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We are now well on our way to a productive school year with a smooth start.

As we begin the month of October, I would like to emphasize the importance of the power of partnership as it relates to the education of our children. Please know that our parents are our partners in education and we want to work collaboratively with our parents and community to provide the best possible learning experience for our children.

To that end, please make time to meet with your child’s teachers during the fall to develop a positive working relationship and to find out in detail how your child is performing thus far. Monday, Oct. 8, is a professional day with no school for students. This day is dedicated to parent conferences and we are committed as a school system to conferencing with parents. Parents who wish to schedule a conference can contact their teacher or school counselor by phone or by email to schedule.

Each school has a school improvement team that meets minimally each quarter. These team meetings should have an invested and committed representation of staff, parents and students where appropriate. A school improvement team meeting is the forum for national, state, local and school education information to be shared, rationales explained and concerns addressed. This is incredibly important particularly now with the changing legislation related to public education.

School improvement team meetings are important because it is during these meetings that many school-based and programmatic decisions are made. Parent input is essential. Please check your school’s website and/or contact the principal to find out when the school improvement team is meeting and please attend. Schools improve when we work together.

Lastly, we are proud of our active and meaningful partnerships with such a caring community. Two of our most important and effective partnerships are the PTA/PTSO organizations. Please support these organizations on behalf of your children and your school. They work hard to provide support, advocacy and enhancements to your school. We are grateful to these organizations for their partnership and collaboration.

As an aside, I want to thank the community for supporting our Shoe Fund. Your response was overwhelmingly positive and netted an additional $5,200 that will go to good use to place shoes on the feet of our less fortunate children.

October is a great time for parent involvement in our schools. Please do follow up and conference with your teacher, consider attending a school improvement meeting, and supporting your school’s PTA/PTSO organization. We are all on the same team for our children. When we work together on behalf of children, wonderful results occur. Please stay involved. We need you.

Michael J. Martirano, Leonardtown

The writer is superintendent of St. Mary’s County public schools.