Our school district has long prided themselves on student voice, but were you aware that we encourage a strong parental voice as well? Our strategic plan states that we will “interact with our students’ parents positively and with full information freely shared using efficient and responsive strategies.” (2.d.) Communication with parents is vital. Not only is parent engagement a standing item on the education committee agenda, but we have also put in place the parent engagement committee.
This committee goes beyond one-way communication plans and focuses on engagement between families, students and their schools. The committee concentrates on short, mid and long-term goals including suggested home activities in school newsletters, consulting with District Parent Advisory Committee (DPAC) and Parent Advisory Committees (PACs), and creating a positive and welcoming culture in all of our schools. In all that we do, the committee aims to create opportunities of connection.
Stephanie Murawsky, chair of the SD46 parent engagement committee stated, “I feel very fortunate to engage with the school district through two lenses. I am a parent to a child in the NEST program at Davis Bay Elementary and executive assistant to the superintendent at SD46. This fuels my interest in finding actionable and meaningful ways of helping families engage with their children’s teacher.”
The committee, comprised of a team of two educational leadership members, two teachers, and two parents, is focused on deepening parental/caregiver engagement in students’ education, using social media to share tools, provide information on activities that promote core competencies and provide support to parents. The committee is dedicated to increasing the number of parents involved in SD46 schools. Helping to rethink traditional school/system structures that affect parental involvement and engagement and nurturing child-parent communication in the home, and to ensure communication strategies are effective.
Visit www.sd46.bc.ca or follow School District No. 46 on Facebook and Twitter (@SSCschools) to find out more information.