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Family Involvement

Family School was created in 1988 as a collaboration between parents and teachers who wanted a school program with family involvement as a core value. Parent participation is encouraged, but not required at Family School. Many opportunities are available, and many parents create their own opportunities if they have a special interest or skill they want to share. Some examples are parents helping out in the classroom, offering special classes, serving as mentors, organizing field trips, fundraising, offering their great ideas, visiting their child during class or lunch, reading to children, working in the garden, facilitating meetings, and working on the newsletter and website smiley

Parents are also involved in decision-making at Family School. Parents may choose to be on the Parent Policy Council which meets with the lead teachers once a month. The Council discusses any current issues and sets the agenda for the monthly All School Meetings. Typically 20 to 50 parents attend the All School Meetings. Topics at these meetings include information about upcoming events, reports from committees, and discussions about important decisions regarding Family School’s operations. Meetings are based on a consensus-seeking model so everyone’s voice counts in decision making. One example of the parent/teacher partnership in decision making was the implementation of multi-grade classrooms in 1992.

Family involvement enriches the Family School program in many ways. Children are more excited about school when their parents are involved. Communication between parents and teachers is strong and ongoing. New people bring new ideas, skills and energy each year, which keeps Family School lively and interesting. Because parents participate in decision making, they feel ownership in the school, which in turn encourages more participation. Because many adults are involved, more work gets done and Family School can offer more to students. Parents appreciate that they feel welcome and valued at Family School.