In the absence of an appointed Parent Council Chair, this month's meeting was temporarily coordinated by Events and Communications Manager Ms Nel, with school Principal Mr Richard present as usual for the latter part of the meeting.
Ms Nel reminded everyone present that the meeting is held to share information among parents, and provides them with a chance to bring their own perspective on school matters.
Hopes and Dreams Meetings
Some parents expressed that the recent Primary Hopes and Dreams meetings have been too short (15 minutes) to effectively discuss their aspirations for their child/ren.
Mr Richard replied that parents can always ask their child's teacher for additional time. Parents must also take into account all the other opportunities they have for discussions with teachers (e.g. Meet the Teacher, 3-Way Conferences).
A few parents said they lacked technical knowledge on how to use Seesaw effectively. They also feel that the school is using too many apps. They are requesting for special tutorials for parents and to designate an IT staff who can assist parents.
Mr Richard responded that the school understands and will definitely look into the idea of a help desk for parents and will add Seesaw sessions for parents starting in October.
Mr Richard pointed out that this complexity reflects the current reality of Virtual Learning and digital integration classrooms and this is something parents have to also learn and work with us to support students. The school will look at more IT training at a future Parent Coffee Morning.
In some cases, parents are left frustrated when they call the school as they cannot connect to the person they want to speak with. They suggested that all calls be handled and transferred by the receptionist. Mr Richard acknowledged this, and asked for parents’ patience in this matter. The school will have the tech team review the telephone system again.
Seperate Parent Councils
Parents present at the meeting suggested that separating the Parent Council into two (Primary PC & Secondary PC) will help to focus on concerns particular only to the Primary and Secondary schools. After each meeting, a time (15 minutes) could be set aside to meet with the Principal for Q&A.
Former Parent Council Chair Ms Natashia commented that in the past few years, one hour was used by parents from both schools to bring forward their concerns, and the hour for Q&A with the Principal is very important as it is a time when parents can get direct answers/solutions from the Principal.
Ms Natashia also encouraged parents to attend PC meetings each month so they can see the progress made on parent concerns. Mr Richard added that he will look into having the Head of Primary and Head of Secondary join in future PC meetings, and also reminded parents of the importance of participating in the annual Parent Satisfaction Survey.
Mr Richard explained that all students and staff are required to wear masks; some students and staff wear face shields; hand sanitizers are available everywhere in the campus; room temperature is kept not lower than 24 degrees in all rooms; and weekly deep cleaning is being done in all areas.
Parent Council Dates
A parent asked to be shared the Parent Council dates so he can plan to attend each meeting. Mr Richard reminded that these dates can be accessed through the school Events Calendar on the website and there is a link in his Friday blog.
New Parent Council Chair Needed
If you're interested in applying to be the new Parent Council Chair, please email Ms Margie: Margie.Gomez@nisc.edu.kh