The children who attend our schools today come to us from many different kinds of families. Gone is the era when most families consisted of dad, mom, sister, brother and the family pet. Today’s families are made up of a wide variety of configurations: two parent families, single parent families, blended families, dual income families, grandparent families and even children who have no family, who come to us from a foster home. Recognizing that each child brings with them the unique influences of their own home environment, it is imperative that we create a “family of families” within our school community.
The staff at Ideal Academy Public Charter School explores ways of involving all the adults in a child’s family by having them make a commitment to support their child’s education. Commitment to excellence is accomplished at Ideal by having our families and school work together in the pursuit of educational excellence for their children. To strengthen parents’ willingness to become involved in their children’s education, we promote a collaborative environment in which parents are valued, and recognized as essential partners in their child’s life. Ideal develops family involvement programs that train and support parents in dealing with the multiple pressures of rearing children in today’s complex world.
We have found that parental involvement takes on new meaning, as we explore creative ways to reach out and involve those hard-to-reach parents, or those parents who feel uncomfortable in a school environment. We have implemented several programs such as the “Family Inaugural Ball,” “Ideal Men Are Cooking,” and other programs where parents and their children participate together in a school directed activity. “Tea & Coffee with the Principal,” a communication channel where parents have a place to meet and learn together, is held once a month at the school. Ideal parents have been involved in activities where they have worked together to organize and build a playground for our early childhood and elementary school students. They have also reached out to local businesses for incentives to reward students for their academic success.
Research shows that parent and family involvement play a significant role in determining children’s intelligence, competence and achievement. Therefore, the staff at Ideal Academy Pubic Charter School attempts to bring together each family within our school, of whatever configuration, into a coalition of “families” focused on meeting the diverse and challenging educational needs of all children.