Parents – General Responsibilities

 

Parent ResponsibilitiesParent Partner ProgramCommunity MeetingsMoral Training at HomeFamily Education UnitsParent/Teacher Communication

 

One of the foundational principles behind ICS is that the parents and the school are in partnership to provide the best possible education for the children.  This partnership is acted out in many ways including:

 

 

Parent Responsibilities

 

Being a parent at International Community School calls for a greater commitment, dedication, and investment than at many other schools. We believe this produces more effective education. ICS parents are required to agree to the following commitments upon their child’s enrollment:

 

A Commitment to Family Engagement – A foundational philosophy of ICS is that the efficacy of a child’s education is directly related to the level of engagement by parents in their child’s moral, spiritual, and academic training. Families understand their responsibility to create a culture of learning in their homes that encourages spiritual pursuit, moral maturity and academic interest, and deepens the relationship between parents and children that results in strong families and responsible citizens.

 

The Completion of the Required Parenting Course – Parents have to complete the required Christian parenting course by the end of the first semester of enrollment. Our Family Education Department can provide a list of currently available courses.

 

Attendance at Parent Orientation – Held the week prior to the start of academic classes, orientation is the time to meet faculty and staff and get vital information for your child’s success at ICS.

 

 

Parent Partner Program

 

Parents are required to serve in their students’ classrooms or in the administrative offices on a rotating basis with other parents in the school.  Our Parent Partner Program is absolutely essential to the success of our school.  Because our teachers have such a limited time with the students during the week, parents’ help in the classroom offers administrative and resource assistance that optimizes the teacher’s effectiveness. Participating in the classroom also familiarizes parents with the teacher’s methods and strategies, and offers the opportunity to get to know their child’s classmates.  Most important, it is a special day for each student when his/her parents are present on campus.  Mandatory parent partner training is available during Parent Orientation Week for all new families.

 

Parent Partner Policy – The Parent Partner Program is a vital part of ICS.  When members join ICS, they are joining a community of believers who desire to share in the load of responsibilities equally.  Therefore, it is required that parents participate as parent partners as long as their children are enrolled in the ICS Academic Program.

  • Parents will sign up for the on-campus days they are available to work on a schedule that will be circulated at the beginning of the year during Parent Orientation Week, as well as at Community Meetings.
  • At the elementary level, each classroom is assigned a Parent Partner Coordinator.  There is one coordinator each for middle school and high school.  Coordinators are responsible to solicit sign-ups for the parent partner schedule during Parent Orientation Week and at the Community Meetings, to see that everyone is fairly represented on the schedule, and to interact with parents for any specific needs.  Coordinators will assign work days for any parents who do not sign up during Parent Orientation Week or the Community Meetings. Completed and updated schedules will be distributed through the student files or email.  Schedules will be made out at the beginning of each semester, but they will also be maintained and updated by the coordinator at the Community Meetings.
  • Parents are accountable to their Parent Partner Coordinator.  If parents are unable to work on their assigned days, they are responsible for finding their own replacement from their class and informing the coordinator of those changes. Parent Partner Coordinators and paid parent partner substitutes are not exempt from serving in the classroom as part of the regular schedule.
  • It is expected that each parent will make note of the dates they have selected or are assigned and take responsibility to be present on campus for the days they are scheduled.
  • The only excused absences from the Parent Partner Program are in the case of illness, a death in the family, or extreme hardship.  Parents who are scheduled and do not complete their partnership responsibilities are fined a $50 fee, which may be used to pay a substitute for that day. Non-payment of this fine could result in dismissal from ICS. To accommodate the program for unexcused absences, we will use a list of pre-qualified parents who will be called to fill in as necessary.
  • Occasionally severe situations arise that may exempt a family from participating in the Parent Partner Program for a season; however, these circumstances must be put in writing and sent to the Principal/Chief Administrator, and then discussed with and approved by the Principal/Chief Administrator before the family is given an exemption.
  • The number of times each family serves on campus per semester is based upon the number of eligible parents in each classroom or level.   However, families with more than three students are given consideration and asked to sign up for fewer days than other families in their students’ classes.
  • If parents consistently avoid their parent partner days on campus because their schedule does not allow participation, a meeting will be called to discuss the appropriateness of the family’s placement at ICS.
  • Siblings are not allowed to accompany parents on parent partner days.  Therefore, make other arrangements for the care of all children not enrolled in the academic program.

 

General Safety Issues while Parent Partnering – In order to keep students safe, the following guidelines must be enforced at all times by Parent Partners.

 

  • An adult should accompany or stay in visual contact with students.

 

  • PK – 3rd grade students must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

 

 

Community Meetings

 

All parents, faculty and staff are required to attend the mandatory Community Meetings held five times throughout the school year.  Classes meet for their breakout sessions prior to or after the corporate meeting at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

Moral Training at Home

 

Completion of the mandatory parenting course is required of all families, staff and faculty during the first year of enrollment.  Both parents must attend the parenting course.  Families with students in grades PK – 5th will take the course; those with students in grades 6th – 12th will read and answer questions from a specific teen parenting book. Each family is to notify the Family Education Director upon completion of these requirements.

 

We understand that simply taking a parenting course does not guarantee responsible parenting or perfect children; however, the heart of this requirement is that our families be recognized as people who are actively striving toward a standard of moral excellence in their homes.

 

 

Family Education Units (FEUs)

 

Part of the mission of ICS is to educate, encourage and equip our partner families in the twin vocations of parenting and educating their children at home.  Families are required to earn a minimum of five Family Education Units (FEUs) per school year, June 1 to May 31. One FEU will be awarded for every hour spent in an approved seminar, workshop, class, lecture, conference, etc.  To be approved, a class must pertain specifically to marriage, family, parenting or education.  We recognize that general Bible studies (i.e., Bible Study Fellowship, Precepts) help in marriage and parenting, but courses of this type will not count for FEUs.  To obtain approval for a class, please contact the Family Education Department. Failure to earn the minimum required FEUs per year could result in loss of “good standing” status for the family and would affect re-enrollment eligibility.

 

Parenting Courses and Books If your child is in PK – 5th grade, you will need to take either Growing Kids God’s Way or Shepherding A Child’s Heart. These are 15-18 week parenting courses and you need to have completed or at least be enrolled in one of them within the first semester at ICS. If your child is in 6th – 12th grade, you are required to read and answer questions about one of two parenting books. The choices are Reaching the Heart of Your Teen or Age of Opportunity. This needs to be completed within the first semester at ICS. After completing these requirements, please let the Family Education Department know so that we can record it in our files.

 

Principles of Community Parents have one year from the date of enrollment to complete this one and a half hour workshop. Parents earn one and a half FEUs while they learn about the twelve principles that form the identity of ICS.  This workshop is taught at various times throughout the year.

 

 

Parent/Teacher Communication

 

Elementary/Middle School

Parents should follow the guidelines listed below for proper communication with their student’s teacher.

  • Ask your teacher for the preferred way to schedule a conference.
  • When possible, please communicate in writing.
  • As co-instructor with your teacher, please communicate as clearly as possible and as often as necessary to facilitate academic progress for your child.

 

High School

Each teacher will give parents communication guidelines, which will include options for appointments, email and phone calls.

 

Some Dont’s to Remember

  • Please don’t discuss your student’s needs with the teacher outside of scheduled conferences.
  • Please don’t bring a classroom problem to the Administrative Team until you have first tried to work out a solution with the teacher.
  • Please don’t talk with other parents or teachers if you have a problem with your student’s teacher.  Go directly to the teacher first, and if the problem is not resolved, bring the issue to the Administrative Team.  Use this scripture as a guideline:  “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”   (Ephesians 4:29). Likewise, if someone comes to you with a situation that does not concern you, please respond with integrity and gentleness in refusing to listen.  A great way to do that is simply to offer to pray with the person on the spot and lovingly encourage them to go to the person directly involved.

 

Confidentiality Issues

Teachers will take every precaution to keep issues with families and students confidential.  Teachers will only address the appropriate parties when dealing with a confidential issue.