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Local school district makes parent engagement a priority

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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School districts look to parent engagement for student success. But with Common Core, it's a major challenge. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley reports on how the Cheektowaga-Sloan Union Free School District is working more closely with its parents.

"Parent engagement is always a priority for us," said Andrea Galenski, Cheektowaga-Sloan Schools Superintendent.

The mission, this year, has been too engage parents in ways they can help their children at home. 

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Whiteboard inside the JFK Middle School.

"It's tremendously difficult and it's a terrible feeling to have your child come home and not be able to help them," said Galenski, in a WBFO News interview. "With the Common Core in particular, it has created a big challenge for parents and so we, in Cheektowaga-Sloan, are working hard to find ways to bring them in to teach them and to show them how you can actually help your child at home."

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Cheektowaga-Sloan UFSD Schools Superintendent Andrea Galenski.

Like the Buffalo Public School District, Galenski said her district also deal with poverty, but it is has a smaller student population, with just under 1,500 students. 

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Inside a classroom at JFK Middle.

"It's sad, but it is our job to engage them, whether it's low poverty, whether it's a situation where it's just both parents are working. Regardless of the situation, it's our job to engage them," said Galenski. "Home and school have to work together, and when home and school work together, that's when you get the greatest success."

"It's sad, but it is our job to engage them, whether it's low poverty, whether it's a situation where it's just both parents are working, regardless of the situation, it's our job to engage them," said Galenski. "Home and school have to work together, and when home and school work together, that's when you get the greatest success."

Galenski praises her administrators and teachers for leading students on their education path.

"It is critical that you empower teachers and that the teachers are the leaders, and also administrators. I can't tell you what an amazing group we have," said Galenski.

Galenski said she believes teaching partnerships and collaborations have added a great deal of financial relief, allowing funding for other areas

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