Nature of Parental Involvement in Decision Making
Parental, as well as student involvement in school initiatives is considered an essential phase of the governance process. The BMI Charter School has an “open door” policy and the administration is attentive to parental needs and concerns. Parents play a vital role in decision-making in several ways. Three parents are member of the Shared Decision-Making Committee. This Committee is valuable input to the Board of Trustees on key school policy matters such as the budget, curriculum, developing business partner relationships and community involvement. One alumni parent is a member of the WEEA board. Parents are also able to attend regular open meetings of the BMI Board of Trustee. In addition, parents participate in the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), a national organization designed to forge an alliance with teachers and parents, that will be used as a vehicle to provide parents and teacher with an opportunity to independently articulate their needs and recommendations on various issues in a formal setting. The PTA also is exclusively responsible for sponsoring several important school events throughout the school year.
The BMI Charter School has numerous activities to link parents, pupils and school personnel, business partners, and the community including:
- · Monthly PTA Meetings
- · Parent Volunteer Program
- · Leadership organization to work with community churches, agencies, and businesses
- · Fall Harvest Festival
- · Dad’s Day
- · Business Partners Involvement Days
- · Career Day
- · Project/ Portfolio Presentation
- · Community Health Fair
- · Thanksgiving Luncheon
- · Room Parents for each Classroom
- · Get Acquainted Day
- · Grandparents’ Day
Families are expected to contribute to BMI’s basic operation, in the classroom- both as aides and as instructional leaders (e.g. seminar program)- and by working with their own children, supporting the successful completion of their individualized learning plans. Our current policy states that each family is expected to contribute at least twenty volunteer hours per school year for one child, or at least 30 hours per year for two or more children. At least 5 of those hours must be spent working directly with students, in the classroom, on field trips or during special evening or weekend events. Parents must also attend a minimum of four school-wide meetings each year.
“Beatrice Mayes Institute prepares its students for successful futures. In order for students to benefit from the challenges and opportunities offered by a BMI education, parents must be active partners in that education.
I have been apart of this school for many years and I know what it takes to be a parent at this school. To be an active partner, each parent must first have a genuine desire for the success of their child and for the success of BMI. Once parents have this desire for success, they must demonstrate it by making education a top priority and by making tangible contributions to the school. Demonstrating this desire for success means parents must embrace school goals and participate in school functions. It means parents must support instructors by reviewing class material at home. But most of all, it means parents must show respect and appreciation for the difficult task of preparing our children for their futures.”