Welcome to the Warren Central High School PTSA. As we contemplated what we wanted to accomplish this year, we decided to go back to our PTA roots. You will find that the New WCHS PTSA is providing you with information to help you in the education and well being of your child. We will also advocate for all children, both locally and in the legislative arena. But most of all, we want to encourage and nurture Parent Engagement. Note, I did not say parent involvement, but parent engagement.
You may wonder what the difference is between parent involvement and parent engagement. Let me share an analogy by Larry Ferlazzo with you. You have all heard the saying “When it comes to a breakfast of ham and eggs, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed”. Webster defines involvement as to “enfold or envelop”. It defines engagement as “to interlock with; to mesh.” Those definitions get to the nitty-gritty of the difference. So is the difference between the involved parent (the chicken) and the engaged parent (the pig). Larry Ferlazzo, author of the book Building Parent Engagement in Schools and a teacher of English and Social Studies, states:
“When schools involve parents they are leading with their institutional self-interest
and desires-school staff are leading with their mouths. When schools engage parents
they are leading with the parents’ self-interests (their wants and dreams) in an effort
to develop a genuine partnership. In this instance, school staff are leading with their ears.”
It is not that involvement is bad, that is not the case-involvement is good. But engagement is better. When schools involve parents, the ideas tend to come from the school, there may not be parent “buy-in” or “empowerment” because they were not necessarily in on the “ground floor” of the planning. The parent is being asked to complete a task or is being told what they should be doing with their child.
With parent engagement energy drives the effort. Parents are considered a leader. Because parents have been in on the brainstorming of ideas or may have come to the school with the idea to begin with, they feel much more empowered and connected to the process. The parents, school and community work together as a team to determine priorities and to follow them through completion.
The Warren Central High School PTSA hopes to give you, the parent, the tools to become engaged in your child’s learning. Check out our website at warrencentralptsa.org and see what we are all about!! You will find morning announcements as well as tons of other information that is sure to be helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I will be glad to answer any questions you have about the WCHS PTSA.
Julie French, President
Warren Central High School PTSA