Asking parents to voluntarily complete a survey during our registration nights proved to be fruitful. Ultimately, I had 234 parents complete the survey and they added candid responses to the open ended questions. Their feedback will be vital to this project and will drive our next actions as an ATP to develop activities for the 2015-2016 school year. SBMS teachers were asked to voluntarily complete a survey on their opinion of parent involvement, strategies they've used that worked well, and ways we can improve in that area as a school; a total of 44 teachers responded. I was elated with this response rate, especially considering the length of the survey. They also answered all or almost all questions within each survey even though this was not required.
The initial ATP (Action Team for Partnerships) meeting confirmed my belief that I have the right people on the right committee. I sent an email to the entire staff recruiting members who felt they were passionate about parent involvement, wanted to see improvement, and felt they would be committed to the project. This message reached those who fit the profile. A total of six teachers, including a social worker responded. The team represents almost every grade level, enrichment, the exceptional needs team, and student services. The team has strengths in many areas to include parent rapport, passion for involvement, resource availability, knowledge of our lowest socio-economic students and what their needs are, and many other talents to help us move forward. The first meeting lasted almost two hours. We were so engaged in the information, the current state of SBMS and the parents, their needs, and our next steps, that time slipped away from us. Initially, I had planned to meet for one hour. No one even noticed it had gotten so late. I met with teachers and the social worker first and had planned on bringing parents to the next meeting; however, we decided that choosing our parents intentionally and carefully would be a tedious process. The team decided to target the four geographical areas of our school district in order to recruit parents that represent our population. They also decided that going into the community would be the best way to get higher participation and to make parents see that we are interested in giving them a voice. The next meeting was scheduled for the following week to finalize plans for parent recruitment, meeting locations, and times.