Dear TCGIS Parents,
I'm writing to you today to follow up on my message from August 31, in which, among other things, I announced my plan start a TCGIS Parent Council this year:
...This year we are working to establish a parent council. Community members who have lived in Germany may be familiar with this aspect of German schools (Elternbeirat). All German schools are required by law to have representative councils of students, teachers and parents. With the establishment of TCGIS' Staff Council in 2016, we had two out of three. A parent council, consisting of one elected parent rep from each class, will provide a formal setting for parent input into school decision making.
Well, needless to say, our school year has been full of unexpected challenges, leading to the delay of this project. With several months ahead of us yet, I am confident we can get this off the ground, so with that in mind, I would like to announce that we will be holding Parent Council elections this year
during the month of March with the help of our EKs.
[eltern-BY-raht] will then hold meetings on the following dates:
Thursday, April 18
Tuesday, May 14
Tuesday, June 11
Look for a detailed email from your
later this week.
This is new territory for TCGIS but I am confident that this will prove to be a positive addition to our school's landscape. I look forward to partnering with you to - as the Germans say - bring this onto its legs.
More details are provided below. Your questions and comments are welcome.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Speaking of EKs, how do they relate to a parent council?
Because each class has an Elternkontakt, EKs and Parent Council share the same structure, so it has confused some people. The functions are different: EKs facilitate communication and do not attend meetings. Parent Council will communicate as well but also bring their class' parent perspective to meetings with the whole council. An EK may serve as Parent Council rep.
What about the PTO? What about the School Board?
The PTO will continue to work to bring parent energy and talent to the school to support the work of the school.
The school board remains the primary authority of the school.
By providing a forum for parent concerns, the Parent Council will relieve PTO and School Board of dealing with individual parent concerns on school-wide matters. The Parent Council, with its broad collection of perspectives, will be better situated to determine "what the parents think" and help Administration, Board and PTO form a better picture of families we serve.
What will the Parent Council do?
Other school entities will report to the Parent Council: Admin, Staff Council, Student Council. PTO and School Board may decide to do this, as well.
Parent Council serves as a forum for parents to discuss school concerns and may agree to formally bring concerns to the Administration or even to the School Board. Contact with the Staff Council or Student Council is also encouraged.
Parent Council may serve as a valuable sounding board for any other school entity who may want to know "What do the parents think?"
While modeled on a typical parent council present in German schools, the TCGIS Parent Council may form itself differently to meet our school's needs.
To see an example of a parent council in Germany, click
How often will the Parent Council meet?