Thanking parents at every turn

By Glynn Below posted 04-10-2017 14:39


I love parents!  They can make the work we do in Admissions so much richer when we invest time and energy into a plan.  They provide insights and information that we just don’t have access to.  The enormous influence that parents have in our schools should not be taken lightly.  While schools should be student-centered and exist for the kids, the adult interactions set the climate and tone of an institution.   Think how often parents interact with kids beyond their own children at school.  These moments contribute to a school’s culture and help make our community special. It’s smart to get ahead of their involvement with a plan to embrace, listen and thank!

EMBRACE those parents who want to be involved by placing positive school advocates on your Admissions parent committees. These Admissions Ambassadors make a tremendous difference to the work of the Admissions Office.  Their efforts can include mentor coordination, open house event work, family conversation and hospitality on shadow days, family tours, business lunch facilitation, and notes to area preschools.  These ambassadors are eager to help support the work of Admissions events and our ongoing work to share the good stories of our School.  This group helps us in Admissions to decide which events to schedule in area neighborhoods or businesses and how to make the most of our communications, civic memberships and advertising initiatives.   These parents are a constant source of positive energy.  They know that the best experience at our school comes from positive engagement with teachers, administrators and fellow parents.  We all know that not every experience is perfect, but our kids are confident in their learning when their closest advocates give their constant support to the school. 

LISTEN to these parents, for good and bad.  If we’re active listeners, willing to hear the good and the bad, we can offer important information to program discussions, strategic initiatives and learn to forecast enrollment knowing what trends lie ahead.   Our Admissions Ambassadors gather in the office for 1st Friday Coffees just to connect and hear the word-on-the-street.  Hardly a day goes by that I don’t text or chat with a parent about who has community news.  I count on their insider scoop!  Our parent organization has evolved over the past several years.  One important mission, to “project and connect” Randolph to the greater North Alabama area, has led to the launch of Randolph Connect, a new program designed to loop all adult constituent groups, (alumni, faculty, parents, civic leaders) into research mentors, classroom presenters, assembly speakers, job shadowing facilitators, community service guides and summer internship hosts. 

THANK parents at every turn.  It's no wonder that we feel indebted to our strong parent groups. Most school memories involve parents if you think of field trips, library volunteers and Advancement efforts.  Our annual Grandparents Day and Under the Christmas Tree market couldn’t happen without the army of volunteers it takes to pull off these events.

From vendor hospitality to volunteer coordination to table/chair set-up, parents work side by side with the Advancement team, setting the pace for that “all-in” culture at Randolph. We thank them throughout the year with a Christmas breakfast and parent reception. 

Knowing that parents are part of the fold, engaging them in meaningful work for the good of the school and our students, this partnership needs to be win-win.  

AISAP%20headshot.JPGGlynn Below
Director of Admissions
Randolph School