Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Friends School Community Forums

By now you have heard of the FSP Community Forum, but do you know what it is? The Friends School Community Forum is a monthly meeting, primarily of parents, whose purpose is to proactively inform the development of the school community. Through these unstructured conversations, we hope to gain an understanding of the array of views held by the membership on pervasive issues that affect our children within the academic and social environment of the school.

Because there is an urgent issue for which the board wishes parent input, we have decided to use the first Community Forum to facilitate their access to our opinions. The first Parent Forum, an opportunity to discuss as a community the future location of the Friends School, will be held Tuesday, October 4 at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the issue at stake, please refer to James’ letter of September 26.

Please note that childcare will not be offered for the October 4th Forum. The parent steering committee is in the process of organizing childcare opportunities for future evening events at the school. (For those who cannot attend the evening meeting, Rob Levin and James will be available on Wednesday, October 5 for a meeting at 8:30 a.m. and another meeting at 2:00 p.m. We hope this schedule serves the needs of all parents who wish to participate in the discussion.)

The Friends School Community Forum will meet the first Tuesday of each month during the school year. Fall topics will be:

November 1 - The role and desirability of performing and visual arts in the curriculum

December 6 - Technology and social media in the school environment

Winter and spring topics will be decided later this fall based on input from parents, teachers, and the school administration. A couple of ideas floating around are to bring in a specialist on sociocognitive thinking to talk with us about the importance of fostering executive and social skills development at school and at home; and talking to kids about sex and healthy choices: what is appropriate at what developmental stage, how to talk about it, and everything else you ever wanted to know.

We welcome your ideas. We want to talk about the things that are important to our families!

Hope to see you Tuesday evening!

Maya & Aja


Leisa Collins said...

Maya & Aja,

Thank you for organizing this forum for the Friends School community! I do think that it's important for the parent constituency to have an outlet for thoughts, ideas, and opinions. I'll bet James and Mary especially will be grateful that this forum may replace some of the one-on-one response that has been necessary to our enthusiastic parental thoughts and whims!

I have a few comments:

* The report out from our accreditation visit this fall may provide us with some topics for discussion in later forums.

* I feel that there are probably (at least) two discussions around technology at FSP, one being the one you have planned for 12/6: "Technology and social media in the school environment" - which I assume will go in the direction of discussing the use of cell phones and social media at FSP (and home?). But I am also very interested in how we are advocating for digital literacy and the use of instructional technology in our curriculum – which covers learning to do good research, learning to be a good digital citizen online, and the use of the many relevant, engaging technology tools that support learning at school (and home).

* We could definitely spend some time that we did not take last spring debriefing the "Race to Nowhere" film. I have been reading/thinking a lot about the highly related concept of "growth" vs. "fixed" mindset in terms of child development at school and at home (basically teaching, modeling, and praise that makes investigation, curiosity, effort, and asking questions the goal vs. grades, performance, "being smart"). How are we doing with that, and could we do better?

I’ll stop there and will look forward to seeing you soon!

-Leisa, 2nd grade Aidan’s Mom

Maya said...

Thanks, Leisa, for your comments and suggestions. We'll put them on the list.