Parent-school cooperatives take many forms, but at core all models are built on the belief that when parents and teachers are in strong partnership around the child and around the life of the school, the impact on student learning is powerful and long lasting. Here at City Neighbors, we strive for a parent-school cooperative model that asks parents to be co-creators at the school and to take on essential work of the school in partnership with staff and the principal. This partnership takes three forms. First, we expect every family to dedicate forty hours a year to the school in some capacity. Second, we ask every parent and staff member to work with each other in a collaborative way that assumes the best intentions of each other. And, third, our Board of Directors, comprised of parents and staff members elected by the parents and staff at the school, serve as a working board – each member running a committee of parent and staff volunteers that contribute meaningful, generative and essential work on behalf of our students.
This model is illustrated in our “Governance Arch”, an innovative model of parent-school governance.