By Dan Ahlstrom, Ed. D.
A key indicator in the health of independent schools is parent engagement. We know from The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) reports, on average, two-thirds of parents contribute to annual giving every year. At some schools, quite amazingly, 100 percent of parents donate to annual giving. These remarkable levels of annual giving are dollar equivalencies of appreciation for what the school does for the parents’ children and represent one indicator of a school’s healthy parental support. Other indicators of a strong parent body are the level of family volunteerism, attendance at parents’ association events, and parents’ presence at events like curriculum night.
While each of these volunteer opportunities have different responsibilities, they share a common goal in that they give parents an opportunity to participate in the life of the school in a way that contributes meaningfully to the daily experience of their children and the school community.
This work gives parents an opportunity to participate in creating a climate of positive parent participation and support. They also share one important mandate, which is to share positive experiences about the school with others. At Cedar Learning we help school great schools’ healthier school through positive parent engagement.