The 4 Ps of School Council – Brenda K.
PRINCIPALS, PARENTS, PLANNING & POLITICS
THE PRINCIPAL IS YOUR PAL
- Get to know your principal. Don’t rely on other people’s comments or perceptions.
- You are entitled to a monthly meeting with your principal, so use it.
- Don’t be afraid to go to the principal’s office!
GET TO KNOW YOUR PARENTS
- School Council is like a parent party. Get to know the guests. Dialogue is what makes school councils really effective and actually improves turnout.
- Ask parents what their issues are; use survey tools and run round table discussions for 15 minutes at your meetings. Take advantage of times when many parents will be at the school by staffing a booth.
- Create a council email address. This allows parents can get in touch easily, and you can send notices directly to them.
- At the beginning of the year, plan your meeting dates, agendas and speakers for the entire calendar year.
- Set target dates with the school secretary to ease the timing of submissions for School Connect notices, webpage notices, school newsletters, and other mail outs. As the secretary knows the dates and you don’t, this step will save many last minute headaches.
- Plan to be replaced – cultivate a partnered team so that every current position has somebody being trained to fill it.
- The little “p” politics: Your personal opinion may not reflect the majority of the parent body, so don’t speak for them unless a process has been followed to get their input on major issues.
- The big “p” politics: We have elected two sets of politicians to manage our education system. Their agendas can seemingly be at odds some times. As parents, we need to fully understand the problems ourselves and exert our political pressure in an ‘educated’ way.