At the time of this writing the beginning of our school year is just around the corner. Our construction process is at a frantic pace trying to make sure areas that we need ready for school are actually ready. I would like to personally commend our students, teachers, parents, patrons and guests of Maquoketa Valley for their patience and flexibility as the contractors work to finish up our project.  Please know that we are impressed with the work that Tricon and the associated subcontractors have done to this point.  It has been an extremely rigorous and aggressive schedule with having only 12 weeks to finish areas needed to start school on the 23rd of August.  Having to coordinate asbestos removal, moving, demolition, plumbing, heating, ventillation, roofing, cementing, masonry, electrical, steel work, tile work, floor work, ceiling work, cleaning, etc., was quite a bit to juggle in a 12 week time frame.

Please know that this project would not of been possible without our Board of Directors.  This group of individuals had the foresight over 10 years ago to begin a systematic process to save resources and reduce expenditures in order to have the necessary funds to begin this type of work to a High School facility that was in need of updating.  The Board of Directors were able to do all of this work that is not only occuring at the Delhi campus but also work that has been and will be done in our outlying facilities with an actual decrease in our school district levy rate of $3.74.  If you had an opportunity to read a recent Manchester Press article from their July 19, 2017 edition, the Press published a list of area schools and what their total school levy rate will be for fiscal year 2018.  Those schools included West Delaware, Eddewood-Colesburg, Western Dubuque, Monticello, Starmont, North Linn and Maquoketa Valley.  Of all of the schools listed, Maquoketa Valley’s levy rate was by far the lowest.  Overall, this has been truly a team effort with our Board of Directors, staff, students, architects and contractors to develop a plan to address needed updates to meet our student, staff and public needs without increasing our school levy rate.

Speaking of working together,  lets breifly discuss parents working with our staff to ensure that parents stay actively involved in their child’s education.  A question as a parent that you may ask is, what is parental involvement exactly?  Parental involvement in your child’s education can be done in a number of ways and in a variety of capacities.  This could mean:

  • Reading to your child
  • Checking homework every night
  • Discussing your child’s progress with teachers
  • Viewing Power School student access on-line for your child’s grades and homework
  • Helping our school set high academic standards
  • Limiting cell phone, computer and social networking time during the school week
  • Being involved in one of the booster clubs
  • Volunteering in the school

It could also be as simple as asking your child, “How was school today?”  What is important to remember is that this needs to be asked everyday.  If this is done, your child will eventually understand the message coming from you. The message that you will be sending, loud and clear, is that their education is important and you expect them to do well.

Why is parent involvement important?  In study after research study, it has been found that parental involvement with their child’s education will have a positive impact.  The National Education Association (NEA) has listed a few of the major research findings.  These are:

  • When parents are involved in their children’s education at home, they do better in school.  And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school, and the schools they go to are better.
  • The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from preschool through high school.  A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level, or cultural background.
  • Reading achievement is more dependent on learning activities in the home than is math or science.  Reading aloud to children is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child’s chance of reading success.  Talking to children about books and stories read to them also supports reading achievement.
  • When children, at any age, and their parents/guardians talk regularly about school, children perform better academically.
  • Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: actively organizing and monitoring a child’s time, helping with homework, and discussing school matters.
  • The earlier that parent involvement begins with the child educational process, the more powerful the effects.
  • Positive results of parental involvement include improved student achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children’s schooling.

Years of research and common sense tell us that if you are involved in your child’s education your child’s chance for academic success increases dramatically.  It is apparent to me that our school district works tremendously hard for all of our children.  But in order to reach the next level and meet the demands of our rapidly changing world due to our changing technology, your involvement in your child’s education, at any level, is critical.  I would highly encourage you to do anything you can to show your child that you care and you expect them to do well.