Academy places tools at parents’ fingertips

By Andy Winemiller -

DOBSON —Parents play an important role in the education of their children, and one official says the county school system is trying to make that role a little easier.

An event to aid the Surry County Schools in building a tool for use by parents is scheduled for Nov. 3.

Assistant superintendent Dr. Jill Reinhardt said in the spring of 2016, the county schools began building a Parent Academy, which includes an online tool for parents. Throughout the process parent input has been sought, including two surveys of parents.

That year, three different Parent Academy events were held in the three districts within the county school system.

The Nov. 3 event will be held at Meadowview Magnet Middle School. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and information sessions will begin at 5:45 p.m.

Reinhardt said the program has been tailored to allow parents with multiple students in the school system to attend informational sessions geared toward each child’s individual grade level.

Sessions for elementary school parents begin at 5:45 p.m. Those with middle school-aged children may attend programs geared toward those children at 6:20 p.m., and programs for those with kids in high school begin at 6:55 p.m.

Reinhardt said sessions include many topics such as elementary math and reading support for youngsters, a session regarding the science institute for middle school parents and programs geared toward supporting parents with college-going high school students.

Health and wellness information sessions, including sessions regarding bullying, prescription drugs and suicide prevention, accompany the programs for each grade level.

Parents play a vital role in a child’s education, according to Reinhardt. Parents who are involved and engaged in their child’s education play a key role in helping their child succeed in his or her educational goals.

“We want parents to sit side-by-side with our students, administrators and teachers throughout the child’s education,” said Reinhardt.

The Surry County Schools Parent Academy is a way to foster that sort of engagement.

“The website is a repository of tools for parents,” explained Reinhardt. “It puts those resources at the fingertips of parents.”

She said the program, including the online tools and the informational sessions, helps to inform parents and helps to make education a priority in the home.

A light meal will be served by the Meadowview parent boosters club at the Nov. 3 event. Reinhardt also said child care for school-aged children will be provided at the event, and all sessions can be translated for Spanish speaking parents.

For a complete list of events and to access the tools available through the Parent Academy, visit the academy’s website at

By Andy Winemiller

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.