CN Jr/Sr HS WeAreOne
August 26, 2018
Every summer I spend time looking back on the past year and assessing what went well, identifying areas I need to improve, and exploring ways to implement new ideas or initiatives. I turn this into my “to do” list for the upcoming year. As I reflected this summer, one of the biggest areas where I think I need some work is on parent engagement. Not just parent involvement, but intentional ways to engage. I am currently reading Peter M. DeWitt’s book Collaborative Leadership: Six Influences that Matter Most. He states:
“Too many times family engagement means to educators that parents should support what educators want. This is very one-sided. Family engagement shouldn’t be about making sure the needs of the school are met. Family engagement is about a collaborative relationship between staff and parents with students at the center.”
I continue to think about the role our parents play, or don’t play in some cases, in our students education. How many times would the difficult issues we face with students be improved if we were working along-side parents to help their kids. What if parents joined us in sending the message about responsible use of social media? What if we asked our parents to speak to students about their career pathways? So, as I started to plan for this school year, I brainstormed some ideas on how we can increase our parent engagement. Here some things I came up with but I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas too:
I truly believe that we do a pretty good job with this one. We utilize a variety of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and we have many teachers or teams that use weekly e-newsletters to communicate with parents. This year I am going to send a monthly e-newsletter to our parents as well highlighting what we’ve been up to at the Jr/Sr High and reminding parents of upcoming dates and events.
This year, to the best of my ability, I am going to make sure that parents feel welcome to the school. I’m not saying that we don’t already do this, because I think we do. But I want this to be a focus of our entire staff. There are parents out there (you can name them) that no matter what we do, they are not going to be satisfied with our efforts. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make every effort to welcome every parent. Part of that welcoming every parent includes events that invite them in to be a part of the educational process. Not events where they sit and get talked to (we all know how that feels), but events where they can actually come in and be actively engaged in what their students are learning. I need ideas on how to make this happen so please share any thoughts you have.
Parents as Partners
DeWitt talks about making parents partners in the educational process. What if we shared a Google Doc with parents, asking them for ways that they can engage with the school. This could be a business that will share resources or volunteers, individual parents who can contribute by acting as audiences for our PBL lessons, or be guest experts in the classroom for a lesson. If you think of other ways partner with parents, let’s talk.
Great Things Happening @ CN Jr/Sr HS!
Building Relationships & Developing Character
9/4 - School Board Meeting
9/10 - School Wide Inservice + eLearning Day