“Successful schools foster partnerships with parents, respect cultural differences, and promote community involvement “(Taylor, 1997).
As Leslie and I prepared for our last open house for this year, I was extremely grateful as I looked around at the many parent volunteers who came to help us with the tours. In our open house presentation, we discuss the importance of volunteerism at our school. We know we cannot do all that we do without parental support and volunteers contributing to our school community. Our school mission states that teacher and parents work together to create an inclusive community of learning.
In the Basic School, the circle of community extends outward to embrace parents, who are viewed as the child’s first and most important teachers. A partnership is created between the home and school and is strengthened when the child formally enrolls, and continues from kindergarten through high school (Boyer, 1995).
In elementary school, small children love to see their parents in their classrooms and around our school. One of our younger students told me, “ Ms. Marianne, today my mommy and I both got to come to school. She is helping with the teacher lunch.”
We understand that many of our parents work fulltime and are unable to volunteer during the school day. There are many ways parents can volunteer and help our entire school community including helping with; classroom instruction; explore electives; teacher appreciation events; parent “elf” nights; fall workdays; the auction; the golf tournament; and coordinating our parents for our school open house sessions. These are just a few of our many opportunities for parents to be involved! In addition, many of you have coached sports for several years. This willingness to volunteer allows us to offer a wide array of sports in our middle and high school levels!
“As parents interact with their children’s schooling in different ways, at different points in time, with a consistent message as to their significance in the process, family attention to learning increases and gains a focus. As teachers enlist the support of parents in learning, they are reminded of the advantages of such alliances, and the child’s learning increasingly becomes the focus of their interactions with parents. The cumulative effects of more frequent and higher quality interactions among teachers and parents are a greater reservoir of trust and respect, increased social capital for children, and a school community more supportive of each child’s school success (Redding, Langdon, Meyer & Shelly, 2004).”
If you have not had a chance to volunteer at our school, please think about reaching out to your teacher or our front office staff. We still have plenty to keep you busy!
Boyer, E. L. (1995). The basic school: A community for learning. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Parent involvement. (2004). Retrieved October 1, 2012, from http://www.edweek.org/