District to hire staff to support parents

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published December 27, 2012

HARPER WOODS — The district is planning on bringing on a couple of new staffers called ‘parent champions’ who will work to boost parental involvement in the secondary school.

They are using Safe and Supportive Schools grant funding at a cost of almost $30,000 for the year. The School Board voted unanimously to approve creating the positions during its Dec. 18 board meeting.

The employees will do a number of tasks like registering visitors and parents, mentoring parents and monitoring the entrance and exits.

“We will work to cultivate further parental engagement,” Superintendent Todd Biederwolf said of ongoing efforts to get parents involved.

The grant funding, which the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools manages, has a number of components, including areas like teaching good citizenship and character and preventing drug and alcohol abuse.

It is a three-year grant initiative Harper Woods Schools received $125,500 for the 2011-12 school year and another $125,500 for the 2012-13 school year.

This component in Harper Woods would help foster student and parent relationships, in regards to education.

“This position really is targeted at working to cultivate parent integration,” Biederwolf said of parental involvement inside the schools.

Board Trustee Jill Quarker asked that the new parent champions get in touch with her when they get on board for volunteer opportunities.

“I would love to take a shift on this campus,” she said.