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Teachers 'Blitz' Neighborhood Before Conferences

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Teachers from Winds West Elementary in Oklahoma City spent Saturday morning doing some homework of their own. Teachers from Winds West Elementary in Oklahoma City spent Saturday morning doing some homework of their own.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Teachers from Winds West Elementary in Oklahoma City spent Saturday morning doing some homework of their own.

They set out to go door to door to introduce themselves to parents of students in underprivileged neighborhoods the weekend before parent-teacher conferences.

The group was made up of teachers from Western Heights Public Schools from both lower and upper grade levels, along with specialist teachers and administrators around 9 a.m. Saturday.

Working in groups of five and six, they went from trailer to trailer in the Granada Hills mobile home park, the first of three parks they planned to visit.

“It's about building relationships with families and coming to our families where they are,” said West Winds principal Melissa Yarbraugh.

Each group gave each student a goody-bag filled with stickers, a foam airplane, pencils and a pamphlet for a parent about the importance of parents being involved in their child’s education.

“Research says that a big part of student success, student achievement, is family and school communication and relationships,” Yarbraugh said.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, a student whose parent helps with homework each night is more likely to graduate from high school and go on to have a higher paying job than students who work alone.

Not every house was an A+ visit; some parents were less than thrilled to see so many people crowding their front steps on a Saturday morning and others simply didn’t answer. Many of the parents didn’t speak much English, so there was an English as a second language teacher in the group to help with the translation.

But Yarbraugh said the walking was worth it to be able to let the parents know they “were all on the same team.”

The teachers did give students some advanced warning during the previous school week about the visitation blitz. They’re planning on doing several other blitzes in the coming weeks and were talking about continuing the campaign next school year.

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