Chapter VII: The Community of the School
Criterion: The school leadership employs strategies to inform parents, other school constituencies and the wider community about, and to involve them in, the life of the school.
Francis Parker School is driven by a strong sense of community that permeates all aspects of the School. Parker’s Parents’ Association is committed to supporting the students and families of the School by facilitating communication, promoting fellowship, raising funds and providing parent education.
The ParkerCares Committee actively educates parents on topics relevant to the School community regarding parent/child relationships, communicating with teens, the appropriate use of the Internet, eating disorders, and other parenting issues. In addition to supporting the School community, Parker actively participates in a seven-school consortium of independent schools, which brings in national speakers for the community at large.
The Parents’ Association sponsors many events, which are designed to provide inclusion and create opportunities for parents to participate in their children’s education. These include a New Family Gathering, the Mentor Program, Annual Gala Auction Fundraiser, Homecoming, Grad Night, Pet Day, Renaissance Fair, Ellis Island re-enactment and Culture Week, to name a few.
In addition to the information provided in the three division handbooks, communication between the parents and the School is encouraged and strengthened through the variety of publications including Parker News and Notes, the Parents’ Association monthly Newsletter, weekly messages from the Head of School, Parker (School magazine), the Upper School Daily Bulletin, and Monday envelopes. Additional information is shared on the School’s website and personally at class coffees and meetings with the division principals.
The Committee commends:
1. the Parents’ Association for supporting the students and families of the School by facilitating communication, promoting fellowship, raising funds and providing opportunities for parent education.
2. the senior administration and the Parents’ Association for creating a comprehensive community information program that promotes the exchange of information between the School and home.
3. the senior administration and Parents’ Association for maintaining an outreach program to parents, alumni, parents of alumni, neighbors, and friends of the School with a goal of instilling a sense of loyalty to Parker.
The Committee recommends that:
1. the senior administration and Parents’ Association of the School monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of School communication potential with regards to the website, and review the Style Guide to address issues of consistency of image and message.
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