Parent engagement @ school

We had 19 parents at the P&C (Parents and Citizens Association) of my daughter’s primary school last week. We regularly get strong attendance (there are a few things I used to do when I was President to try to encourage parental involvement HERE) and have an active P&C.

The range of topics discussed demonstrates that parents are involved in a meaningful way.

  1. One of the parents reported on a working party consisting of teachers and  parents who are creating a master plan for the school grounds. We have plenty of beautiful grounds and we are creating a master plan to ensure that we make the most of them. We will be holding a working bee to get some work going later this year.
  2. The principal reported on the results of a survey of parents about the literacy and the official “School Purpose” (like the schools vision). The survey results demonstrated that quite a few parents hadn’t seen (or didn’t remember seeing) the School Purpose.
  3. We discussed plans for a World Cafe (and interactive small group process) we are organising to discuss our vision for the school and how we can increase the partnership between parents and staff. The planning for the cafe started a while ago, but will help address the lack of awareness identified in the survey.
  4. A while ago the school had an excursion for students in Year 5 to the Apple Store. Given the focus on children in Apple’s marketing (see for example, Amazon and Apple: Think Of the Children! and iChildren: How Apple Is Changing Kids’ Brains) some parents (and I was one of them) had serious questions about this. We had an interesting discussion and, as would be expected, some parents thought it was quite appropriate and others did not. While nothing was resolved (that was not the aim), it was good to have the discussion and it was important that the parents who were concerned were listened too.
  5. We discussed plans for fundraising and fathers day events (including a breakfast which is more of a community building event than a fundraiser).

We were also going to revisit the P&C constitution and bylaws, but we ran out of time.

It was an interesting meeting and shows the value of P&Cs doing more than just fundraising.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

  1. Schools engaging families and the local community
  2. 10 Ways to build school-community partnerships
  3. A World Cafe in a school – a step-by-step description
  4. Making parents feel welcome in schools
  5. 20 parents at the P&C AGM

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Schools, Working with communities and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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