Earlier in November I hosted an informal coffee for Ben-Hem parents and families. These coffees are planned monthly for the remainder of the school year (You can find our schedule using this link) and are informal get togethers for parents, families and community members. There is no formal agenda as the purpose is to provide opportunities for folks to talk with Mr. Kelly, ask questions, and share concerns.
The first coffee was a great success. I had the opportunity to sit and talk with about ten parents for just over an hour. Through this conversation, class size, budget, long term strategic planning, and a few other issues were discussed. These were great conversations as they allowed me to better understand the perspective of parents and the community on issues impacting the school while providing me with an occasion to dive deeply into the laws, regulations, and contexts that are often the reasons for the issues and concerns raised by the community.
Building this common understanding of ongoing school improvement efforts, the contexts in which they exist, and their perceptions within the community is critically important to our community as Ben-Hem seeks to provide educational opportunities for students that maximize opportunities to learn in a manner that is consistent with the values and goals of the parent and family community. I look forward to the remainder of these meetings and hope that you will take the opportunity to join us!