Tips for Parents To Improve Transparency
In the interest of improving transparency this section is designed to help parents understand what questions to ask and what actions parents can take to stay informed about what is happening in the classrooms and what their child is exposed to when they attend school. It is a series of simple tips and actions that provide insight and information.
Tests and Evaluations
It is important to review a copy of every test or quiz your child takes. Look at the questions to see if they are unbiased and objective and focused solely on the topics. Examples of questions from other school districts that inject a particular social philosophy into the evaluations indicate this is becoming a more frequent method of circumventing the public restraints on adding CRT, gender, and other philosophies directly to the curriculums.
Ask your child and/or teacher for a full, complete copy of any assignments, reading or projects to be done outside the classroom throughout the term/school year. This includes individual or in study groups.
School Surveys and Forms
Always ask your child and their teacher for a copy of any forms or “surveys” your child is asked to complete at school. There are examples of instances outside of Frederick County where school children were asked to complete a survey that included questions like “Are there any guns in your house?” and “How often do your parents argue or fight?” This is information normally used by social service agencies and should not be gathered the school systems.
Since teachers have wide discretion to use materials in the classroom ask for a complete list of the books and reference materials your child’s teacher plans to use in the upcoming school year (and it might be a good idea to know what was used in the prior year to assess the objectivity of the teacher/school administrators). Ask to be notified if anything is added or removed during the term/year. Ask your child to let you know.
Clubs, Student Groups, and Training
Children don’t always share information on what clubs or groups they join and that may be OK but when a student is automatically signed up and has to opt-out that is a red flag and parents should be aware. So is training programs that are separate from the normal classroom activities.
FCPS policies require consent in many instances but the policy could use some tightening, To ensure transparency and clarity it’s recommended that parents ask teachers if parental consent forms are used for classroom speakers, videos, movies, TV shows, or other similar forms of conveying material in the school or classroom?
Language In the Classroom
Ask your child if they are allowed to refer to the teacher and classmates using traditional gender terms like he and she or if they are asked or encouraged to pick their own pronouns and/or their gender. Is a list of possible genders and terms made available to the students? A simple way to inquire is to ask whether there have been any discussions in class about using words like “boys and girls?’