School of the Nations hosted a four-hour workshop for PTA training on “The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and School partnerships” on Friday, January 22, 2016. Ms. Mina Merkel, a well-known Consultant for international schools, gave the four-hour workshop. Among the twenty-one participants were members of the PTA, including the PTA President and several officials, interested parents, teachers representing the different sections of the School, our Data Analyst and the Executive Director.
Ms. Merkel made the analogy that the PTA is to a school as a production assistant is to a major movie. She spoke of the key importance of its role in building community.
Ms. Merkel focused a lot on research and current best practices taking place in other international schools. Parents, administrators and teachers took part in a series of dynamic activities and interactions to help focus on issues that are appropriate for a PTA to create the sustainable, supportive, positive, trusting partners the School needs. During the workshop, we explored the PTA Mission – its ‘Reason for Being’ – and shared best practices from the US and other international schools. Finally, participants consulted on our partnership to clarify the role of the PTA within the School community. We made agreements on how the organization can be most helpful to the Board, the Executive Director and the School.
The group of participants arrived at a consensus that the following three functions should be the mission of our PTA:
Develop a Sense of Community: The main role of the PTA is to build `a sense of community` through strong relationships among parents, teachers and the School, in support of the student body.
Support the School: Ms. Merkel explained that one of the most important ways to do this is to provide special recognition in awards or through other activities, organizing parent education events, and planning teacher appreciation activities.
Discover more Funds: Be an important arm of the Fund-Raising Development effort. Provide money and materials during a school year to strengthen the School’s program.
Special thanks to Anna Moore and the active PTA members for their support of this event. We are proud of and grateful for how much work a relatively small number of parents within the PTA has done to advance this mission at the School. The workshop was a way to unite us further in a shared vision of next steps. As we advance, we are sure that more and more members will join in this dynamic process of collaboration.