The Newhall School District honored its parent volunteers Tuesday evening during a Parent Summit at Oak Hills Elementary School.
School board members presented an artistic plaque, designed by fifth grade art students, to one volunteer from each school.
Each school nominated outstanding volunteers, and winners were selected by school site councils.
District art instructor Jon Fossa helped facilitate the award design project, which also fulfilled a fifth grade art curriculum standard for the students, Board Member Suzan Solomon said.
Each award was designed by a different student and all had a common theme of Lending a Helping Hand.
The 2012 Newhall School District Outstanding Parent Volunteer awards were presented to: Reyna Del Toro, McGrath Elementary; Melissa Downes Boyajian, Meadows Elementary; Claudia Olea, Newhall Elementary; Tracey Bailey, Oak Hills Elementary; Maria Nebelsky, Old Orchard Elementary; Patti Gaborno, Peachland Elementary; Mary Judy, Pico Canyon Elementary; Christy Albem, Stevenson Ranch Elementary; Terry Ravenscroft, Valencia Valley Elementary; and Beth Woll, Wiley Canyon Elementary.
“Schools cannot operate alone,” Solomon said. “Our school district welcomes parents at their school sites and creates opportunities for them to be involved in the classroom.”
After the award ceremony and a brief presentation about the district’s website by Superintendent Dr. Marc Winger, parents attended several information sessions designed to answer frequently asked questions about their children’s education.
School board President Christy Smith said every year, the district asks parents for their feedback on how the district can improve. They also ask what questions parents may have about their child’s education. Smith said several common themes were found in last year’s evaluation feedback, prompting a the district to host its first parent summit.
“We really wanted to address those (questions) in a forum that gave parents the opportunity to learn more and also ask questions about how they can help improve their child’s education,” Smith said.
Parents were able to attend two 45-minute break-out sessions led by school principals, district administrators and school board members. Topics ranged from homework and study skills to food services, Measure E, and physical education.
“Parent engagement isn’t just at school, it’s at home,” Solomon said. “We need to give our parents the resources and tools to help our kids at home do their work and understand why it’s important.”
A district spokeswoman said more than 120 parents attended Tuesday’s summit.