📣 Parent Voice Matters – Parent Voice and Choice

Now more than ever, parental involvement holds the key to student success. Learn why parents are not the problem… they’re the solution

#ParentVoice #ParentChoice #ParentVote


While the curriculum around the world is similar, the context of the students, families, and communities is very different. So it’s no wonder why the OECD has shown that more parental involvement makes a huge difference for student success. Italian parents that asked how the kid was doing in school once a week or more did 38% better in Math. Hong Kong parents that ate a meal with their child almost every day did 18% better on Math.

Dr Debbie Pushor a leading researcher on the parent voice reminded me that while students spend 17% of the year at school the other 83% outside of school. Parents should be co-constructing the School Plans and not only rubber stamping it.

Lockdowns changed everything in schools. When schools closed every parent went from being a supporter of their kids’ education to a partner. We may not be as familiar with pedagogy but we certainly know our child’s interests and that’s half the battle.

Yet at the same time, something strange was happening in Alberta. Instead of more parent voice in School Councils we saw less, in fact we saw at least 118 Schools in Calgary that posted online last year had not posted a school council agenda, newsletter, date, or minutes for September or October 2020.

The parent voice was becoming silent. While it was reported that 10% of learners are moving to online schools in CBE we were surprised to find that over 34% of schools in CBE and 30% of schools in CSSD no longer had an active school council to connect parents and collect their voice.

You might think this isn’t hard: Parents are used to attending meetings online. But many of the active parents in schools had decided to teach their kids from home last year. While CBe-Learn didn’t have a School Council last year, and the St Isidore Online School did but it only had one vote at ASCA even though it represented 10x the number of students, parents, and families of a typical K-9 School.

I’ve seen first hand how the parent voice is taken away. I was required to withdraw a motion that started from conversations with over 300 parents in my capacity as the elected School Council Chair at Blessed Marie Rose. Parents expressed worry about screen time, mental health, and support for children with exceptional educational needs. I was ordered to withdraw the motion because my child attended the St Isidore online school and I was told that I can no longer stand as a representative for the BMR School. Some of you know the rest of that story, I was elected the Chair of the St Isidore School Council and today I am in the election for the Trustee position of Calgary wards 1, 2 and the beautiful town of Cochrane.

n this Great Course, I learned about many of the different approaches different cultures have and how this changes how you should speak to people in different cultures. This is useful for my connections with our diverse community as I often need to connect with researchers outside of Canada and the communication barrier can often be a stumbling block.

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