Parents as Partners

September always brings a sense of renewal – kids are back in routine, summer travels have slowed down and we make resolutions to start the school year off on the right foot. This brings opportunities to reflect on ways to make this school year the best one yet. 

Back to school for the kids means back to school for you, too. 

Drop offs, pick-ups, staying on top of extracurriculars, homework and the going-ons at school are things you think about all day, every day. Often times, parents are also thinking about whether their children’s experiences are enriched. But beyond what the children are doing, parents have to think about what their role is and how they play a part in the school community. 

Enriching your child’s schooling experiences depends on you to help formulate a sense of community for them.  If you look around at the mums, dads and other caregivers at drop-off and pick-up you’ll notice you are all in the same boat. You have the same interests at heart and that is creating a life that is happy, joyful, stimulating and worthwhile for your children. Maybe this provides opportunity for you to make some new friends with the start of this school year. 

By broadening your social circle and reaching out to other parents and caregivers in the MSK community you are ultimately helping your child succeed. A sense of community creates a comfortable and reassuring atmosphere – and this is important as your child spends most of their waking hours with us and their peers every day. Learning through example is central to the Montessori pedagogy and we grown-ups should demonstrate what community looks like. 

This year, I encourage you to reach out and make a new MSK friend. This could be the parent/caregiver of a friend of your child’s. Or maybe it’s one they don’t speak so fondly of. Wouldn’t it be great to bring those kids together for a playdate? Or maybe you can lend an ear to a parent who looks tired, frustrated and overwhelmed. 

Whatever it may be, this year at MSK let’s deepen and strengthen our community and be partners in your child’s educational journey together. 

Based on seventeen-years of operating MSK, I have seen some great ways to reach out and build relationships within our community. Here are 5 tips to do so: 

  • Leave a note in your child’s folder for a parent of one of their peers – send your info along and ask to set up a play date on a weekend or right after school. It could be as simple as playing on the front parcel of grass for a few minutes while the grown-ups catch up and chat.
  • Attend MSK school events—and be social! We have our Fall Fair, Holiday Concert and Curriculum Nights just to name a few. Also, we will be hosting learning events for parents/caregivers in the coming months. Come to those too! You’ll be surrounded by like-minded folks and you’ll benefit from learning from one another. Chat with the person next to you or maybe it’s that shy parent who came alone that you can introduce yourself to. Either way, reach out and say hello. 
  • Get involved with volunteering at MSK – did you know we have a fundraising committee you can join and there are opportunities for assisting in class trips and in-school activities? Ask your classroom teacher for more details on that.
  • Follow us on Instagram and engage—if you recognize the name of one of your child’s peers, reach out to them! Also, ensure you have the Remind App and are able to log into the Parent Portal to read our newsletters and memos. In these documents you can learn about important events and happenings at MSK that you don’t want to miss out on. 
  • Still shy and not sure where to start? Reach out to me. I have always prided myself on having an open-door policy and will never turn down a chat with one of our valued community members. I am always accessible via phone or email. 

Pax Bonum, Friends. 

Principal Marzano-Kooner