Who and What is the Parent Council?
Parent Council is a place for parents to come together … to connect with other parents, to have a voice, to be informed about what’s happening at DWS, to learn about Waldorf education and to exercise parental leadership, which all contributes to our goals to build community and bridge communication.
For the 2016-2017 school year, Parent Council was lead by Christine Crawford - Chair, Jenn Short - Meeting Host, and Brad Tom - Secretary. We are currently in search of new co-chairs. Contact Christine or Jenn for details.
We began our 2016-17 school year with a strong Parent Council Team and look forward to our monthly meetings on the third Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. These are meetings for all parents and we encourage everyone to attend, especially those new to our school. It is an opportunity to connect each month, evaluate our goals, and check-in about the health and activities of each class as well as the whole school.
Last year was an exciting year, culminating with our school’s AWSNA Accreditation, and we thank all those in Parent Council who were involved in the process. It’s fantastic to see success after so much work! Our parents also volunteered much time and energy into the classrooms, field trips and festivals. Our school has the warm and welcoming community we appreciate because of the commitment of our faculty and administration, and because of the support of our parents.
One of our goals last year was to address the impact of our activities and festivals on our school community. All realms of the school had expressed concern with the level of activities/festivals and the toll it was taking on the community. Parent Council helped form a Festivals Working Group that is made up of parents, faculty and administration to look at ways to simplify festival life to focus on the pedagogical roots and bring back the sense of joy and wonder to our teachers, our children, and our parents. This has been a wonderful opportunity to communicate and start planning our festivals together. Please let us know if you are interested in joining the Working Group. Many hands make for light work!
We hope to provide more parent education this year and give more support to our Class Parent Reps. The end of the year survey revealed that parents would like to see a more rigorous parent education program offered in many different ways to meet the diverse parent body. We also hope to provide a more unified means of communication to parents about Parent Council activities and needs, cutting out multiple Class Parent emails and inconsistencies. The DWS Survey comments are very helpful and we appreciate the time and thoughtfulness parents took to comment with their concerns and suggestions.
Before we joined the Parent Council we often wondered, “how do all the different realms of the school function, what is the organizational structure of the school, and how do we understand more about Waldorf curriculum and philosophy?” We have learned that this information is available to us all if we take the time to read the website, bulletins and attached articles, stop by the office to check out a book, attend class parent meetings, parent council meetings and an occasional board meeting. Our school, while not a cooperative school, does prosper by the support and involvement of our parents. Our Parent Council is a forum for parents to come together and express our ideas or concerns for the betterment of our school and we look forward to the participation of all DWS parents.
Our monthly potluck dinner meetings are held on the Third Thursday of each month from 6-8 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room at the school. If you have any ideas or issues for Parent Council or would like to host a meeting, please contact Christine Crawford.
Our Parent Council Representatives/Class Parents
What Is A Class Parent?
A Class Parent is a parent liaison between the Class Teacher, and other parents in the class, and the larger school community.
The Class Parent(s):
- Supports the Class Teacher’s curriculum plans and class needs wherever helpful
- Develops an effective communication plan for timely and informative communication between parents, Class Teacher and Front Office. (Ex. phone trees, class contact lists, group email lists)
- Stays abreast of the larger school community news and keeps parents informed as needed
- Reinforces what’s going on in the school with parents
- Helps parents feel involved and connected
- Is alert to identifying and communicating issues that will provide positive class growth
- Coordinates class and school events with the assistance and contributions of other parents
- Is available to attend regularly-scheduled Class meetings