Laurel HS, Allen Frear Elementary take home parental involvement awards

By Amy Cherry 12:56pm, April 11, 2013 - Updated 1:06pm, April 11, 2013
Lt. Gov. Denn presents this year's parental involvement awards to Allen Frear Elementary School in Camden-Wyoming and Laurel High School.

WDEL's Amy Cherry talked with the winners.

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Allen Frear Elementary School started a Frear Frequent Flier card, an incentives-based program, where parents get stamps for showing up at school events or for making contact with the school.

Principal Tara Faithcloth tells WDEL five stamps qualifies parents for a bigger prize.

"At our last Family Fun Night, we did three drawings, and we gave parents a $100 iHOP gift card, and a third parent won a gift card to Restaurant 55," she explains.

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She says parental involvement is up 60-percent as a result of this program.

"Our first PTA meeting for the year, we had over 50 parents. We've never had that many. To have 50 parents come out to your first PTA was a huge success for us," she explains.

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Laurel Senior High School was only the second high school to ever win the parental involvement award

Principal Dean Ivory explains their successful transformation of the traditional parent-teacher conference.

"What you got was a complete, data-driven picture of your child's academic performance and specific strategies to improve," he says.

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The personalized data puts ownership on students and families, and Ivory says the school saw major gains in student achievement and attendance at after-school programs because of the parent-teacher conference overhaul.

Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn lauds Laurel's achievements because high schools don't win these awards all that often.

"It is tough for high schools because there are kids moving from classroom to classroom, and it just becomes difficult to maintain that. And then, on top of that, these are older kids, who may not talk to their parents as much as younger kids so, so it's always a little more challenging," he said.

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The winners will be honored at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce's Superstars in Education Awards May 6th at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.

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