Charter schools have become a place of hope for Black and Brown parents that have felt hopeless navigating the nuances of traditional public schools. As a school leader, I can tell you that there are countless stories of parents that want better for their children. These parents are sad and yearn for more for their kids. These parents are T.I.R.E.D of what’s being offered by traditional public schools.
At the Riverhead Charter School, we value our parents and their input. We have an open-door policy for our parents, meant for parents to feel comfortable enough to disagree, and let us know rather candidly the areas that we can improve. True partnerships are rare in K-12 public education. In traditional public schools, parent involvement centers on a middle-class precept. Parents that do not fit into this common mold are unfairly categorized.
Once parent partnerships are ingrained in the culture of a school, they yield immediate results. For example, in the fiscal year 2017-18, we did not budget for recruitment. Our recruitment for this school year was strictly by word of mouth. Our parents are delighted with our school, in turn, they recommend our school to their friends and family. We’ve adopted a customer service mindset to how we run our school. We want our families to be happy with us, so they keep coming back.