The Importance of Parental Engagement

MAPA End of Year Breakfast (and a triangle on the gym!)

I often talk about the “educational triangle” of students, parents, and schools. The triangle is the strongest shape, and, when aligned, students, parents, and schools create the best learning experience and environment. A 2008 University of New Hampshire study of more than 10,000 eighth-grade students in public and private schools demonstrated what we as educators and parents already know: parental involvement strongly impacts student achievement. Attending sports games or performances, participating in a conference or meeting, volunteering with the MA Parents Association (MAPA), or even asking about school during dinnertime conversation makes a difference.

At MA we embrace our parent community and encourage engagement in many ways. The California Association of Independent Schools asserts, “To be successful, every independent school needs and expects the cooperation of parents, who must understand and embrace the school’s mission, share its core values, and fully support its curriculum, faculty, and staff. When joined by a common set of beliefs and purposes, the independent school and its parents form a powerful team with far-reaching positive effects on children and the entire school community. Working together, parents and school professionals exert a strong influence on children to become better educated; they also help them to mature by modeling adult working relationships based on civility, honesty, and respect.”

MAPA End of Year Breakfast

Today I joined more than 80 parents on the student center plaza to celebrate the accomplishments of MAPA, whose mission is to encourage, organize, and direct volunteer activities that enhance school life for students, faculty, staff, parents, and the larger community. More than 35 committees work on projects from admissions and advancement support to athletics boosters, from class activities and socials to faculty breakfasts, from graduation to parent education, and everything in between. Each year I am astounded by the volume of what they accomplish.

MAPA helps make all of us at MA the best we can be, and values access, community, and inclusivity. Please join me in thanking the outgoing executive board:

The 2011–2012 MAPA Executive Board: Diane Reed, VP Communications; Paige Thomas, Secretary; Anita Roehrick, VP Staff and Parent Support; Lyn Klein, Treasurer, Sara Howard, President; Sue Feder, VP Student Support

Sara Howard, President
Diane Reed, VP Communications
Sue Feder, VP Student Support
Anita Roehrick, VP Staff and Parent Support
Paige Thomas, Secretary
Lyn Klein, Treasurer

and welcoming the 2012–2013 members:

Paige Thomas, President
Lisa LaHorgue, VP Communications
Sue Feder, VP Student Support
Carolyn Bednarz, VP Staff and Parent Support
Stacy Nelson, Secretary
Claire Kingsley, Treasurer


About Travis

Head of School, Marin Academy.
This entry was posted in parenting, service and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Importance of Parental Engagement

  1. Ellen says:

    Thanks to everyone involved with MAPA for all your hard work; brava to Sara for a great year. And thanks for sending TW@Ma…it’s great to have all the necessary information for parents in one place once a week.

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