Tip Sheet 1: 10 Ways to Get Your Child Off to a Flying Start
Recruit – Get people involved! Encourage parents, the school community and staff members to come out to School Council meetings. Everyone has a contribution to make to student success. The experience can be satisfying and rewarding.
Communicate – Communication is the key to success. Establish open communications between the Council and your school community. Take advantage of all of the available opportunities to share information about your events and activities.
Welcome – A warm smile and a welcoming attitude will help people feel at ease. Make a point of greeting newcomers and introduce them to members of the Council. Include some social time in every meeting, to help people get to know one another.
Inform – Explain to parents the purpose of Council and the role it plays in student success. Outline the responsibilities of Council and its members. Let parents know how they can take part in activities, even if they're not elected members of the Council.
Organize – Everyone appreciates meetings that are productive, efficient and well- managed. To run an effective meeting:
• prepare an agenda with time limits for each item and distribute it ahead of time
• start and end the meetings on time
• stay on topic and keep discussions to the time frame indicated on the agenda.
Guide – Make sure everyone knows how to express an opinion, share ideas and arrive at a consensus. By establishing these guidelines at the beginning of the year, you will eliminate confusion and set a positive tone for your meetings.
Share – Develop a common purpose. Make sure everyone is aware of the school's and Board’s mission, vision and values. People form a much stronger team when they understand the purpose and value of their efforts.
Prioritize – Establish goals and objectives for your Council. By setting realistic targets, you will help Council members stay focused on priorities. They also will get a real sense of accomplishment when they eventually reach their targets.
Plan – Develop action plans for your goals and objectives. Assign specific tasks and responsibilities, with defined timelines, to help you reach your goals.
Record – Keep accurate records of your Council meetings, activities and events and post them. They provide a clear and detailed record of your decisions and plans. These records will help you document your successes and learn from your mistakes.