Parents are vital part of any school’s success

I recently attended an event at Tapestry Charter School, a showcase of student work focusing on the charter school movement that drew hundreds of parents, community members and leaders on the same night the District Parent Coordinating Council held its parent assembly. It was distressing to read in The News that the assembly didn’t attract the expected numbers, particularly when the district and the council made tremendous effort to get parents there.

Tapestry’s success in drawing parents into its school community is intentional and worth consideration by city school leaders. The school works tirelessly to develop strong, interpersonal relationships with students and families. Before school begins in September, every parent receives a phone call from his child’s teacher or adviser welcoming the family to the school community. Those new to Tapestry have an in-depth, face-to-face “intake” meeting with their child’s teacher(s) before school begins. Advisory groups that build school families are an integral part of the school day. Every child is well known by at least one adult in the school community. Communication between school and family is ongoing. This deliberate and thoughtful process of relationship building engages families and makes them feel connected to and comfortable in the school community. If an issue arises that may negatively impact a student, the family relationship has been established and the issue is more easily resolved.

Parents are an integral part of the success of our schools and must be embraced as equal partners in all aspects of school culture and governance. The DPCC has worked so hard to have the parent voice heard. Academic success and positive school culture begins with individual school communities recognizing and valuing the importance of meaningful family engagement and one-on-one relationship building.

Amy Friedman