Natchez High hosts Parent University

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 25, 2009

NATCHEZ — After classes ended and the school buses pulled away Thursday, the fun started at Natchez High.

Approximately 400 Natchez-Adams School District employees, parents and students came back for more at the Parent University.

Teachers led their classes in sessions specifically tailored to cover the areas of mathematics, language arts, English and reading for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade.

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Teachers Margaret Moore and Lisa Lewis reintroduced first- and second-grade parents to reading skills and the importance of math fundamentals such as addition and subtraction.

Lewis and Moore led parents through the disciplines their students are currently learning within their classes and gave parents an overview of what is to come as the year progresses.

“Addition and subtraction is the basis of everything,” Lewis said. “(This year we’re going for a mastery of your addition and subtraction up to 20.

“Out goal is to put down the calculators and use our heads.”

Moore said skills students in first and second grade learn both within the classroom and at home are what pay off when it comes to state testing.

“It helps with the Mississippi Curriculum Test,” she said. “The terminology just for basic functions such as addition and subtraction is important. And as time passes, it will help them learn multiplication and division.”

Martha Credit, a grandmother whose grandchildren attend schools throughout the district, attended the night’s sessions and said while she was new to Parent University, she was impressed with the program.

“I think it’s very needed and helps the parent know how to help the student with (his or her) studies, and if I had the choice, I would come back.”

While parents and teachers said they saw the program as a way to connect with their children and to help continue education within the home, some older students from Natchez High School saw the program as an opportunity to shed some positive light on their school.

“(Playing host to this event) is a way for us to show people that we’re not as bad as people think we are,” said Natchez High School senior Crystal Litt.

Litt, who was attending Parent University for the first time, said she like the program

“This program has made a lasting impression on me,” she said. “All the teachers present wonderful information.”

And while Litt said she was new to the Parent University scene, Kierra Johnson, a sophomore at Natchez High School, said over the years she’s experienced how the program has helped her parents.

“It helps them to know what’s going on inside the classroom and get hands on experience (with the curriculum.)”