Parent Participation in College
Why Should Parents Become Involved with Their Child’s College?
Research clearly shows that family involvement in education is a win/win situation for students and schools, and that:
- family involvement in education is important to students’ academic success
- strong family-school-community partnerships make a positive difference in student achievement.
Family involvement is mutually beneficial for students and schools. Research shows that students benefit through better attendance and homework completion rates, by attaining higher grades and by having a more positive attitude towards college. This usually translates into higher completion rates and a greater likelihood of students undertaking further post school education.
Communicating with the college about programs and students’ progress may involve:
- attending information sessions
- requesting and attending parent/teacher interviews which are held each semester
- (refer to the college calendar and newsletter for dates)
- visiting the school when special events are organised
- attending evening information sessions or special programs offered by the college
- being an active member of the college P&C association or College Board
- communicating with your child about work they are undertaking
- requesting meetings with teachers to discuss your child’s progress at college.
The College Board
The Board is the general policy-making body of the college. Its functions include broad oversight of college activities, consideration of new course offerings and major changes to the curriculum, and approval of the budget. Representatives of each group in the college community work together on the board to determine policy and guide the development of the college. Membership consists of three parents/community representatives, three teachers (including the principal), two students, and a community representative nominated by the Education Directorate. The principal is the executive officer of the board.
Board members are elected for two-year terms, with one or two members of each group replaced each year. Elections are usually held in February. A Board chairperson is chosen annually by the members and may be a student, a parent or the Directorate nominee. The Board meets monthly. Board minutes are available to any member of the college community, and the board produces an annual report, which is also available on request.
The College P&C Association
The College P&C Association has been incorporated to:
- promote the interests of the college by encouraging close collaboration of teaching staff, parents, students and citizens and to provide a forum in which they can freely exchange ideas on any related to the functions, policies and management of the college
- provide a forum for discussions of education and for furthering the interests of public education
- assist with the provision of additional equipment for students’ educational, recreational and sporting use.
ACT schools and secondary colleges undertake a continuous quality assurance process which analyses current data and context to assess future directions, including curriculum. In a five-year school improvement cycle, a plan is prepared in the first year on the basis of this information and then reviewed in each of the subsequent years with a process of external review occurring in the fifth year. This planning takes account of teacher, parent and student feedback and also incorporates ACT system priorities.
Voluntary Parent Contributions
In addition to the funding provided by the ACT Government, parents are invited to make voluntary contributions to the cost of courses. This is necessary because the greater complexity of the learning task at colleges produces constant pressure to provide additional equipment and teaching resources to ensure that students are adequately resourced for their studies. Money received from voluntary parental contributions enables the college to build up its resources as well as improving classroom resources (both textbooks and equipment) and providing sporting equipment.