Your school needs you on its board
Those of us with school-aged children should have received a form seeking nominations for their school board of trustees. Schools call for nominations to elect a new board every three years. This is the perfect opportunity to get involved with your child’s education.
Many parents will have ignored the trustee
nomination request, thinking that they have nothing to offer to their board, but every parent, caregiver or family member has something to offer. The key role of a board member is to ensure every child succeeds, so if you can extend that to all children in the school community you will make a great trustee. Passion for your community and a desire to see the next generation flourish will guide you well.
We all have different views, and by working with a variety of people we get an insight into a broad range of ideas, which benefits our children.
A child’s education is not just about academic mastery. Reading, writing and arithmetic are important, but arguably learning social skills and ways to interact with people is a more valuable life lesson.
The board, working with the principal, will help guide the school’s strategic plan and programmes that contribute to students achieving their best.
There is nothing to fear about being a school trustee. Your principal will guide you, point you in the right direction. Resources and advice are also available at the New Zealand School Trustee Association’s website (www.nzsta.co.nz).
A common concern is, I don’t have enough spare time to do the job properly. However, the time commitment on average would be less than four hours a month. Typically you will have one monthly meeting, which may last a couple of hours. Add some time for preparation and thinking, and that is you done for the month.
I have been a board member at my children’s primary school for five years. I can honestly say that I have loved every moment. I certainly have a much better insight in the difficult job teachers have — every child learns differently and at a different pace. But because of my involvement on the board, I feel much more engaged in my children’s education and have a greater appreciation for the ever-changing ideas schools need to develop to move forward.
A school board needs to represent the school community’s diversity to ensure a bright future for all students. It is important that a diverse range of individuals put themselves forward for election. So please, if you really want to be involved in your child’s education, complete the nomination form today, or contact your school if you have lost it.
For most schools, nominations close at noon tomorrow. Don’t miss this an opportunity to help guide the strategic direction of your school and your community.