Return to Headlines

District encourages parent participation

The Office of Community Schools is aggressively pushing for all Poughkeepsie City School District schools to organize Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs).

A list for those interested in serving on school PTAs began at the district’s first Back to School Bash and is continuing at each school’s Open House.

PTAs are commonplace in most schools. The district has had a few schools with emerging and strong PTAs but the prevalence of the associations is not felt throughout the district. This is something Executive Director of Community Schools Natasha Cherry is working to change.

“PTAs serve as the backbone of high-level family parent engagement and have the opportunity to provide additional support and resources to the school community that assists in promoting student achievement and family involvement,” Cherry said. “It is also the easiest most effective way for staff, parents and community members to establish reciprocal relationships that improve the overall climate and culture of our schools.”

Across the country, PTAs enable parents to have a greater voice in what happens in the school environment, ultimately providing voice and action to improve the learning environment for students. PTAs also link families to important school and community information and resources. PTAs have engaged in hosting educational clubs, programs and events for families and raise money to support the specific needs of the school community.

The efforts of the Office of Community Schools supports the district’s commitment to engaging and empowering parents in the important work of cultivating the intellects and talents of all Poughkeepsie City School District students. Community School Liaisons have been active in engaging parents in conversation about their interest in supporting their children’s schools in different ways.

“I applaud this push for all schools to have Parent Teacher Associations” shared Dr. Eric Jay Rosser, superintendent of schools. ”In my capacities in Buffalo, Atlanta, and Washington, DC, I had the wonderful opportunity to lead the parent involvement and engagement work. Central to the core of all the things accomplished for children in those major cities were active parent groups, be them PTAs, PTOs, or parents coming together to partner and advocate those things that are best for student success.”