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Studies have shown that student outcomes improve the more people are involved in their local schools.

Chuck RansomThe holidays are a great time to reflect on what we are thankful for. When it comes to our public schools, we are thankful for the support and commitment of our community. We simply couldn't do this important work of educating future generations without you.

Parents, guardians and community members often ask what they can do to be more involved in our schools. Some have students in school. Others have children who graduated, or are graduates themselves. Still others are retired and want to give back to the community by volunteering to share their work experience.

Everyone is welcome and all help is appreciated. I'd like to outline some ways that you can get involved depending on the amount of time you may have.

At the first level, the most important thing parents and guardians can do is make sure your child gets a good night's sleep and shows up prepared to learn. By "showing up," we ask that you pay attention to school attendance. Approximately 20 percent of our students are in danger of being chronically absent, which means missing 17 days of school per year. We need your help to improve this number.

At the next level, you may want to volunteer at your student's school. There is always a need for volunteers to help in the classroom, or with academic programs, such as math, science and reading. Field trips (whether inviting students to your business, or accompanying them on a tour) also are an important way for students to learn life skills and look ahead to life after graduation. These are often flexible positions designed to accommodate a volunteer's schedule.

Each school also has a site council, which is comprised of parents/guardians, students, community members and district staff. Site councils work collaboratively to enhance student achievement through instructional programs and delivery of support services. They also are responsible for developing plans to improve the professional growth of the school staff. If this interests you, please contact your student's school office.

You also have the option to run for a position on the Woodburn School Board. This dedicated group of volunteers is elected from the community to shape policy and make spending decisions for the entire school district. If running for election seems daunting, you may want to serve on one of our advisory committees to learn more. Learn more about the Bond Advisory and Accountability Committee and Budget Committee at http://www.woodburnsd.org/blog/2018/10/168434/.

Studies have shown that student outcomes improve the more people are involved in their local schools. This is part of the reason that the Woodburn School District has some of the highest graduation rates in the state. This holiday season, we would like to thank everyone for their participation and let you know how much of a difference you have made.

Chuck Ransom is the superintendent of Woodburn School District. Reach him at 503-981-2727 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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