The Parent Expectations Meeting is hosted annually by the school. On this day, students’ parents or guardians get to meet the school’s leaders and discuss what is expected from both sides.
For the new parents, the morning was exciting. The School of St Jude staff, assisted by smartly dressed girl scouts, directed the parents to the appropriate locations… primary students in the primary dining hall and secondary students in the girls’ secondary school.
Parents and students grabbed their seats and eagerly waited for the meeting to start.
“It’s important for parents to meet annually and be reminded of the school’s policies and what they should expect from the school and vice versa,” said Charles, a Parent Representative.
The school strongly encourages parent involvement and is fortunate to have five dedicated Parent Leaders who oversee a larger committee of nearly 50 volunteer Parent Representatives. These representatives are voted in by the school parent community to act as spokespeople for all parents and guardians of St Jude’s students.
The Parent Representatives each oversee an area in which students’ live in the Arusha region. Working closely with the school, Parent Representatives investigate any issues at home and keep parents informed at all times by holding meetings with fellow parents and giving feedback to the school’s leadership.
Charles added that, “It’s imperative for all parents to read and understand these rules and regulations. That’s why, once we agree and sign, one document stays at the school and we take a copy home to make sure we read, understand and don’t forget the provided guidelines.”
Echoing the Parent Representatives, Mr Elimringi, Headmaster at the girls’ secondary school, explained that is was also important for students to understand the expectations.
“This document is an agreement between the parent, student and the school. That’s why it’s essential for all students to sign this agreement as well. Once the parents sign and leave the campus, what remains is the implementation of these directives. That’s why it’s absolutely necessary for the student to also agree and sign this document,” clarified Mr Elimringi.
The document covers general expectations, uniform and dress code, communications, academic expectations, health and welfare with a strong emphasis on the fact that their child is receiving a free, quality education that must not be taken for granted. Another one of the school’s policies mentioned is that, all students must follow and live by the school’s values and principles, which are; Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Kindness.
“Parent Expectations Meeting is the best part of the year. This is when we get to introduce the school to the new parents, what we do and what we expect. If we cannot sign this document with the parents, it means that we can’t hold the parents accountable,” said Mr Mcharo, Academic Manager.
Describing the importance of the meeting, Mr Mcharo further added, “Before anything or any documents are distributed to the parents, we have to educate them first. I would say this meeting is like a workshop, as both parents and students also get a chance to ask as many questions as possible about the school and how these policies work.”
“For the old parents, this meeting is a chance to update them about the school’s progress and students’ performance. It’s crucial for both new and old parents to attend this meeting because rules and regulations are adjusted from time to time. So it’s vital to get this information out to everyone,” he insisted.
The Parent Expectations Meeting is organised annually. For primary and O Level, parents meet with the academic leaders and teachers in January, while the A Level meeting is hosted in July, when the academic year for Form 5 and 6 starts.
The School of St Jude thrives off its parent and guardian community, all united in fighting poverty through education, so their children, can one day become the future leaders that their country needs.
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