Friday, August 30, 2013

Parent Meeting Summary

Greetings and best wishes for a restful (long!) weekend! We are eagerly awaiting the return of students to school! Yesterday, we held two parent forums to informally meet with our parents/partners in education. We were delighted with the turnout - both groups were enthusiast and generated much food for thought as we move ahead in this school year. We framed our discussion around some central questions - such as what do we do well? What can we improve upon? And how can we engage more parents? 

Parents were eager to share information, and as administrators it was helpful (and heartening!) to hear and learn a wealth of knowledge from this powerful group. Both sessions closed with a raffle for DR jackets -- the evening session's lively discussion lasting until 8 pm. We look forward to welcoming more parents at our next round table discussion -- and our warmest thanks to those who came out yesterday! 
- The Administrative Team

Strengths of the School:
* Freshmen Transition Program, especially, the video made to share program with community.
* Balance of Art/Music/AP Classes.
* Teachers and Guidance work very well with the students.
* Monthly Newsletters, strong communication with families.
* New plaques that recognize past academic award recipients and athletes.
* Teachers are prepared for parent teacher conferences. 
* College lists that are posted outside Guidance and on announcements sharing where kids are going to schools.

Things to Improve Upon at the School:
* Need to emphasize higher education more, especially in earlier years.
* Allow students to go on visits to colleges beginning in sophomore year. Excuse them from school.
* Expectations are too low sometimes for student achievement. 
* Increase opportunity for community service and explore idea of mandated community service. 
* Hold Science Fairs.
*Create self-kiosk or opportunity for students to use libraries to print materials during lunch and after school.
*Review of X2 Directions on school website.  Host parent training on how to use X2.
*Bring in guest speakers throughout the year to meet with parents. 
* Create a four slide summary of what parents need to do for their children each year. For instance, on the junior slide, include SAT deadlines, when to ask teacher for college recommendation, etc.