I couldn’t believe how good I felt as I walked away from our last School Community Council (SCC) meeting of the year last week. It was fun to look back at our year and have some laughs over the good moments we had.
So many good moments!
It was hard to believe that just a few short years ago I was struggling to keep the SCC together and couldn’t even find enough bodies to fill the executive positions. We did not have a chairperson or a willing body to step up at the end of our AGM in the fall. After the meeting, one of our dads felt sorry for me and agreed to take it on to help me out. What a great guy!
Part of my job as a school administrator and teacher is to build relationships with parents and families and a big part of my principal’s position is to help organize our School Community Council (SCC) and work with parents as a member of the council representing the school. The first year I moved from being a vice-principal and into the principal’s seat I underestimated how hard relationship building can be. It just takes time and effort as we learn to trust each other.
One of my professional growth goals this year was to focus on our school community council and to try to improve authentic partnerships involving them in our school improvement plan. It seemed like we were ready to take the added step forward from fund raising and school activity support to discussions and input about our school data.
This can be a difficult sell to parents. They are comfortable where they are and we need to build trust before we are ready to jump to this next step of candid conversations about our school data and goals. The first step was to add to my principal’s report a data set each time we met or as often as possible. Looking at the data was a conversation starter. It allowed questions to be brought forward and next steps as well as possible solutions to be discussed.
We started with the Our School data that we gathered in May the previous year. It opened up discussions about where we started from, what were our concerns looking forward and how the SCC might support us going forward.
Over the year we looked at our EYE (Early Years Evaluation) results, we discussed our AIMSweb reading and math screens, we talked about our Review 360 Behavior Screen and we looked at the new holistic writing rubric and how it was different from how we usually look at writing assessment.
This opened up some fantastic discussions each time and I hope it also brought us a step closer to working as a team moving forward in these areas. One of the other things I said I wanted to do was a survey of the SCC members for some feedback. Unfortunately, this did not get done, but would be something I would consider for another year.
As this year closes, I feel very positive about the direction we have moved with our SCC and feel that we are truly becoming a productive team, working together focused on the positive growth of our students.
What a great feeling!