Dayton residents and school officials participate in a sparsely attended town hall meeting Dec. 13, 2018, aimed at increasing family engagement in Dayton Public Schools. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF

Dayton schools seeking community members for new council

One goal of the council will be to ensure each school has a parent-teacher organization (PTO), as those are inconsistent in DPS today. District officials said the council will work closely with PTOs and the school board to study problems and make recommendations.

DECEMBER: Dayton schools hold meeting on parent involvement

“We want to be a resource for existing PTOs and the PTOs we’re hoping to start in the next three years,” school board member Jocelyn Rhynard said. “We want to give people an avenue for communicating more effectively with the district and the board. … I’m hoping this will be a good way for parents to be on the council and be a part of positive change, or to go to the committee and ask questions and get them answered in a more substantive way.”

Rhynard said the 12-15 council members likely will be a mix of DPS parents, residents and some community leaders. She will give a detailed presentation on the group at the March 19 Dayton school board meeting, and applications will be accepted from that day through April 30.

Anyone who lives within the school district boundaries can submit an application by visiting Rhynard said the applications will be reviewed by a group of school board members, parents and district leaders who have been involved in the planning process. That group will choose the council members, who will then serve for a period of one year.

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“I hear all the time that we’re not asking enough of ourselves and our parents,” Rhynard said. “This is a collective effort. It’s the responsibility of the district to step up and perform our part of the deal, but we also need to ask the parents to do the same.”

Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli has said the district needs involved parents and community members to improve attendance and student success. The district has held town hall meetings in an effort to build that engagement, but participation has been spotty.

At a December town hall meeting, residents told Dayton Public Schools leaders that better communication, a more welcoming attitude and addressing old failures would help create the parent engagement. But the district has much work to do, as there were more school district employees than parents at that Town Hall.

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“Hopefully within the next couple of years people are going to say Dayton Public Schools welcome parents, they have their arms open no matter if you’re the guardian, parent, grandparent, and these are the things we do to support the education of the children,” Lolli said in December.

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