Thursday, 20 April 2017 08:00

Burdett School officials find success engaging parents

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Burdett School Principal Laurie Cooper, on the screen, spoke about how the school is increasing parental involvement at the April 11 regular Prairie Rose School Division board meeting. Burdett School Principal Laurie Cooper, on the screen, spoke about how the school is increasing parental involvement at the April 11 regular Prairie Rose School Division board meeting. Photo by Rose Sanchez

Officials at Burdett School have been concentrating on ways to get parents more involved in their children’s education this school year.


Prairie Rose School Division trustees heard more about the work taking place in the grades 1-9 school at the April 11 regular meeting, when Principal Laurie Cooper joined them via video conference technology.
“We took a look at some areas where we could improve and made some realizations about student learning. We wanted to get parents more involved,” she explained. “We wanted to increase parent involvement in the school and in student learning.”
For the first time, school officials organized a conference geared for parents. The one-day event took place in February at the school and featured sessions about student learning, digital safety, messy play, and early education. Between 10 to 15 parents were in attendance.
Work has also been done to increase parents’ engagement with their children when it comes to school. Parents were asked how much time they spent working with their children on school topics at home in the evenings. Then they signed an agreement they would work with their children for between 10 to 15 minutes every night.
Cooper says there was 100 per cent buy-in from parents in signing the agreement, and the majority of those who signed followed through on their commitments.
An area where the benefits of increased parent engagement has been seen as a benefit for one teacher was with parent teacher interviews. She had 85 per cent of parents attend.
“The kids were super excited to have their parents asking questions,” added Cooper.
There has also been a marked increase in parent involvement in field trips, the hot lunch program and in classrooms as parent helpers. A group of parents took on the organizing of the fundraising supper and auction held earlier this year which raises money for the school.
“They brought some new ideas unique to their culture,” she added, about the fact a majority of the students in the school come from a Low-German Mennonite background.
“This year, I’ve also seen an overall improvement in my parent council meeting attendance. I average about 15 parents, but I have had as high as 40 parents.
“Overall, we’re really excited and pleased with the improved presence of parents in our school.”

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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