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What Can Schools Do to Improve?

Children in the Lehigh Valley are about to embark on another school year. What suggestions would you give educators for improving education for your kids or all students?

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to suggestions from readers on how to specifically improve education locally.

Americans constantly hear about how the nation's educational system is failing our children. Critics say that U.S. students perform poorly on standardized tests compared to many developed nations.

Most parents whose kids have been in school for a few years have at least a story or two about a terrible teacher or a dumb school policy. Now is the time to do more than grumble.  

What suggestions do you have for improving K-12 education in the Lehigh Valley?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

GrowUpSaucon September 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM
@ StGabes. Perfectly said.
GrowUpSaucon September 02, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Absolutely...rude, bullying AND plain wrong. Leadership, it's all about the leadership. Janet- not having children, I assume you have not dealt with ANY issues within ANY district . If you would like, I can take you in this week while I walk my children to class and play show and tell with you about some of the interesting things that parents may find to be a distraction and may prohibit the education system to work in favor of our children.
Heather Depew September 02, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Yes very rude. I don't think she is a teacher or a union rep....just an angry person trolling everyone's posts and trying to start arguments. Let's all try to come up with possible solutions that we can suggest to the school boards of our children's schools. Be proactive. Not reactive.
Kim September 03, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I have a small child and I kind of like Janet. And Anne Beck.
Motherof1 October 10, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Many countries that are outperforming the U.S. have much longer school days and some countries even go all year long, with much shorter breaks worked in throughout the year. Since in the U.S., the teachers' salaries are annualized anyway, I say, keep them in the classroom June, July and August. Kids get out at 2:30 or 3:30 depending on age and there's still plenty of sunshine left to enjoy. If we were only able to make this commitment in the U.S., then we would really make education our number one priority in America. Kids are resilient, they'll adjust. I'm guessing the teachers . . . . not so much. :)

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