First Parent Partnership Event of the year encourages family involvement in education

File photo: Kevin Christian, the public information officer for the Marion County Public School Board, speaks during a meeting at the Marion County Public School Board in Ocala, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

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Posted September 2, 2022 | By Caroline Brauchler

Students, parents and families reviewed this year’s Code of Student Conduct and learned skills to take home at the first “Parent Partnership” session of the 2022-23 school year at Lake Weir High School on Saturday.

The recurring event offers students help with math, science and reading and shows parents how they can offer hands-on help at home. The instruction and presentations given at the events are provided by district staff, community organizations and members depending on the subject matter, said district spokesperson Kevin Christian.

“The Marion County Public Schools (MCPS) Parent Partnership is a collaboration of district schools, departments and community organizations to provide families opportunities to assist their children with strategies to be used at home and link families with community resources,” according to MCPS.

The events align with the Goal 5 of the district’s strategic plan, which encourages communication and involvement between families and schools, as well as strengthened community involvement from local organizations.

“This session will also share resources for social skills development and how community organizations can help students at home,” said Christian.

Attendees also had the opportunity for educators to sit down with them to review the 2022-2023 Student Code of Conduct, which was approved on August 9, just one day before the first day of school. The School Board of Marion County extensively reviewed many items in the code of conduct that needed updating from the previous year.

One of the most significant changes included changing the classification disciplinary action for possession or influence of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis.

“The disciplinary consequence for THC possession or [being] under the influence will require alternative placement and the additional diversion requirement,” according to MCPS.

The school district will additionally now be partnering with the Marion County Hospital District to offer intervention services for students who face infractions related to THC vaping and marijuana use, according to MCPS.

Parents, students and families in attendance of the Parent Partnership event could review this and all other changes to the Student Code of Conduct with district staff in an effort to provide clarity to student offenses and common disciplinary actions for the coming year.

Attendees of the event also had access to complimentary food and transportation was provided for guests over the age of 5, Christian said.

“Information about future Parent Partnership events, topics and related details are shared with attendees to encourage them to continue attending and inviting others to do the same,” he said.

The remaining Parent Partnership events for the 2022-2023 school year will take place at West Port High School on Nov. 12, Belleview High School on Jan. 21 and at North Marion High School on March 25.