Parents are the lifeblood of the BIS community. Without the parents, BIS would never have become the unique learning environment that it is. Therefore it is imperative that all parents understand that their involvement at school is a requirement of enrolment. A healthy democracy depends on every family being represented at Whole Community Meetings or individuals taking on the challenge of sitting on the BIS executive.
Parents and Democratic Responsibility
BIS is a parent-managed school. The school was established by a group of passionate parents who wanted a say in the management of the school. It is still maintained along the same lines. The parent body elects the executive members for a year long term, to represent them in order to maintain long term planning and to ensure adherence to Cyclical Accreditation Procedures. The day-to-day management of the school remains the responsibility of the teachers and staff while general management is carried out by the parents at the Whole Community Meetings.
Workshop Sessions and Training
Regularly throughout the year talks and trainings take place about the curriculum and philosophy. We ask all our parents to attend these during their time at BIS. You need to be very comfortable with what is happening in your community.
Working Bees and Whole Community Meetings
For one date per Term, a Whole Community Meeting (WCM) occurs, coinciding with a Working Bee (there are two Working Bees per term). It is compulsory for each family to attend one working bee per term for a minimum of 4 hours. A representative from each family is also required to attend the WCM once a term, because these meetings will cover all aspects of the school management and will run for approximately two hours.
Parents help out in numerous roles — organising activities, reading with students, driving students to excursion venues, sharing their knowledge and professional skills, bringing in friends/colleagues with specialist knowledge, or providing extra emotional support. Each role is important and valuable. Classroom involvement must be negotiated with the classroom teacher so as not to undermine previous learning or relationship building.
To help you understand the BIS values and how they are enacted at the school, we have two workshop sessions each year to enable discussion and understanding. New parents are required to attend one of these workshops to help them understand the role that values play in school life.