I always mention in my call outs that ‘West Middle School is a special place’. I want the community [and the world] to know that we are a faculty and staff committed to making a difference in the lives of our students and students’ families. It is my goal to change the statement “West Middle School is a special place’ from sentiment to real fact.
I’m proud to announce that yesterday, we had our first Parent Walk. Though a communication campaign of call outs, Twitter, Facebook and text messages we invited our community at large to visit West Middle School and join us in guided walk throughs of our facilities, classrooms and a variety of events going on at the school. We didn’t’ have a special assembly or performance – it was ‘business as usual.’
I brought this to my administrative team as a means to not only showcase the great things going on in our school we are proud of but also to provide a neutral, less threatening school event for our parents/guardians to be a part of. By design, these walks would be guided. I was prepared to have my administrative team take a group and if necessary, prepared several teachers on their planning period to help us out as well. We had a couple of separate events going on like our Book Fair in the media center and as part of Red Ribbon Week we invited Grandparents to have either breakfast or lunch with their grandkids. We had some parents join their kids and grandparents for lunch after our tour – it was pretty cool watching families enjoy time together in the school.
I’m glad to say that our parents were excited about what they saw in our school! We covered a broad range of topics from new personnel hires to our need for more technology in our school. We talked about the tremendous effort our teachers put in through PLCs, duties, collaborative planning and instruction. Every topic was welcome conversation.
With the help of our instructional facilitator, we captured a lot of great feedback from our parents at the end of our walks. This is a picture of a modified ‘Plus/Delta’ he designed specifically for this event. From the contributions, our parents shared that they liked a lot and made a couple of recommendations, specific to what we saw that day.
The feedback for the Parent Walk itself was great. They liked the event itself and made suggestions on how we can improve the Parent Walks:
· More Parent Walks! [We originally planned for two this year but one of our groups insisted on more – awesome]
· Have more parents attend – We explained that we hoped one of the goals from this walk was to have more parents join us as word spread. They agreed to help tell more people to grow this event
· Have students serve as guides
One of the main objectives of the day was to gather as much feedback/data from parents as I possibly could. As part of my goal of being an effective communicator, I want to gather as many talking points that my community has so that I can address them in as many possible forums as needed. I hope this event is another great step in our changing sentiment into fact – ‘West Middle School is a special place.’