Nine Tips on How to Help Build a Positive Partnership with Your School Administrator

Nine Tips on How to Help Build a Positive Partnership with Your School Administrator
Posted on 12/10/2021

“The success of a school council often rests with the partnership they form with the Principal. There are some Principals who are naturally enthusiastic and supportive of the council. On the other hand, there are some who are slower to form a comfortable working partnership with parent leaders.

Here are nine tips on how to help build a positive partnership with your school administrator.

  1. Establish a good communication plan at the beginning of the school year. The Chair should ask to meet with the Principal at least one week before a council meeting.
    The Chair and Principal should use this meeting to prepare the agenda for distribution to members. Remember to use this opportunity to share ideas and establish a rapport with the Principal.
  2. While parent leaders play an important role in the school, it is important to remember that the Principal has the final responsibility for all operations in the school.
  3. Running meetings effectively and respecting the time commitment for both parents and the principal will allow the council to accomplish a great deal. Getting bogged down in details can be frustrating. This can cause everyone to lose interest in the meeting. It is a good idea to identify what needs to be done. Once that is established, delegate to a sub-committee that can handle the issues at a later date or time.
  4. Do not bring personal matters to council meetings. School council Chairs should make sure that no other members raise personal issues. Council meetings should be limited to school activities that affect all students in the school.
  5. Developing an annual budget as a council, in conjunction with the Principal, will help the council move towards a common goal that aligns with everyone’s priorities.
  6. Ask the Principal what their priorities are and how the council might assist in achieving these goals.
  7. Appreciate your Principal and thank them for their efforts.
  8. Treat your Principal with respect. Remember that they have many responsibilities in running a school besides school council work. Understand they may not be able to respond immediately to your emails or needs put forth by the council.
  9. Remember your Principal is a person, just like you. They will have good days and bad. Try to be compassionate and understand that there may be a better day to present new ideas or concerns.”

Excerpt from Parents Engaged in Education Blog, March 2021

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