The parent workshop was an interactive event that drew upon the expert knowledge of participants to explore the theme “what do parents want” and then to identify mechanisms to assess how these expectations are being met.
In each workshop the participants were broken into discussion groups of 3-5 people. Each group member was asked to write down two statements that describe what parents want from public education for their children. These statements were shared amongst the group. From these initial statements a series of common expectations were recorded on flip chart paper. The next step was a brainstorming session to identify the most effective methods, techniques, and/or processes for assessing whether or not the identified parental expectations have been met in the context of public education.
Two key themes were identified by all participants: education should focus on the whole child, and; dialogue and communications are central to the parent/school partnership.
The morning session was comprised of fairly equal numbers of parent representatives, teacher representatives, and trustees. The afternoon session was about 60% parents with three trustees and a couple student teachers. Both workshops identified fairly similar expectations and methods to assess whether these expectations are being met with the afternoon session tending to emphasize the importance of communication and partnerships with parents.