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In SVVSD's first annual District Design Challenge, Skyline took first prize in the "Skillful Practitioners" category with their team of four - Cara Luchies, Marie Kaufman, Ryan Johnson, and Amanda Giuliani.
In Skyline's school-wide Design Thinking training in September, the staff tackled a problem brought forth by the administration team. The problem was a big one for Skyline, that has persisted for years : lack of parent involvement. Due to our research, we firmly believe that increasing parent engagement at our school will increase student achievement. A study from the University of New Hampshire shows that, when parents are actively involved in the education of their children, those students have more success in school. In fact, researcher Karen Smith Conway found “that schools would need to increase per-pupil spending by more than $1,000 to order to achieve the same results that are gained with parental involvement.” On data synthesized over a decade, an another article titled Research Spotlight on Parental Involvement in Education found that regardless of family income or background, students with involved parents were more likely to “earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs; be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits; attend school regularly; have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school; graduate and go on to postsecondary education.”
The Leadership Team continued addressing the issue during meetings this fall before our team of four decided to piggy-back off of the work already done and make some strides towards increasing parent involvement. For the competition, a whitepaper was created to explain the diverse and varied challenges Skyline faces in regard to growing parent involvement and explore the ways in which Skyline can come together as a community to support and encourage our students.
The team delivered a pitch to a panel of judges on March 6th that helped secure their win. The $4000 prize from the St. Vrain Education Foundation will be put to good use in increasing our parent involvement and thereby our student achievement!