St Stephen’s Catholic College’s College and Family Connect was formed in 2022 and represents a new direction in parent and family engagement with the College.
Parent and family engagement is a key factor in a child’s success at school. When parents engage in a child’s learning there are many positive outcomes including improvements in achievement, attendance and behaviour. As a college community, we seek to develop increasing and intentional engagement with parents to support a learning partnership of parents, children and the College. College and Family Connect is the initial step in cultivating greater parent engagement. This group will be used to inform and advise the College on ways to provide better support for parents to increasingly engage with their child’s learning.
Parent and family engagement goes beyond encouraging parents to participate in school events and is more focused on how parents and families support a child in their learning. The support of learning can be through fostering a supportive home environment conducive to learning. This type of engagement can take place in any location and at any time.
The Catholic school participates in the evangelizing mission of the Church. It centres its vision on the life and teachings of Christ with the Gospels as the reference points of its philosophy. It is concerned with building a Christian community where parents, staff and students work together.
College and Family Connect exists to support the college community and is involved in the total life of the college. Parents/carers, as first educators of their children, have a vital collaborative role to play in the implementation of the educational philosophy and policy of the college.
College and Family Connect plays a significant role in the development of a collaborative and cooperative college community where parents/carers are recognised as authentic partners, with teachers and the administration, in the education of their children.
College and Family Connect recognises that parent communities exist for the benefit of the college and its students. Where organised, members of the community are welcome to attend the College and Family Connect meetings, which are a forum by which parents, carers and other community members can connect with the Principal, teachers, other parents, and community members to:
- Develop a community spirit;
- Support and work in partnership with the Principal and teachers;
- Participate in decision-making;
- Promote interaction between home and college, parents and teachers;
- Encourage parent participation in teaching and learning activities and college life;
- Promote the college in the wider community;
- Create a forum for discussion; and
- Assist in providing resources to the college where necessary.
There is no Executive membership within the structure of College and Family Connect.
College and Family Connect meets at least twice per year, with additional parent engagement sessions at least once per term.
Meetings are advertised in the College Newsletter, and on the College Facebook page.