Do you care about your school, your district, and what happens within your school? If so, more than 1,500 people agree with you. It’s the Douglas County Parents, founded in 2013. Since 2013, there have been approximately 20-25 meetings including Next 4 Years and house parties. You may be wondering what they do. Well, they want to make the school a better place for learning and an even better district for you. The Douglas County Parents aims to inform the community about the issues within the district and how they’re addressing the issues. Board member and parent of two kids in the district, Patti Hickey told more about what the Douglas County parents discuss in meetings, she said “We discuss how we got to where we are today going back several years, we discuss what is happening currently and we discuss what’s next for our schools. We also talk about what we can do to help get the word out.” The meetings are a time for parents to understand more about the school district, become better informed, and ask their questions. The meetings are important for everyone to attend, parent Shaun Sindelman who has twin boys in 2nd grade at Prairie Crossing Elementary says about this subject, “I feel these meetings are important for everyone in the district to attend, whether they are a parent or not, simply because as residents of Douglas County, we ALL have a responsibility to make sure that the children that live in the district and attend schools in the district have a proper education from well-paid teachers in buildings with proper accommodations for those students to learn in the best way possible.” The decisions that the board of education makes can highly impact your everyday life, so the Douglas County Parents gives ways to take action such as sending an email to the board, attend a board meeting, or specific volunteer opportunities. You may be asking yourself, how does this relate to me? Isn’t this just for parents, do I have a voice in this? Why does this matter? I continued to talk with parent and board member Hickey about why these meetings could be important to students and why students should attend, she said “First off, if there are students that are 18 years old, they need to make sure they are registered and get out the vote to their peers! Our meetings are open to the public and all students are welcome to attend. It’s important that they understand how the school board works and that the decisions that are made at the district level impact them everyday in their classrooms, from the curriculum being taught to the very teacher that stands before them.” So If you’re 18, you have the opportunity to vote, and you could attend meetings if you’re not able to vote. This is a great way to get your voice out there, get educated about what happens to DCSD schools, and leave with more understanding as well as the possibility to make an impact. Students have to start caring about their district too because this is affects us all and it will continue to affect us until something is changed.
Story by Devon Williams