Last week I hosted a parent coffee with the goal of soliciting feedback from TIS parents. Over 30 parents attended the session and it was valuable for me to hear directly from them. My main “takeaways” from the session were as follows:
- Concerned about the influence of the internet and digital technologies on children’s development. This includes social media use, gaming, screen time, etc.
- More information on different aspects of the school ranging from teacher credentials, curriculum, student achievement data such as IB scores, university acceptances, foreign language study, to information about the IB teaching and learning techniques.
- Too many cafeteria snack offerings have high sugar and fat content.
- TIS to consider the most effective methods of communication between school and home.
Below are the meeting minutes
Over 30 parents attended the Coffee with the Director session. The purpose of the meeting was to receive feedback from parents regarding their experiences with the school. There were 19 different nationalities represented within the parents attending and after introductions and conversations, we shared our different schooling experiences.
- Children like TIS and families are mostly happy with the schooling.
- Different cultures have different expectations of schools.
- Parents do not see much homework, especially in the PYP and would like to know more about the educational process and their children’s progress. Elementary School Principal Derek Nelson has a planned session for parents in November.
Director Bill Kralovec shared submissions to the Suggestion Box recently installed near the entrance gate. They are as follows:
- Share the credentials and educational background of the faculty
- Share more information about the subject curriculum.
- There were questions about the wall calendars and 2021-2022 Yearbooks.
- Parents are concerned students are using mobile phones too much at school. They are concerned about overall amount of screen time between laptops and phones.
- Shorten wait time in the cafeteria for snacks and lunches.
- Give students more school supplies (stationary, office supplies)
At the meeting, the following suggestions/comments were put forth by attendees.
- Parents reiterated their concerns about the influence of social media, gaming (ex. MineCraft), mobile phones and screen time on students. Some felt the students spend too much time on screens at school.
- The nutrition of snack options for students during break times and after school was questioned. There are too many snacks like donuts, baked goods, chocolate and not enough healthy options.
- Sugar control (parents think children has unlimited access to the liquid sweetener for drinks)
- Consider offering breakfast and offer free healthy snacks for students
- Director answered questions regarding drinking water. All water is filtered or bottled water.
- Whole School Google Calendar (link)
- Newsletter (upcoming events, sent every other Tuesday 10:00 AM to email)
- Curriculum/Classroom Information through Toddle (ES) and Manage Bac (SS)
TIS is developing an online Parent Platform, a “one-stop shop” for all necessary school information. TIS is considering starting a Telegram Channel.
The parents also asked to provide more transparent information about:
- School graduation;
- University acceptance;
- School achievements;
- Language acquisition
The HR manager told the parents that the school has a “High school profile” where they can partly find the answers to their questions.
Bill is planning to lead community sessions on the following topics during the 2022-2023 school year:
- Advice to families for dealing with the impact of social media, mobile phones, screen time, etc.
- Latest research on sleep and circadian rhythms impact and learning and what families can do to improve sleep.
- Air pollution impact on health and cognitive ability
The Director thanked everyone and asked the parents to share their ideas, suggestion, and offers with him in person or send them via emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.