To create educational success parental involvement is very important. By constructive cooperation between teachers and parents school performance, attitude, social-emotional functioning and well-being of the students is promoted. Therefore, "Parental Involvement 3.0” is an important focus for the Public Montessori School Oegstgeest. In the following years we will pay close attention to what helps to give it the right, contemporary content.
The main objective of "Parent involvement 3.0” is to get parents involved in decision making and to get them to participate in the education of their children. This goes much further than simply exchanging information or helping with school activities. The main objective is building a solid relationship between the school, the parents and the children that provides the groundwork for parents to get involved.
Parents association (PA)
On October 19, 2000, our school established a Parents Association (PA) with official board members. Objectives of the Parents Association include:
- Promoting the flourishing of the school.
- Promoting the interests of the parents of the school.
- Promoting support work by the parents.
- Serving as parent advocates to the MR (school board), the school and the governing authority
- And- providing advice to the MR on the administration of school extracurricular funds.
The role of the Parents Association is to promote and support the aforementioned objectives. The meetings of the Parents Association are in principle open to the public.
The mailing address of the Parents Association is the same as the school. Correspondence for the Parents Association can also be given to the school custodian.
Some of the Parents Association activities can’t be funded from regular school funds; and therefore, the parents are asked make a contribution. The targeted parental contribution rate, as well as the PA spending budget for the year, is set at the annual meeting. In the previous school year, this consisted of a basic contribution fee of €50 per child. A higher parental contribution is always welcome and very appreciated. If your child starts school mid-school year, than the parental contribution is prorated. During the school year each child receives a letter stating how to pay the voluntary parental contribution fee and how these funds will be used. The contribution is, as stated, voluntary. However, to our great regret, the school would be forced to cancel certain PA activities if too few people pay this voluntary contribution.
The MR (in Dutch Medezeggenschapsraad similar to a Collaborative School Committee) consists of three parents and three teachers and will help shape policy on the Public Montessori School Oegstgeest and contribute to the implementation of this policy.
Throughout the school year many activities are organized for and by the children in school, including performances, projects, sports day, library and the final presentation/ musical by group 8. Many of these activities would not be possible without the active participation of parents. For example, parents can volunteer and contribute to the school in any of these roles:
- Class parent (Contact person between teacher & parents)
- Handy person - Sports, garden, or computer parent volunteer
- Reading parent (or grandparent or aunt or uncle ..)
- Library assistant
- Helping with handicrafts, arts & crafts creative afternoons
- Driver or volunteer for class trips
- Editor of the school newspaper
- Member of the MR or Parents Association
In Social Schools, you’ll regularly find requests for parent volunteers for the roles mentioned above and for other activities. Also, teachers will send requests soliciting parent volunteers. You can volunteer by contacting your child’s teacher or by signing up on the lists posted outside the classroom. Working together in the interest of the children!
Each classroom has one or two class/group parents. These parents act as the link between the teacher and the parents of the group. They help the teachers organize various activities that take place in the group. The class parents manage the group mailing lists, invite parents to participate in various activities, etc.
They are also ready to listen to parents in the group if they have concerns or questions and they help orient new parents to find their way within the school.
The class parents assist with the following classroom and school activities:
- Helping teachers with classroom activities and soliciting parent volunteers
- Coordinating two coffee mornings per school every year
- Making the shopping list for Christmas dinner and Easter breakfast
- Reminding parents occasionally to check the lists and reminders posted in the classroom
- Coordinating a surprise birthday for the teacher
- Helping with activities such as Sinterklass, Kerstdiner (Christmas dinner) and Paasontbijt (Easter breakfast).
Since 2014, our school library has been connected to a new public library lending system called School Wise. School wise is linked to the lending system of the public library. In our school library, children can look up books in the public library catalog and make book reservations. The children can then pick up and return these books in the local public library. All children receive a free membership to the public library (Bibliotheek Bollenstreek).
You can volunteer as a reading parent for any age group. Reading parents volunteer once per week for about an hour and read with several children in a group. These one-on-one reading sessions support the reading development of the child. Before becoming a reading parent, you will receive a brief instruction. The reading material (books, articles, and short stories) are supplied by the teacher.
Introductory meeting - Reading parents
At the beginning of each school year, in the team room there is a instruction sessions on becoming a reading parent. Leonie Tijsterman gives this instruction. Points addressed are:
- How to keep a reading report
- The use of different reading materials
- The different types of reading exercises
- Some background information on children who just started to read or with reading difficulties
- Several reading requirements / benchmarks.
At the end of the session, there is an opportunity to exchange experiences and to ask any questions. It is an educational and “gezellige” morning!