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November is National Parent Engagement Month

November is National Parent Engagement Month and Richmond Public Schools recognizes how critical parent and family engagement is to our students’ academic success. We are committed to strengthening home and school partnerships and engaging parents in classrooms, schools and throughout the district. We also encourage parents to seek out ways that they can become more involved in their child’s education by reaching out to their teachers and principals and maintaining open lines of communication throughout the year.

In honor of National Parent Engagement Month, we want to shine a spotlight on the great work that our schools are doing to engage parents and families. Read below for a feature on Chimborazo Elementary and stay tuned during the week for a spotlight on other schools.

Chimborazo Elementary

Stairs with multiplication tables on steps If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit Chimborazo Elementary School, you might first be drawn in by the beautiful murals throughout the office and the front hallways. Or, maybe you’ve noticed the stairways that feature multiplication tables on each step. It might even be the Star Wars-themed computer lab– but whatever catches your eye, chances are a Chimborazo parent or community member played a role in beautifying the space.

Jungle mural picture of a leopard and cub

The mural in the office and hallways that feature a jungle scene and a jaguar (the school’s mascot) was drawn and painted by a Chimborazo parent. The multiplication facts on the stairway (and many other initiatives throughout the building) are a result of efforts led by the PTA.

“All of our parents have something to offer and unique ways that they can contribute to our school community,” said Chimborazo’s Principal David Peck. “It’s our job to not only meet our students where they’re at, but we need to do the same for our parents.”
Chimborazo teacher enjoying a doughnut with student This starts at the beginning of the year, as Chimborazo’s entire faculty and staff heads out into the community to meet their students and introduce themselves to their parents and families, setting the tone of community building and collaboration for the school year.

From there, parents and families are welcome and encouraged to visit the school, volunteer in classrooms and participate in activities throughout the year. Earlier this year, the staff invited Chimborazo mothers to their annual Muffins for Moms event. In October, they hosted Donuts for Dads and in November they will hold a Thanksgiving Celebration in honor of Chimborazo’s families.

Chimborazo mom and daughter eating muffinsThese events are key to building relationships and establishing community, but they also serve another purpose. Faculty and staff turn these opportunities into instructional moments – pairing Muffins and Moms with a literacy exercise to engage parents with the learning and instruction that is taking place in their child’s classroom and showing them ways that they can support their students at home.

“Our parents are absolutely critical to the success of our students,” said Principal Peck. “We can’t do what we do without them, so we’ll continue to engage them and involve them in every step of the way.”