Notes from the second Parent Collaboration Committee (PCC), which was held at Fremont Center on March 15th, 2016.
CHILDROOTS EMPLOYEE DEPARTURES & PROMISORY NOTES
When we hire a new employee, we are looking to match that teacher to the classroom that best fits their experience, education and the existing teacher and dynamic in the classroom. Initially, we place teachers in what the specialist or director feels is a good classroom fit, and then cross our fingers that both teachers love each other and work well together.
We ask our primary teachers to make their commitments to the classroom and to your children based on how long that room will be together in the same space. For a young infant room, that is a 2 or 3-year commitment. For a preschool room, we ask for a one-year commitment. Primary teachers sign a document that we call “My ChildRoots Promise” at their 30-day pre-review meeting. These certificates hang near the entrances of each classroom. We ask teachers to re-sign once a year, and we hang the new certificates in the classroom. Teachers receive a $100 bonus for re-signing after their first year, $200 after their second year, and $300 each year after their third.
When a teacher chooses to leave and does not honor this promise, we communicate that to the families in the room. When we receive notice that a teacher plans to leave, the specialist or the annex director will send out an email to all families informing you of the change. In this initial written communication, we include:
- Reasons for the departure – legally, we can only include details that the employee specifically outlines
- The teacher's last day
- Plans for replacement
- Interim plans for a substitute
- How we will share the news with your children and what language we will be using
PARENT NIGHT OUT
A few parents have brought up the idea of a Parent’s Night Out; where, on a given evening, ChildRoots would offer evening care at the school. Our administrative team took a few weeks to really chew on this idea, and we aren't convinced it’s a direction we want to move in. Although we understand the desire for parents to have a convenient drop-off place for children to allow for much-needed adult-only outings, we don't believe that this plan is compatible with our wish to be seen as a school for young children. Most children who attend our schools spend more of their awake hours in our care than at home. We value their time outside of our school so that their time in our school remains enjoyable. We also do not want to add further liability to our school that may compromise our daily care. In addition, we are concerned that directors and specialists (who already spend so much time at school) would be forced to oversee evening events when last minute scheduling changes keep the scheduled teachers from attending. It is for these reasons we will not be offering evening care.
INCREASED PARENT PARTICIPATION IN THE CLASSROOM
Parents have expressed some interest in becoming involved in classroom activities during the school day. We value the work and the training of our teachers and respect each classroom's rhythm. For this reason, we do not allow parents to “work” in the classroom with the children in our care. We welcome parent observations during the school day, and invite you to watch the interactions of the children and the teachers, but we ask that you avoid involving yourself.
However, there is an event that we could use some extra parent support with. Our aesthetics day is a school closure where teachers, subs, and support personnel all clean, organize and create beautiful works of art for each classroom. There is a lot of work that goes into this day; and, for those who feel artistically-inclined or love crafting, it’s a fun way to support the classroom. We host this event on MLK Jr day from 8:00-5:00. Look for details about how you can help in your child’s classroom at the beginning of the new year.
HOW TO KEEP UPDATED ON STUDENT ENROLLMENTS & DEPARTURES
It can be difficult for parents to get an accurate picture of what children are enrolled in a classroom. When a new child starts care in the classroom, we introduce the family through the weekly Shutterfly post. It is the family’s choice to add their contact information to the Class List & Contacts page on the Shutterfly site. We will not share personal contact information without permission.
We are looking for ways to build a shared database that would list only first names of the children in each classroom. We are looking for ways to offer these on the parent resource page of the website. Ideally, this list would auto-populate when a child enrolls or withdraws in a classroom, so parents would always have a way to accurately view their room's enrollment. We have some ideas about how this might work, but are still playing with new ideas.