Like every head out there, the role of parents in the life of the school is an issue I give a lot of thought to. It’s an issue that goes beyond basic communication of information from school to families – with our parent representatives, weekly memo, blogs, Seesaw, correspondence books, Facebook, Instagram and this letter from the head, I feel we’ve given a lot of thought to that area and have developed a sufficient number of tools to keep parents informed of what’s going on in the French Section. But what about communication and feedback flowing in the other direction, from families to school? What forums do we have in place that allow you as parents to express yourselves and enable us as educators to better understand your expectations, worries and hopes?
Last year, some of you might remember, I held informal monthly Meet the Head meetings with parents who wished to discuss diverse themes with me. Once a term I also held formal ‘School Council’ meetings attended by official members of the French community alongside certain elected French-speaking parents. (Footnote: Conseil d’etablissement, not to be confused with the monthly Conseil de Gestion – FS Management Council meetings)
I was not entirely satisfied by the format of either of these Meet the Head or School Council meetings, neither of them proved an adequate forum for real dialogue between school and families. For this reason, I am proposing a new format this year. I would like to invite each and every one of you to three town hall-esque general school meetings this school year.
These French Section Town Hall meetings will have several objectives. They will be an opportunity for me to give you some feedback on each term and fill you in on new pedagogical initiatives. They will also allow us, together, to continue to reflect on the identity of the French Section. The developments that are occurring today will have an impact on our school tomorrow and it seems crucial to me that you should be involved in the planning process and can make your contribution to the French Section’s future.
We’ll avoid issues that are TES-wide, such as school fees and parking problems; the heart of the matter will be pedagogy in the general sense of the word. There are many fascinating areas to be touched on: the reform of the French educational system, assessment, homework, bilingualism, learning Chinese…
The first of these meetings will take place on Tuesday 6th of December. Keep an eye on the weekly memo (emailed to families on Mondays) for more information. I look forward to seeing you there.
Have an excellent weekend,