parent engagement

I Know I’ve Made the Best Choice for My Son When School Feels Like Family

Gifts come in all different shapes and sizes—a family vacation, a surprise birthday party, or flowers on Valentine’s Day. But I have received one of the best gifts I could ever imagine—and so has my son. Thanks to school choice, I found a great school for him, one that helps me raise a smart, well-grounded son. This National School Choice Week, I’m proud to share news of this gift with others, and hope that each and every family gets to experience the same joy I am experiencing. My son attends RISE Grammar Academy, a small charter school. The charter term refers to schools that receive public funds, but hold a charter giving them more flexibility—but also more accountability—than traditional schools. As a parent seeking the best for my son, I have found that RISE is a great fit for him. As a single mother of an only child, my son has grown accustomed to intimate interaction. As a result, I worry that my son would get lost in a big school. RISE gives him a warm, welcoming atmosphere, similar to an extension of our family. The school welcomes parental volunteers; I help out in my son’s classroom, which lets me observe his behavior outside of the home—and makes me a better parent. RISE also provides a large staff of positive male teachers and faculty that have allowed themselves to be available as a resource for advice or as role models. I see a lot of young children from single parent homes that lack the confidence to look a male authority figure in the eye and communicate without being intimidated. The teachers and staff at RISE hold my son accountable for properly communicating and speaking with confidence—and that makes me so proud of him, and his school. Because of school choice, my son has a learning environment that helps to set the foundation for a strong sense of self-worth in the years to come. I see him developing the identity necessary to stave bad influences that will tempt him as he grows older. I believe that RISE is just the school he needs to assist in becoming the best that he can be. I hope every parent, in Georgia and across the country, can use school choice to select the right school, and right program, for their sons and daughters. No two children are alike—your story may sound far different from our family’s. But everyone should feel the same sense of pride and happiness for having found the right school for their children. Instead of a charter school like RISE, your child may benefit from open enrollment, in which most Georgia districts allow students to attend public schools outside their assigned neighborhood. You may seek out online learning through the Georgia Virtual School, or new opportunity scholarship options. You may decide to home school your children. Or you may decide to keep your children in the public school just down the street. Regardless, I urge you to learn more about your school choice options, and consider the best fit for your children.
Photo courtesy of Tinisha Isom.
Tinisha Isom is a mother and school volunteer living in the Atlanta area.  

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