CPS superintendent speaks on the role of parents in education

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COLUMBIA - While many parents may think they already know what role they should play in their child's education, Columbia Public School's superintendent spoke Tuesday on what he thinks the role should be. 

Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said families affect the academic development of a child and spoke on the topic of how to meet the needs of a child with little to no home support.

"Engaged parents have an effect, a ripple effect, not just on their children, but the other children in that classroom, the other children at that school," said Stiepleman. "Teachers and principals are looking for that partnership and I know parents are craving it, too."

Tim Baker, assistant principal of Rock Bridge High School, said he sees a relationship between parental involvement and a student's ascension through the academic system, an area he said could be improved.

"I think we could do a better job of involving the parents the older they get," said Tim Baker, assistant principal of Rock Bridge High School. "The younger they are, if you notice, parents are really involved in elementary school, some in middle school and then we start to fall off a little bit in high school."

Baker has more than 20 years of experience in education. He said there is more awareness about the role of parents now. 

"We're probably more aware of their importance now," he said. "Particularly since we have a lot of broken homes more now, maybe, than before. I think we're seeing the impact of parental involvement in general."

Baker said this increased involvement should come with more communication between educators and parents. He said the involvement should be across the board, no matter the age of the student. 

"Kids want to be more independent," he said.