The Neuse Charter School Parent Teacher Organization is growing.
Not just in membership, but in responsibility and that responsibility is showing itself in numbers.
At the beginning of the school year, the PTO added a specialized committee called the Parent Enhancement Committee.
“This committee was put in place by the PTO Board with the vision that parents could actively engage in and support their child's education by getting a better understanding of what/how concepts are being taught,” said PTO President Charity Bouren.
Thanks to this new PTO committee, Neuse Charter School hosted its first Math Night on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015.
“Math was identified as an area in which the school could improve upon by our school improvement team,” said Wendy Dunn, Parent Enhancement Committee chair. “We wanted to inform and empower our parents so they could effectively support our teachers and students.”
The Math Night was a way to bring educators, parents and resources together in one place.
Dunn explained that the school streamlined curriculum in grades K-8 using a program called GO Math, but they also wanted to show parents how they could use resources like IXL and Moby Max to help their students too.
But the night didn’t just focus on elementary and middle school students, it assisted parents with high school aged students as well.
“Parents of students in upper grade levels were briefed on various math pathways and course sequences, as well as tools they could utilize,” said Dunn. “Understanding math options and planning ahead is key during these years as it will impact college applications and career options.”
The PTO sent information out about a recent study called US2020 initiated by some of the top STEM organizations around the world. The initiative notes that the U.S. will only have 1/3rd of the workforce needed to fill some of the most innovative, high paying technology and engineering jobs in future years. Companies are trying to mentor U.S. students in order to build interest and skills, otherwise they could be forced to hire talent from other countries or locate overseas to fill these jobs.
PTO leadership encouraged parents to watch Waiting for Superman and view the link.
A resource desk at the event had three sections that included an area for parents, students and complementary services.
Books for parents included The One World Schoolhouse by Sal Khan, Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, PhD, and The U.S. Technology Skills Gap by Gary J. Beach.
Students had books dealing with manipulatives and strategy games and many services such as AP Academy and Sylvan Learning were represented. In fact, the Mir family won a door prize for Mathnasium of Raleigh while the Buffey family won a certificate to LEGO.
While parents reviewed materials and talked to teachers about the math programs and expectations, students enjoyed a movie night along with some STEM activities in the school gym.
With the academic arm of the PTO developing, this event looks to be an annual tradition for Neuse Charter.
“The PTO staff and administration wanted to provide an opportunity for parents and students to learn about tools and resources they could leverage, so they could be more confident and have a positive "I can" attitude toward math,” Dunn said. “Math is a crucial life skill no matter what field of study one pursues.”
For a flyer from the event contact Amy Turnbaugh or the Neuse Charter School PTO.