Involving Parents in the School: Tips for School Councils

Put Out the Welcome Mat

Some parents may not be comfortable in a school setting. Newcomers to Canada, in particular, may have experienced a very different school setting, and may therefore be unfamiliar with the school environment. These tips will help you create a school climate that makes parents feel comfortable and welcome.

Tip #3: The School Information Package

Create a welcoming information package for parents new to the school. Include information about the school and its programs, the School Council and its meetings, key dates and school events, and opportunities for parent involvement.

Tip #4: The Meet and Greet Program

Work with the principal to find opportunities for Council members to meet new parents when they first register at the school. This might include general information nights or welcome events for new parents, or more focused information sessions geared, for example, to the particular information needs of parents with children in Kindergarten, Grade 8, or Grade 9.

Tip #5: The Bring a Friend Program

Encourage Council members to invite and bring a new parent to each Council meeting. This welcoming gesture can dramatically improve parent attendance.

Tip #6: The Welcoming Council

Make newcomers feel welcome at Council meetings. Take time for introductions at the beginning of the meeting. Ask newcomers to talk about their children and the grades they are attending. At the end of the meeting, the Chair or other Council members can make a special effort to speak with newcomers, thanking them for their attendance, asking them if they need any assistance or information, and inviting them to attend the next meeting. Parents who do not feel welcome are much less likely to return.

Tip #7: The Newcomers Event

Consider a periodic event for parents new to Canada. Get school families involved in planning a special welcome that might include information about Canadian culture, the school system, extracurricular activities, and services and opportunities in the local community.

← Getting Started