It’s been a great opening week. Our students are settling into their new classroooms and the buzz of excitement around possibilities that come with a new year is evident throughout the school. Student involvement opportunities are unfolding, staff are planning together and community partners are re-connecting.
When asked what makes Strathcona a special place, the sense of community is always one of the first things that comes to mind. Newcomers to Strathcona always remark on the inclusiveness and sense of family that is evident in the hallways. At Strathcona, students, staff, and parents work together to create this atmosphere and it is something that I am very proud to be part of.
Integral to the sense of community, however, is the work that is done by the Strathcona Parent Advisory Council (PAC). Being a parent of child at Strathcona affords you membership into this group of dedicated and devoted partners. An article studying “Neighborhood Effects” by the Canadian Policy Research Networks cites that “families and children who live in supportive communities, where they are respected and their contributions valued, will do better than those in communities lacking cohesion.”
Parents often ask how they can be partners in their child’s education:
- Read to your child — reading aloud is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child’s chance of reading success
- Discuss the books and stories you read to your child
- Help your child organize his/her time
- Limit screen time
- Talk to your child regularly about what’s going on in school.
- Check your child’s homework regularly.
At school, the opportunities for parents to contribute are endless, from volunteering in the classroom, to sharing talents, or to joining an occasional PAC meeting. When parents are partners in their child’s education they have the opportunity to interact school staff and other parents. They learn first-hand about the daily activities and the social culture of the school, both of which give them a better understanding of their child’s daily experiences.
This week, the PAC executive have begun meeting, Hot Lunch Orders are placed and delivered, children run to support cancer research, and we come together Friday morning as a school community to launch the school year at our first monthly assembly. We invite you to join us, be involved, and volunteer, if not this week, in the weeks to come. There is a role and place for every parent in the PAC. Our school is the amazing place it is because of the diversity and contributions of all of our members. I look forward to seeing you at school!