Registered nurse and administrative supervisor, D.C. General Hospital; diploma from Hampton Training School for Nurses, BSN and MBA from University of the District of Columbia; former president of Kramer Junior High School and Hampton Institute Nurses Association; vice president and former secretary, Banneker Senior High School Council; secretary, Skyland Park Civic Association; active in D.C. Nurses Association, Articulators ITC, youth programs and various charities; does volunteer family and management counseling; serves on several hospital committees.
1. The individual student evaluation and assessment conducted in the elementary schools on a continous basis to determine specific needs for the students, then tailoring the curriculum to meet those specific needs, is certainly a factor in the improvements noted. As these students progress to the secondary level, and the evaluation and assessment tools remain in progress, the results will continue to increase. Additionally, our families have experienced sudden changes in the economy and witnessed the high demands being placed on higher education. They realize an education is the best investment they can make in human capital, and they realize that jobs today require a working knowledge of oral and written communications. These measures of success are necessary for our children to establish a meaningful life in today's society.
2. Coming from a low-income family is further complicated for students when their household is faced with other problems, such as internal family problems, poor family management, chronic illnesses, etc. These internal problems have serious implications on the child's learning process when they lead to stress that must be dealt with and there is a lack of a person in the family to provide that assistance. If any measure of success is to be realized, extensive counseling on a continous basis must be made available to the student. Teachers and nurses must be alert and recognize the student who is experiencing learning difficulties unrelated to scholastic inabilities or scholastic inequities. The counseling and advising protocol must provide continuity and follow-up to ensure that low-income child is afforded opportunities to compete against peers.
3. The three most important factors are centered around increased parental participation on a continuous basis during the child's entire education, attendance/punctuality and restoring the value of the high school diploma. Parental participation must remain an integral part of the learning process throughout a child's education; it is not sufficient for parents to remain attentive only until their children can go to school alone. During the formative years, a child's learning process should be coordinated with the teacher to ensure maximum results. Attendance and punctuality, so important in developing good habits, and requiring no special skill, is still lagging in our school system. A mechanism needs to be implemented to notify parents of absences and tardiness the same day; extended parental input could be very effective in this area. Most important, the real value of the high school diploma must be restored. Progress must continue to be a priority throughout the school system, especially in the area of oral and written communications.