WA Charters’ Franki McDaniel recently sat down with Tacoma charter parent Danielle Davies. Here’s what Danielle had to say about why charters are the right fit for her family, and her views on parent involvement.
Where do you live, and what schools do your children attend?
My family lives in Tacoma. My daughter attends Green Dot Destiny Middle School, and my son attends SOAR Academy.
What drew you to explore charter public schools as an option for your kids?
Before we found our charter public schools, both of my children attended other public schools in the local district. The year before we transitioned to charter options, my daughter in particular had a very difficult year with bullying. As a parent, the number one most important thing is trusting that my children are safe. During that year, the charter options became available, while we were still exploring the option, the charter principal supported us in addressing the problem my daughter was facing. That personalized level of support was a major factor in our decision to enroll.
What was your impression of charter schools before applying? Did you know anything about them?
I actually knew nothing about charter school before applying! I went to an information session at a friend’s house and I was extremely impressed with what I heard.
Are there things about starting a new school that excites or worries your child? What are their goals for the 2017-18 school year?
As my children are a part of the founding classes of two of the charter schools, they are very excited to see what year three will bring them. I honestly don’t set specific goals for my children. I let them know that they have no limitations and encourage them, telling them that if they set their minds to do something, then they can accomplish it!
Tell us about your own K-12 educational experience. How has that shaped the way in which you navigate Washington’s current educational landscape?
My K-12 experience was full of oversized classes and overworked teachers. It helped me see that I need to advocate for a different and better solution my children’s education. I did not receive the personalized instruction and care that my children are receiving today at Destiny and SOAR.
What does your ideal picture of parent involvement in your children’s schools look like to you? How can your child’s school and WA Charters support this vision?
Being an involved parent to me means that when I walk down the hallway the kids at least know my face if not my name. Being involved means that everyone there knows that I care about the future of all the students in the school. I feel fully invested in the school, fully trusting of the principal and teachers, and part of an authentic and close knit community with the school staff, students, and other families.