Community Engagement Through Parent Workshops

In 2018, after a comprehensive consultation process, IST adopted a strategic plan to help guide us towards our vision and mission. This plan is centred around 3 main goals; Personalized learning, Engaged Community, and Ensured sustainability. One of the aims of the second goal, Engaged Community, is to ensure that members of the IST community (students, parents, and teachers) are on the same page in regards to school issues.

As a day school, IST relies heavily on students, teachers, and parents actively working together. This takes many forms, from parent organized events, to learning support at home, trip preparations, college applications, and more. Given that a large demographic of parents are employed, this can be challenging at times. This is where Parent Workshops come in!

Parent workshops are 45 minutes to 1-hour sessions held between teachers and school administrators, and parents. Although varying in subject, essentially all parent workshops are aimed at helping parents understand what is going on in their child's school life. Some of the most important workshops every year include coffee sessions, college workshops, counselling workshops, and parent orientations.

Coffee Sessions are workshops organized by administrators; usually either principal, the school director, or the director of teaching and learning. These sessions are a place for parents to be brought up to speed on different projects and plans for the school's academic and administrative governance. These also include orientation programs for new parents.

The Director talking about the Strategic Plan with parents during a coffee session

College Workshops are usually student-parent affairs aimed at informing both parents and students on the college application process. These take the form of college-representative visits where students and parents can talk directly to universities they want to attend, and sessions organized by the counselling department to help parents and students figure out the different aspects of the college application process.

Parents and students talking to representatives during a college fair

Counselling Workshops are organized by counselors on either campus and are aimed at helping parents understand what students are going through with school life. A good example is the annual Thriving Through Transition Parent Workshop organized by elementary counselors to help new parents deal with the change of moving to a new school and all the difficulties that come with this. Parents can also suggest topics for these workshops.

Counselors presenting a workshop to parents

Building an engaged community is essential to ensuring IST continues to grow towards our vision of becoming a global leader in international education. And these workshops help us move toward this goal by keeping parents informed

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