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Heritage parents gain insight at ‘Coffee with the Counselor’

Demetria Freeman, counselor at Heritage Elementary School, has launched "Coffee with the Counselor" for informal discussions with parents. (CONTRIBUTED)
Demetria Freeman, counselor at Heritage Elementary School, has launched “Coffee with the Counselor” for informal discussions with parents. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Demetria Freeman has scheduled question-and-answer discussions called “Coffee with the Counselor” at Heritage Elementary School.

As Heritage counselor, Freeman intends for sessions to give an informal yet personal discussion opportunity for parents in a relaxed environment to discuss school and community interest.

Freeman encourages all parents, grandparents and guardians to attend the sessions, lasting 30 to 45 minutes. The first session on Sept. 19 featured guest speaker Suzanne Katschke discussing “Parental Involvement/Parent-Teacher Collaboration.”

“Parents (can) come in, make their coffee, enjoy light refreshments and not feel ‘pressured’ to talk. It’s off to an amazing start,” Freeman said. “Every parent offered positive feedback. It made my day to hear how pleased and excited our parents were with this event.”

Parental involvement is essential to student achievement, Freeman said. She cited research showing that parents actively participating in their child’s education at home and at school send critical messages to their child. “They’re demonstrating interest and reinforcing the idea of school is important.”

Heritage recently held Parent Volunteer night for on-campus help with library shelving, photocopying for teachers, PTA, mentoring students, the Accelerated Reading Store and office, special events like Red Ribbon Week and clubs.

The Oct. 24 session, “Understanding the Data and Reports That Teachers Use,” will focus on STAR assessment and how teachers use the reports to drive their instruction. Judy Warmath, district coordinator of elementary instruction, will lead this session.

All meetings are scheduled on Fridays at 8:30 a.m.:

* Nov. 14 — “Getting a Jump on Social Media”

* Jan. 30 — “Creating Responsible & Independent Learners”

* Feb. 20 — “What Do You Know about Bullying?”

* March 20 — “Developing Test-Taking Skills and Helpful Websites.” “Self-confidence and esteem are critical aspects of a child’s development,” Freeman said.

* April 24 — “Building Self-Esteem and Boosting Confidence of Children”

* May 15 — “Transitioning to Middle School” (sixth-grade parents only). Parents who experience anxiety about middle school often consider the new environment, changing classes, peer pressure, larger campus, new friends and puberty, Freeman said.

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