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When you look at the success of a school, much can be said about the involvement of parents and the community. These two components are vital to improving schools and student achievement.

Parental involvement sends a strong message to children letting them know that mom, dad, grandma, or guardian values education, and it sends a strong message to schools, one that is encouraging to educators.

Community involvement sends a strong message to all of us about the importance of public education. After all, how viable can a community truly be if it doesn’t rally around the schools that are right next door?

Communities must partner with educators and students to create and support the kind of schools they want to have in their neighborhood. If parents and other members of the community invest their talent, time and service at local schools, we all win.

A simple way to get involved is to visit your child’s school or the local school near you, find out what volunteer needs exist, then roll up your sleeves and get to work. Every school has a list of volunteer opportunities and ways to engage.

PTA or PTO meetings provide ways to connect and help strengthen the educational experience. Upcoming meetings are planned at several schools in District 7, including Margaret B. Henderson Elementary, which serves the Elmwood area, at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 6. The school’s Coffee with the Principal, at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 7, is another opportunity to engage.

Another simple way for parents to get involved is by attending parent conferences, which provide opportunities to meet and partner with your child’s teacher to ensure success throughout the year.

Mark your calendars for parent-teacher conferences:

  • Oct. 10 (high schools)
  • Oct. 11 (middle schools)
  • Oct. 13 (elementary schools)

Strong parental and community involvement translates into strong schools. Let’s all do our part to make and keep our schools strong.

Get to know Dallas ISD

Dallas ISD has great schools, and I hope to highlight many of them throughout the year. One of those schools is District 7’s L.O. Donald Elementary School. Led by Principal Kathryn Carter, the school kicked off the year with great news — they met all state accountability standards in 2015-16 and exceeded the district results on each test. They ranked No. 8 out of the 150 elementary schools in third-grade math, 93 percent passed fifth-grade math, and fourth-grade writing improved by 36 percent. Keep soaring, Comets!

Other District 7 news:

Congratulations to teachers chosen to receive Grants for Innovative Teaching by the Junior League of Dallas: Julie Braswell, Celestino Soto ES; Sharon Foster, James Bowie ES; Luz Covarrubias, Lida Hooe ES; Rodolfo Estrada, Winnekta ES; Shynise Stiff, L.V. Stockard MS; Micheondra Williams, W.E. Greiner MS; Matthew Denman, Molina HS; Pauline Tatum and Lakisha Farrow, Sunset HS; Donielle Edwards-Tyeskie and Bennett O’Connor, Trini Garza ECHS; and Joe Borunda, W.H. Adamson HS.

I look forward to updating you on initiatives and events taking place in District 7 throughout the year. It is a pleasure to serve you, and I welcome your comments and suggestions at audreypinkerton@dallasisd.org or 972.925.3722.

Audrey Pinkerton

Audrey Pinkerton

Audrey Pinkerton is the District 7 representative for Oak Cliff on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees.