Archive for Thursday, February 22, 2007

Parents As Teachers no longer run by district

February 22, 2007

The Eudora USD 491 Board of Education unanimously decided Feb. 5 to pass control of the Parents As Teachers program to the Northeast Kansas Education Service Center.

The service center will take over administrative responsibilities for the program, including supervising the staff and purchasing classroom materials. The district will still provide facilities for the program.

Assistant superintendent and curriculum coordinator Don Grosdidier approved of the shift.

"The best thing about it is I think it's going to improve the overall supervision and coordination of the program to the point where the program will grow in the way it really needs to grow," Grosdidier said.

By allowing the program to operate under the center, the district will save more than $3,000 per year, he said. The switch will free up more money within the budget and give the district employees more overall time.

"We don't have the time to devote to the day-to-day supervision of that program it probably needs," Grosdidier said.

The Parents As Teachers program helps children -- ranging from infants to 3-year-olds -- develop with a variety of hands-on and play activities.

The program currently isn't working at full capacity. Grosdidier said there were currently 17 families enrolled in the program.

With the added support from the education center for educator Mary Jo Cline, the Eudora program could support up to 21 families.

"It's going to be a big boost for Mary Jo and other parent educators," Grosdidier said.

Affiliation with the center means Cline would have opportunity to collaborate with other teachers and receive more advice on the program.

"It's kind of like cooking a big family dinner -- it's fairly easy to add one more plate onto the table as opposed to Eudora having to create all this stuff themselves," NEKESC Parents As Teachers co-coordinator Cheryl Rockhold said.

The center works with 21 other districts in the area, Rockhold said.

"Since Eudora only had the one parent educator it seemed to make sense for them to go ahead and join up with us," Rockhold said.

The center will also offer Cline more professional development opportunities.

"It's just really a win-win situation all the way around," Grosdidier said. "It improves the administration of the program and hopefully it's going to grow the program."

Rockhold was optimistic about taking over the program.

"We were very excited about it because we are already serving quite a few smaller districts," Rockhold said.

The transition took effect immediately after the board approved the decision.

"This is a one year deal every year. We can evaluate it each and every year," Grosdidier said.

For more information about Parents As Teachers, call the North East Kansas Education Service Center at (913) 660-0641.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.