Intentional Onboarding of new Parents using Parent Ambassadors

Partnering with existing parents of the community to welcome and embed new families in engaging with and understanding the school's culture.

Photo of Brendan Corr
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Becoming part of a new community can be a challenging and intimidating experience. This can be as true for parents joining a new school as it is for their children. For a very close and intimate community such as ours, although relatively small, it can be difficult for new parents to feel connected and that they understand the culture in a way that lets them contribute to it as we would like them to and believe is necessary for them to work in authentic partnership with us in the child’s learning.

The idea is to identify, equip, and empower a team of our current parents who have established connections with the school and confidently contribute to strengthening its culture to serve the growing parent group as “Ambassadors” - representatives of the school able to speak into conversations and to convey a degree of authenticity that staff may not be able to do. Among the acts of service of the Parent CONNECT Ambassadors will be to act as a “sponsor” for new families, engaging with them directly, explaining things clearly and candidly, encouraging them personally to be involved.

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

Student learning is facilitated by strong involvement of parents and close alignment between the values and expectations of the school and the family. Evidence suggest the broad benefit of an intentional, well planned and well-supported program of onboarding in quickly developing shared understanding and effective contribution. Trust is more readily given to a person who is more similar than less. This research has led to the idea of having existing parents actively supporting new parents.


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Photo of Alysha English

Brendan Corr Such an incredible idea! I could definitely see this being a powerful opportunity for thoughtful collaboration between families and the school. I'm curious to learn more about how this might be structured. I could see this being implemented with a few different models. Seems like a powerful way to build community, gain understanding about what families are experiencing at the school, and develop trust. I wonder how you also integrate this type of initiative to make sure it's mutually beneficial for both families and schools. Super cool concept! Can't wait to learn more!

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