Verona school hopes to spur parent engagement

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

VERONA – Verona Elementary School leaders hope an urgent meeting can spur parents to become more involved.
“Our focus needs to shift more to our parents,” said Verona Principal Temeka Shannon, who organized the Tuesday meeting.
The event is for parents of students at Verona Elementary School, Plantersville Middle School and Shannon High School, which feed into one another. It will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Verona’s gym and should last for about an hour, Shannon said.
“We are trying to get the parents from Verona, Plantersville and Shannon High schools together,” Shannon said. “All of our schools are low performing, and we are trying to get our parents involved and inform them of what is going on in education.”
Shannon sent fliers to parents proclaiming there was an “emergency meeting” to address a “crisis.”
That was more to grab attention, she said, noting she does not feel like it is at a crisis. However, she said, the meeting is an important step to help the schools improve. Verona was rated F by the Mississippi Department of Education this year.
“When you look at the paper and you see an F, it makes you think crisis,” she said. “I know what is going on inside those walls. I know teaching is taking place, but we only have the students for seven hours a day, and the rest is up to the parents.”
Representatives from each of the three schools will speak at the meeting.
“The parents are not aggressively taking initiative to do things they need to do at home,” Shannon said. “Some of them are, but a lot of them are not. When you have a high poverty school, you need to go above and beyond the call of duty. We want to stress to parents how important it is they are involved in their child’s educational life.”
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com