The Principals’ Office is continuing its discussion about how educators can ensure a culturally diverse environment that is accepting, supporting, and nurturing to all children. Nicole Nash Gales, principal of Springfield Ball Charter School in Springfield, Illinois, explains the significance of leaders in creating a successful culturally diverse environment. Such environments are “fostered by leadership that believes and expects all staff members to believe that ALL children are capable of learning at high levels,” writes Gales. “This high expectation extends to the expectation that staff build relationships with students and their families to learn their cultures, which are important to who they are as capable learners.”
Kenneth D. Burdette, academy director at Wyatt-Edison Charter School in Denver, Colorado, emphasizes the role of parents in developing a nurturing school climate. “What makes us unique and successful … is the manner in which we include the parents and families in the students’ education,” he says. “Parental involvement is invaluable to the success of a child. Through our home visit program, curriculum nights, and parent meetings we are able to work closely with our students and families on a daily basis.”
What impact do school leaders and parents have in your school’s quest for creating a nurturing environment?

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re: School Leaders and Parents Impact Diverse Environments

This year I have been blessed to have a special allotment for an Academic Coach/Parent Liasion. She has offered several evening workshops that involve activities for both parents and students. We have had excellent turn out for these events. We even had a Math Savenger Hunt at our local grocery store on a Saturday. The parents asked for more activities like this as they enjoyed working with their children to solve real life problems. I think the biggest draw is that the parents worked with their children on academic skills. It provided a safe avenue for parents to learn how to help with skill development.
Even if only a few parents attend these events, it is well worthwhile to offer opportunities for parents and students to learn together.

re: School Leaders and Parents Impact Diverse Environments

I am planning to offer evening classes for parents to come in and learn about our effective discipline strategies. We are using Larry Thompson's "Give 'Em Five."
I am hoping this allows parents to see the compassion and dignity shown to all students, and I would hope some parents find it useful enough to use the strategy at home. Does anyone have any suggestions from past experience that will help us make it successful?