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The Value of Parent Involvement in Schools

November 12, 2015

Thank you for the impressive attendance at the Parent-Teacher Consultations yesterday. There was a really positive spirit in the air and some parents gave me very valuable feedback which will help us make further improvements to the way we manage the day.

  • Paul Wiseman, headmaster at British International School of Boston
I hope you found the conversations with the teachers valuable and you have a better handle on how you might continue supporting your children at home.
Beyond an exceptional teaching and learning experience at school, the home-school partnership must be the second most important factor in the happiness and success of a child. If you genuinely feel - and are able to communicate - a genuine confidence in the school, your children’s own trust and sense of security will be reinforced. From conversations with many of my colleagues this morning, they certainly enjoyed the opportunity to have this vital dialogue with you as partners.
I have had several discussions with parents recently about the importance of gaining a common understanding, coherence and synergy between school and home. There is a particular need for this consistency in relation to the values we hold and the expectations we have for our children. This is one of the reasons we organize so many activities for parents and why we are trying to incorporate parent involvement into all aspects of school life. The highly enjoyable ‘Parent Paint Night’ on Tuesday and next week’s open morning for Mathematics are examples of how we can build common understanding and spirit between home and school. Let’s not forget that the real target of all this effort is to create the very best possible educational experience for our children.
Next week, our school will host another event designed to ensure a robust home-school partnership built on common understanding. The Parent-Teacher Group open forum is a fantastic opportunity for parents to share experience and ideas and seek clarification on important issues. 
Next Wednesday, the open forum will explore cyber-safety, appropriate use of devices, digital practices and the significance of ‘digital footprints’ within the school and home. This is the first step towards creating a genuinely community-wide initiative to establish norms, policies and practices for our students under the broad heading of ‘digital citizenship’. Director of ICT and e-Learning, Peter Napthine, and members of our Student Council will share their views on students’ use of technology within the school. I will be chairing a debate, inviting parents to put forward their ideas, concerns and proposals throughout the evening. This is a very exciting opportunity for all of us. 
I am sure I am not the only parent seeking the experience, advice and support from parent peers and educators in the best way to enable a child to develop essential life and technological skills in a safe, balanced and appropriate way.