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In this together: school-family partnerships have never been more important!

The partnerships between independent schools and parents have never been more important as communities work together to transition to new learning routines and approaches in Term 2.

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) and the Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network (QIS Parents Network) have extended their sincere thanks to independent schools and their parent and carer communities for supporting each other during this challenging period.

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said schools and their parents had always been partners in learning.

“Decades of international and national research has consistently shown this relationship has a profound impact on student achievement and wellbeing,” he said.

A time of transition and change

Mr Robertson said the transition from classroom to home-based learning in Term 2 was a significant change to traditional school and family routines.

“There will inevitably be some hurdles to overcome along the way because it’s unfamiliar territory for everyone taking part. It will take time to adjust and people need to be patient and considerate.”

Mr Robertson said the expertise and creativity of the sector’s teachers and the leadership of their principals had come to the fore as they reimagined traditional approaches to schooling to maintain student learning.

“Independent schools have not only redesigned their education programs for remote delivery, but also how they maintain wellbeing and spiritual support, where this is part of their school mission, for students and families,” he said.

“Our dedicated independent school staff have gone above and beyond on so many levels and deserve our heartfelt thanks for their unwavering dedication and commitment to continuing student learning through this pandemic.”

Parents: be kind to yourselves

QIS Parents Network Executive Officer Justine Cirocco urged parents to be kind to themselves and to remember their primary role was to love and support their children.

“Our children’s teachers are the education experts and that hasn’t changed. They have prepared a range of engaging learning materials which will be delivered in different formats,” she said.

“Some schools may run similar timetables to what their children have been used to, supported by online video conferencing style lessons, others may run modified programs online or provide paper-based learning materials, complemented by personal phone calls. The approaches will differ.

“Parents can also access an extensive range of education materials from government and recognised learning providers to fill the gaps in the day and week. The QIS Parents Network website and Facebook page include stories and links to many of these.”

Prioritise what’s important

Ms Cirocco urged parents to read their school notices, talk with their children about their school’s expectations, create workable family routines and most importantly talk with their child’s teachers or other nominated staff members if they have any concerns.

“We need to be ready for things not to go perfectly and that’s okay. But we’re not alone.”

“Community does not end at the school gate in our independent schools. It exists in the way its members treat and support each other, through the best and worst of times.”

This story was originally posted on the Independent Schools Queensland website on April 20 as School-Family Partnerships Have Never Been More Important.