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This year, a Dalton Public Schools parent was chosen to serve on Georgia's 2020 State School Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council. Tanya Castro, who has students at Park Creek, Dalton Middle and Dalton High School, is one of 30 parents who will meet during the 2019-2020 school year.

Read more about Dalton Public Schools Parent Selected to Serve on State Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council

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DHS Helps Parents Prepare Their Students for College
“I learned today that there are monetary means for my child to be able to obtain a degree especially if he works hard, makes good grades and applies himself. Now I know I can sit down with him and be able to search for alternative choices to help him achieve his dreams.”
Classroom filled with parents

Dalton High School recently hosted a parent engagement class in Spanish to help parents understand the importance of college and career readiness for their children.

Kelly Spinetta, the family engagement coordinator of Dalton High School, spoke about the pivotal factors that will ensure their child's success both during high school and after graduation. Topics varied from identifying strengths, taking the correct college prep classes, funding a college education and students being committed to their education.

Spinetta explained the importance of parent's being invested in their teenager's education despite the financial obstacles some may face. She provided further insight by demonstrating that scholarships and Pell grants exist.

"It is the students' and parents' responsibility to be able to determine what their goals are for the future, write them down and stay committed to it," Spinetta said.

"It is essential to have a plan in place and determine what financial options suits you. There are many ways to fund college such as having your child obtain excellent grades, student loans and work-study availability."

As for parent Elsa Adame, she was delighted to learn that such options are available.

"Most Hispanic parents don't know that these benefits exist for our kids. We send them to school and after they graduate we're unsure of what the future holds," Adame said. "My kids want to go to college, but we were unaware that scholarships can pay for college or how to fund such an expensive education."

"Spinetta also emphasized the parent's role in their child's education. She expressed this by telling them that they are their children's biggest advocates. They should be looking at schedules, ensuring that proper study habits are being enforced and establishing a routine to accomplish certain goals. For most parents, it is a challenge to know what resources are available. However, the parents in attendance were able to gain a clearer understanding of what it takes to ready their teens for higher education.

Portrait of class with Kelly

Adame elaborated that the future of her family changed once she realized that she could put her son through college.

"I learned today that there are monetary means for my child to be able to obtain a degree especially if he works hard, makes good grades and applies himself," Adame said. "Now I know I can sit down with him and be able to search for alternative choices to help him achieve his dreams."

Spinetta believes in the influence that parents have in their children's lives and how compelling it is for them to take action.

"Parents should encourage their children to go to college as long as they meet the requirements," Spinetta said. "I think it's wonderful that this country offers so many opportunities and students need to take advantage of that."