DOBSON — Surry County Schools is planning training sessions for parents next month.
The Surry Parent Academy will take place at three locations spread around the county to give parents plenty of chances to learn more about what the school system offers their children.
Dr. Travis Reeves, school superintendent, said he meets with a parent advisory council, made up of one parent for each of the 19 schools in the district. Common questions that arose from this group alerted Reeves to a need in the community.
There are so many choices available to students at all age levels now, Reeves told the SCS Board of Education this week. Parents could use an evening of training to understand what is available for the children.
When he was in school, Reeves said he didn’t have a whole lot of options as far as classes went, and he sat down by himself and picked his courses.
Now there is a broader course selection, even kids shuttling to other schools to take part in special classes; also there are Virtual Academy classes, dual enrollment with Surry Community College, and internship programs based on a skill or job in which a teen has an interest, he said.
“We encourage juniors and seniors to get ahead and to get out in the real world and get experience,” Reeves said.
Children and parents sit down together to make choices, but only if they all understand the options.
The Surry Parent Academy will be a two-hour work session broken into four half-hour segments, he explained.
The first part will be as a group, centered somewhere like the gym to hold everyone. That session will include a welcome, an overview and some information that applies to students of all ages.
Then after that, the next three blocks will be separated by school level: elementary, middle or high school.
Within those age groups, there will be a selection of sessions to attend. Reeves said there would be five or six different topics for elementary parents. Parents can pick the three that most apply to their child, or parents could split up and try to cover all the sessions.
These sessions will include such topics as student involvement, class registration, scholarship information, personalized learning, technology, and understanding the social, emotional and psychological needs of kids.
The timing of this is to give the parents information before the registration season comes up for next year’s classes, Reeves said.
The academy is being labeled as a K-12 experience, but it really is more like K-15, he said. Students are taking dual-enrollment classes for college credit, so they are going beyond grade 12, and the decisions that families are making have an impact past graduation.
At the school board meeting Monday, Reeves and his staff said they were still working on the dates for these sessions. However, now the dates have been selected.
On Feb. 23, Central Middle School will host the Surry Parent Academy from 6-8 p.m.
On Feb. 25, Pilot Mountain Middle will host the academy, then Meadowview Magnet Middle on March 1. These are also at the same time and will cover the same topics.
Parents can choose the location closest to their home or choose the date that suits them best; either way will work, the superintendent said.
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