How are We Developing Wonderful Relationships with Parents?

Another great school year has begun… We are busily working to create relationships with a ton of students who are new to our school, as well as to reconnect with all the students who were with us last year.

The other group of stakeholders that we must focus on right now are our parents. We have a wonderful community of parents who care deeply about their students and send their best child to school every day. Not all parents, though, have had good experiences with schools, teachers or principals. How do we develop relationships with parents, many of whom are reticent to even come into their community school at times?

Hopefully, our first connections with parents are in a positive form. Asking about their child, sharing about the school or classroom, sharing something positive the child did, meeting with them just to get to know them, finding out their thoughts about how best to support their child, or opening communication between the school and the family need to be the majority of early interactions. A great start was our Welcome Back Barbecue which most families were able to attend. They “broke bread” with the staff and other families, as well as heard about the wonderful things happening at Keeler School. It was a low stress, low anxiety event where staff served up hot dogs and snacks and drinks, met with parents informally, and were welcomed to the families to the school for the new school year.

Right now is about setting the tone for the year. I think about some of the favorite parents I have worked with over my career, and I look at how that developed. There was a lot of discussion, focus on the learning of the children, as well as the growth of trust that I care about their child and I will do everything I can to help them learn and advance as a person.

A fellow blogger, Justin Tarte, wrote about how we can continue to develop the growth of a community school. We are already doing many of his ideas, but it is great food for thought… http://www.justintarte.com/2013/08/10-ways-to-build-community-school.html?m=1

I heard from a number of parents after the Welcome Back Barbecue about how they were so impressed with Keeler School and how we welcomed them into the Keeler School community. This is a huge start. This will be work we continue to develop, and we will have great discussions about especially as we continue to move forward in assessment and engaged learning.

Keep building that trust! Work hard, learn tons!
D

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8 Responses to How are We Developing Wonderful Relationships with Parents?

  1. Lisa T. says:

    This week for CILO time, I took a look at the needs of our complex students and how it would be best to group them for math and literacy activities in order for them to be successful. Also, I took a look at some engaging science activities that will assist the students in using some “real life” vocabulary and experiences.

  2. Jen and Lien says:

    Lien and I looked at field trips and focused on real life experiences. We looked into a trip to sobeys where students will investigate the different types of food during different seasons. We thought it would be an authentic experience as many have never seen a supermarket and have no idea where their food comes from. We also looked at Teachers Pet around our building things unit. Students will walk away with a model construction of a zoo which will lead to many conversations about our zoo and the impact of natural disasters. We also brainstormed areas in the community where our grade ones can help out tieing into our “incredible me, unstoppable us!”

  3. Claire Matheson says:

    The Kindergarten team touched on a variety of learning opportunities today. We planned for Kindergarten conferencing, which is on a different timeline than grades 1-6. We discussed that it is extremely valuable to have these conferences directly after the Kindergarten assessment, (referred to as the EYE – Early Years Evaluation), is completed at the beginning of November because it gives parents the opportunity to recognize how their child is doing at that specific time, according to the specific skills that the EYE assesses.
    We also made plans to finish an innovative project based around literacy. We have a wide selection of “literacy backpacks” that students will be able to check-out just like they would books in the library. As we looked through a few of the backpacks, we came up with more activities, or cross-curricular books that could be added to the backpack to provide more innovative, and interactive learning experiences for students.

  4. Sonya Bradley says:

    Grade 6 spent some time exploring what we would like to do for our Sky Science project. We also looked at how to enhance our year long look at Current Events.

  5. Lisa & Jennelle says:

    The Fabulous Fives met with Mike to collaborate on a Social Studies Project, which will involve creating movie trailers to advertise one of the 6 Geographic Regions of Canada. We then hammered away at our Long Range plans, including a discussion of potential field trips, guest speakers and in class presentations to supplement our program.

  6. Lisa, Tammy & Kathy says:

    Grade 4 team planned with L&L for the Regions of Alberta unit in Social Studies. After discussing the varied needs of our learners, a small group, centers approach incorporating technology and art integration was decided upon. Each teacher will be the resident “expert” on two of the six regions. Groups of about 15 will be cycled through on a 5 day cycle, with planning allowances for unexpected delays and reteaching as we become better acquainted with the diversity of learners in our classroom.

  7. Grade Two says:

    CILO – August 28, 2013

    This week during CILO time the grade 2 team worked on creating some leveled math groups to assist with struggling students and students who need more of a challenge in math. We examined different forms of assessment and results from a variety of activities students completed. Taking primary sources (student work) we examined their ability to read, write and complete a variety of number sense challenges. We investigated some different problem solving tools students could use during math class. We also discussed possible future groupings depending on the unit or concept being examined. As a team we will be working with all the grade 2’s to allow us to support each other in developing strategies for the students, this will mean flexible grouping and projects that are interdisciplinary and involve a variety of math and number sense concepts. The grade 2 team also examined possible curriculum connections between the forest lawn library and our work in literacy. We are hoping to connect with the local librarian to assist in supporting our literacy program for the year.

  8. Harjyote, and Brandy says:

    Today in grade 3 we looked at the diverse needs of our students, and possible ways of grouping them to meet their needs. In doing so we were able to come up with a quick assessment of their strengths, and needs in both the academic setting as well as in the social setting here at Keeler.

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