Baldwin Community Schools PTA
Newly organized Parent Teacher Association forms at BCS
By Kyle Leppek
Lake County Star
BALDWIN - After the Baldwin Community Schools Parent Teacher Organization disbanded several years ago, parents saw the void as an opportunity to start a new and become more involved in their student's lives.
Although the PTO which was active at the elementary level had been gone for a few years, parents set out to organize the Baldwin Community Schools Parent Teacher Association. The PTA was officially formed in August.
“We recognized that parents were not as actively involved in school and in the student's success," said Shawn Washington, PTA president. "We know that research has shown that when you have more parent involvement (in a student's academics), then that leads to better grades for students."
Once the PTA formed, leaders received training from Michigan PTA officials. To join, it costs $10 a year. The group currently has approximately 25 members.
The group would like to see parents of K-12 students more actively involved with their children's education by attending parent teacher conferences, checking their "child's homework, staying in contact with school officials and attending extracurricular activities.
Although the PTO dissolved, Washington believes the new PTA will endure because it has a broader focus rather than just fundraising for projects like many PTAs do.
“The focus has changed from just doing fundraising activities to really focusing on assisting the school to educate the students,” Washington said. “I think with the focus being different, parents will have a better understanding of what their roles are as the first educator of their students.”
Having graduated from Baldwin Community Schools and with two children currently attending the district, Washington would like to educate parents on the current state of education and how to prepare students for the future.
Baldwin Community Schools Superintendent Stiles Simmons said he’s “excited” to see parents involved in a district wide PTA because education doesn’t stop at the end of the day.
“With all the expectations that are heaped onto our schools during this day and time, we can’t do it alone,” Simmons said. “We really need the support of our parents and community to help us prepare our students for many post-secondary opportunities.”
The PTA meets at 5:30 pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the High School media center.
For more information or to join the PTA, contact any member, district school office, or Washington at (231)745-3078.