The PTA isn’t just for parents and teachers anymore. Portsmouth is reaching out to get everyone involved in the school year.
Portsmouth School Board Member and veteran teacher, Ted Lamb, noticed a trend in Portsmouth Public Schools. “I noticed that those schools that were doing well had strong PTAs and those schools that were not doing as well they had weaker PTAs or non-existent PTAs.”
So he set out to recruit. He set up tables at the local farmer’s market and even went door-to-door in neighborhoods last school year. He saw incredible results. Brighton Elementary School went from zero PTA members at the start of the year to 142, proving Lamb’s point. “So if we can’t get the community into the school sometimes the school has to go to the community.”
Lamb’s goal is to make parents who may have had bad experiences in school feel welcome and to encourage all in the community to sign up and volunteer.
“As a former educator I feel I can bring ideas on how the parents can simply just support their children’s education at home,” said PTA member Elisa Baird.
How this translates in test scores and academic success in lower performing schools remains to be seen, but many are giving the initiative an A for effort.