Getting Involved With Your Child's School

A couple of years ago I wrote 5 Ways to Support Your School in which I examined the ways you can support your school financially. That article was aimed at private school graduates and discussed how they could support the school which had given them such a good start. Now let's look at how parents can get involved with their child's school.
 
The old standbys still exist. Helping chaperone a field trip and bringing in a plate of cookies or cupcakes are still welcomed. Mind you, these days you have to make sure that you have liability insurance for the trips and must take care to avoid ingredients which might cause an allergic reaction, such as peanuts. Once those matters have been dealt with trips and cookies are always popular.
 
Why get involved?
 
Aren't you busy enough? You have a full time career. Your wife's job requires her to travel frequently. How on earth are you going to find time to be involved with your child's school? Practical excuses aside, you want to be involved with your child's school to show your support for the school and its programs.

This event at The Hockaday School, Dallas Texas, was made very memorable because of all the parents who attended.
 

I served on my youngest daughter's class parents committee. If I remember correctly, we met once a month. We were charged with raising money to buy something for the classroom. I remember baking cookies and muffins. . . .read more
The two main college admissions tests are SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT (American College Testing). Each of these tests generates a high degree of angst for juniors and seniors. I suppose a certain amount of concern is justified especially if you have not been a good student during your middle and high schools.
 
What is the purpose of these tests?
 
Both SAT and ACT are deigned to assess a student's readiness for college level academic work.
 
"The SAT and SAT Subject Tests are designed to assess your academic readiness for college. These exams provide a path to opportunities, financial support, and scholarships, in a way that's fair to all students. The SAT and SAT Subject Tests keep pace with what colleges are looking for today, measuring the skills required for success in the 21st century."

This clip from the College Board explains what the SAT is.
 
 
Here is a brief description of what the ACT test comprises:

"The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in: English, Mathematics, Reading &Science
The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute Writing Test.
ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the US.
The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 . . .read more
You and I are conditioned to expect to be able to comparison shop for everything we buy. When we search for an item on Amazon the website presents us with other options. We can read reviews by other purchasers. These factors together with our own understanding of value and price point help us make the decisions which drive our purchase. So, why can't we do the same with private schools? Why isn't there some way of ranking schools? Wouldn't rankings make our task of selecting the right private school for our child a whole lot easier?
 
For starters, choosing a private school is not like buying a set of towels or sheets online. We have confidence buying towels and sheets online from a trusted vendor using a secure credit card because we know what we are buying. Choosing a private school is much more complicated. Why? Because in the first place it is a major decision. We won't be able to return it and get our money back if we don't like it, which is what we do when we buy merchandise which turns out to be unsatisfactory. And the amount of money involved in the transaction is large. Furthermore we are talking about a decision which will have a serious impact on us and our child for several years.

This brief video lays out the process for you.
 
 
Major decisions have many more factors and variables involved than minor decisions such as purchasing those towels . . .read more
How to Avoid Summer Brain Drain

 

The summer “Brain Drain”, also known as the “Summer Slide,” is a term commonly used by educators and parents alike to describe the learning loss that takes place for many students during summer months.

 

 

Brain Drain occurs when the extended break from structured learning and scheduled academic work makes the mind lazy and makes it easier to forget material that has already been learned. It is a major concern for American legislators, educators, and parents alike. We’ve paneled some of the top experts in education to get the best advice for parents to help kids avoid summer Brain Drain. From CEO’s to Technologists to PhD’s and more, we’ve got the expert advice to help kids of all ages stay sharp all year long.

 

 

 

 

1. “We’re always learnings, but what are we learning?”
 
First thing’s first: take time to get to know your child’s interests. Dr. Alice Wilder, Chief Content Officer at Speakaboos, is a huge proponent of tapping into children’s interests to maximize their learning potential. Dr. Alice is a leader in children’s media and research, with senior production roles on landmark franchises and programs like Blue’s Clues, Super Why!, Speakaboos, and Amazon Kids (to name just a few of her many projects and accomplishments). 
 
Dr. Alice says parents should allow their child to be bored at times to uncover their interests. “See what they come up with. Watch them play and get to know what they’re into, so you can support them in . . .read more
In the first article in this series, Marketing the Small Private School: The First Steps, we looked at the resources available for marketing the small private school. The assumption which we made in that article was that your school probably couldn't afford a full-time marketing professional. Instead you would assign an existing member of your staff the additional responsibility of handling your marketing. That assumption still stands for purposes of this article. Now we will look at how to use the various resources and tools at our disposal.
 
The best strategy for successful marketing is to control your message. That means that you have to know who you are speaking to and through what means you can best communicate with them.  Let's use the proven journalist's approach to understanding our communications strategy.
 
  • Who are we trying to reach?
  • Why are we trying to reach them?
  • What are we trying to communicate?
  • How can we reach them most effectively?
  • When should we communicate our message?

This structured approach ensures that your message will be unified and on message as it progresses from your keyboard to the recipients. Let's look at examples of how we can reach each segment of our school community. My suggestions are merely suggestions deigned to get you thinking in a structured manner. Adapt my suggestions to suit your particular requirements.
 
Communicating with your community
 
Let's start at the top. 

Who are we trying to reach? Everybody in our community as well as everybody outside it.
Why are we trying to reach them? Because . . .read more
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