice opinions, both my parents were all over that.

      I don’t like just dropping the boys off at school and picking them up. I want to be involved in the school. I want to volunteer in the classroom or bring snacks to class parties. I want to help shape the direction of my kids education via the PTA. I was to help fix what’s broken and be an active player in the boys education. Does that make sense?

      Being involved for me doesn’t have to be the same for someone else. It’s just involving yourself when and where you can. Building relationships with the school staff and especially the teachers.

      • brett@brettdassociates.com says:

        Hi Rob, I admire you desire to be involved in the school day. Many schools try not to let you go in the classroom or even observe, do you see this sometimes?

        • Rob Gorski says:

          I think we can observe if we request it but they don’t allow parents to volunteer in the classrooms. Even when they pass out awards for the kids, we aren’t allowed to attend those events either. They do have occasional family functions but those are in the evening.

          No one wants to disrupt classrooms or students but doesn’t allowing parents to be involved make things better?

      • Pony says:

        That is interesting, we never had any of that stuff. The only times your parents came to the school was to pick you up if you were sick, parent teacher conferences, or plays or what not after school. Having parents at the school during school hours is a huge distraction and once kids get older, embarrassing. I get the PTA thing and even being a chaperone on field trips, but the other examples you gave are just really really odd to me

  • kimmy gebhardt says:

    Is the school not currently open to the idea of parental involvement? That makes no sense to me. As for the kids’ attendance, you are correct that part of it is health related, but the other part is that you have a tendency to allow them to stay home for reasons that aren’t excused absences. Disney trip aside, they took a day off to decompress after you got home from Florida and also when the cat died. While I understand the reason one might want to take a day off under those circumstances, it’s in their best interests to save their days off for actual illnesses (or in Emmett’s case, fever issues). As for the PTA, what was the reason the last one failed and how do you plan to make sure a new one is more successful?

    • Rob Gorski says:

      That’s pretty much the brunt of it. I’m going to disagree with you a bit because we don’t just let them stay home. They stayed home the Monday after we got home from Florida because we got home home on Sunday after 20 hours in the car. They needed to decompress. That’s a judgment call on my end and I’d make the same choice again.

      Not being in my shoes, it’s hard to appreciate why I make the decisions I do. Every move Lizze and I make is in the best interests of our kids. It’s not always going to make sense but that’s just the nature of the beast.

      As for the school and parent involvement, it doesn’t make sense to me either. The PTA disbanded a few years ago when there was a change in leadership.

      I know they say that parents being in the school is a distraction for the kids but I’m not suggesting we just wander the halls. I want to see meaningful parent involvement that benefits all parties involved.

      I will say that there isn’t an abundance of parents that would take advantage of that. At the same time, I would think that a school where funding is an issue, would take full advantage of volunteers willing to give of their time.

      Lizze and I are going to come up with a plan and setup a meeting with the principal.

      On a side note, Emmett teacher is looking to help kids learn about 4H and I think we’re going to enroll the boys. I think that would be a very positive thing… ☺

  • Pony says:

    What exactly do you mean when you say you want parents involved in their kids education?

    • Rob Gorski says:

      Okay, good question. There really isn’t a right answer though. At least at our school, there are parents that use the school as a dumping ground. They drop the kids off and maybe go to conferences but don’t do anything else. That’s assuming they are able to.

      When I say we want to be more involved, I’m thinking like helping with class parties, volunteering in the cafeteria or even in the classroom. Helping on field trips and most importantly, being involved in the PTA.

      When I was a kid, parents were encouraged to be a part of the school day. My Mom used to come in and read to us when I was younger. She volunteered for recess duty, helped in the lunch room and when there was a time to voice opinions, both my parents were all over that.

      I don’t like just dropping the boys off at school and picking them up. I want to be involved in the school. I want to volunteer in the classroom or bring snacks to class parties. I want to help shape the direction of my kids education via the PTA. I was to help fix what’s broken and be an active player in the boys education. Does that make sense?

      Being involved for me doesn’t have to be the same for someone else. It’s just involving yourself when and where you can. Building relationships with the school staff and especially the teachers.

      • brett@brettdassociates.com says:

        Hi Rob, I admire you desire to be involved in the school day. Many schools try not to let you go in the classroom or even observe, do you see this sometimes?

        • Rob Gorski says:

          I think we can observe if we request it but they don’t allow parents to volunteer in the classrooms. Even when they pass out awards for the kids, we aren’t allowed to attend those events either. They do have occasional family functions but those are in the evening.

          No one wants to disrupt classrooms or students but doesn’t allowing parents to be involved make things better?

      • Pony says:

        That is interesting, we never had any of that stuff. The only times your parents came to the school was to pick you up if you were sick, parent teacher conferences, or plays or what not after school. Having parents at the school during school hours is a huge distraction and once kids get older, embarrassing. I get the PTA thing and even being a chaperone on field trips, but the other examples you gave are just really really odd to me